Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2007, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (3): 301-310.doi: 10.11821/xb200703007

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The Response of Lake-Glacier Ar ea Change to Climate Variations in Namco Basin, Central Tibetan Plateau, dur ing the Last Three Decades

WU Yanhong1,2, ZHU Liping3, YE Qinghua3, WANG Liben4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China;
    3. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China;
    4. College of Population, Resources and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Received:2006-07-25 Revised:2007-01-26 Online:2007-03-25 Published:2007-03-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40331006; No.40571172; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX3-SW-339


Based upon the 1970 aero-photo topographic map and TM/ETM satellite images taken in 1976, 1991 and 2000, the authors artificially interpret boundary of lake water and glaciers and calculate their areas in different stages with the support of GIS. Results show that from 1970 to 2000, lake area increased from 1941.64 km2 to 1979.79 km2 with a rate of 1.27 km2/a, while glacier area decreased from 167.62 km2 to 141.88 km2 with a rate of 0.86 km2/a. The increased rate of lake area in 1991-2000 was 1.76 km2/a that was faster than 1.03 km2/a in 1970-1991, while in the same period of time, the shrinking rates of glaciers area were 0.97 km2/a and 0.80 km2/a respectively. Climatic factors such as air temperature, precipitation, maximum possible evaporation and their values in warm seasons and cold seasons over the past 30 years are analyzed with linkage of the lake and glaciers variations. The results suggest that temperature increasing is the main reason for accelerated melting of glaciers. Lake area enlargement is mainly induced from the increase of glacier melting water, while slight increase of precipitation and obvious decrease of evaporation are also important factors. Regional precipitation and evaporation and their linkages with lake area enlargement need to be thoroughly studied under the global warming and glaciers retreating.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, Namco Basin, lake, glacier, remote sensing