Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2014, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (2): 123-131.doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2014.02.004

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Glacier and Lake Changes across the Tibetan Plateau during the Past 50 Years of Climate Change

LI Zhiguo1,2   

  1. 1 Department of Environment and Planning, Shangqiu Normal University, Shangqiu 476000, China;
    2 Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2014-03-22 Revised:2014-04-25 Online:2014-06-18 Published:2014-06-06
  • Contact: LI Zhiguo. Email:lizhiguo999999@163.com. E-mail:lizhiguo999999@163.com
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.41101072, No.41001037, No.40701036, No.41101062 and No.31100369).

Abstract: In this paper, recent glacier and lake changes research on the Tibetan Plateau was reviewed. Emphasis was placed on a discussion of the relationship between glacier shrinkage and lake change. In the context of global climate change, the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau have generally retreated, while the lakes have generally expanded. First, the research on glacial terminal retreat, glacial area and volume variations across the Tibetan Plateau over the last few decades are reviewed and analyzed; the temporal-spatial change characteristics of the glaciers are discussed. Secondly, the lake area, volume and water level changes are reviewed and analyzed; the temporal-spatial change characteristics of the glaciers are discussed. The results indicate that the retreat speed in the outer edge of the Tibean Plateau was overall faster than that in the inland area. The areas and water levels of the lakes that are fed by glacial water increased. Finally, the limitations of the present studies and future work are discussed.

Key words: glacier, glacial lake, Tibetan Plateau