Impacts of the Two Biggest Lakes on Local Temperature and Precipitation in the Yellow River Source Region of the Tibetan Plateau

Impacts of the Two Biggest Lakes on Local Temperature and Precipitation in the Yellow River Source Region of the Tibetan Plateau

Wen, L., Lv, S., Li, Z., Zhao, L., & Nagabhatla, N. (2015). Impacts of the two biggest lakes on local temperature and precipitation in the Yellow River source region of the Tibetan Plateau. Advances in Meteorology, 2015.

The Tibetan Plateau harbors thousands of lakes; however few studies focus on impacts of lakes on local climate in the region. To investigate and quantify impacts of the two biggest lakes (Ngoring Lake and Gyaring Lake) of the Yellow River source region in the Tibetan Plateau on local climate, two simulations (with and without the two large lakes) from May 2010 to July 2011 are performed and analyzed using the WRF-CLM model (the weather research and forecasting model coupled with the community land model). Differences between simulated results show that the WRF-CLM model could provide realistic reproduction of surface observations and has better simulation after considering lakes. Lakes mostly reduce the maximum temperature all year round and increase the minimum temperature except in March due to the large heat capacity that makes lakes absorb (release) more energy for the same temperature change compared to land. Lakes increase precipitation over the lake area and in the nearby region, mostly during 02–14 BT (Beijing Time) of July to October when the warm lake surface induces the low level horizontal convergence and updraft over lake and provides energy and vapor to benefit the development of the convection for precipitation.