Namtso no longer Tibet's largest lake
The Buddhist holy lake Namtso has lost its spot as Tibet's largest lake to Serling Tso, according to a new study.
The Serling Tso was measured at 2,391 sq km in June, 369 sq km larger than the Namtso, a researcher with the Institute of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research said.
Lake areas in the southwestern autonomous region have been growing in recent years, but the expansion of the Serling Tso has been remarkable, with its area growing by 535 sq km, one-third of its original size, in the past decade, the researcher said.
Experts have not reached any agreement on whether accelerated glacier thaw or increased precipitation is the major factor behind the expansion.
According to the researcher, the lake's growth has inundated several pastures but has also improved the ecology in the area.
Due to global warming, glaciers in the region have shrunk by 15 percent in the past 30 years.
Annual runoff from glaciers rose from 61.5 billion cubic metres to 79.5 billion cubic metres during the same period, which replenished the surface water, rivers and lakes.
(Posted on 21-07-2014)