Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageTibetan lake loses spot as largest lake due to climate change

By Karen Graham     Jul 21, 2014 in Environment
Tibet's Lake Nam, or Namtso, a Buddhist holy lake in Tibet, has for years been the country's largest lake. But it recently has lost that status to Serling Lake. Serling lake's size has increased, the result of melting glaciers and increased rainfall.
Serling Tso, or Siling Co, is a salt lake in the Nagqu Prefecture of China, or what is now the Tibet Autonomous Region. Serling Tso sits at 4,530 meters elevation and in 2005, Covered 1,640 sq, km. But by June, 2014, the lake's size had increased dramatically, to 2,391 sq. km., 396 sq. km. larger than Namtso. This new measurement knocks Namtso into second place to Serling Tso in size.
Zhang Guoqing, is a researcher at the Institute of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He says that researchers have noted that lakes in the southwestern autonomous region have been growing in recent years, but the growth of Serling Tso has been "remarkable." It is already one-third larger than its original size.
Situated on the plateau 15 000 feet above sea level  Serling Lake is a tranquil relaxing environment...
Situated on the plateau 15,000 feet above sea level, Serling Lake is a tranquil relaxing environment with an abundance of plant and animal life. The wetlands in this Autonomous Region boast the biggest ecosystem in China. It's the home of China's biggest cluster of wetlands with lakes, marshes, and rivers.
Zhang says the expansion is expected to continue. He noted also the increased acceleration of glacial thaw in the region feeding into the Tsagya Tsangpo and Boques Tsangpo rivers that feed into Serling Tso, as well as an increase in rainfall. A number of pasture lands have been inundated, and officials in the region say this has improved the ecology of the area.
At the same time, though, because of climate change, glaciers in the region have shrunk over 15 percent in the past three decades., and during the same time period, yearly runoff from glacial melt has risen from 61.5 billion cubic meters to 79.5 billion cubic meters.
Namtso or Lake Nam officially means "Heavenly Lake." Born during the Paleogene age, when the continents were in the process of moving into their final position on the globe, the lake resulted from tectonic upheavals as India was colliding with Asia, forming the Himalayan mountain range. For clarification, "tso" means "lake" in the Tibetan dialect, so Nam Lake is also called Namtso.
Nam Tso  Damxung County  Tibet
Nam Tso, Damxung County, Tibet
This salt lake lies at an elevation over three miles above sea level on the border between Damxung County of Lhasa Prefecture and Baingoin County of Nagqu Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, The lake is large, covering 740 sq. miles, and with a depth of 410 feet. Namtso was chosen in 2005 as one of one of the five most beautiful lakes in China. It holds the further distinction of being one of three holy lakes in Tibet.
Namtso's water level is maintained due to annual rainfall and melting snows from the mountains. But its popularity as a destination for pilgrimages journeying to its caves and grottoes has given the lake an almost "Shang-Ra-La " aura, adding to its mystery and attraction. There are five uninhabited islands on the lake, and five "by-lands," or fingers of land jutting out into the waters of the lake.
Na genla mountain besides the lake  elevation 5190 meters.
Namtso Shangrila China
Na genla mountain besides the lake, elevation 5190 meters. Namtso Shangrila China
The largest by-land is called Zhaxi byland. Here can be found a number of large strange looking stone peaks, some looking like trunks, some like animals, trees or even human beings. There is also a Buddhist temple on Zhaxi by-land. Every Tibetan year of the sheep, thousands of Buddhist adherents make a pilgrimage to the lake to worship at the temple.
More about Tibet, Serling Tso, glacial melt, Climate change, Salt lake
More news from
Latest News
Top News