February 7, 2015

The Mongolian Plateau dries out



One of the large lakes of the Mongolian Plateau:
Khar Us Nuur in winter. photo © A. Bräunlich

The Mongolian Plateau, an area of approximately 2,600,000 square kilometres (1,000,000 sq mi) has been experiencing remarkable lake shrinkage during the recent decades because of intensive human activities and climate change. A recent study provides a comprehensive satellite-based evaluation of lake shrinkage across the plateau, and finds a greater decreasing rate of the number of lakes in Inner Mongolia than in Mongolia (34.0% vs. 17.6%) between the late 1980s and 2010, mainly due to an unsustainable mining boom and agricultural irrigation in the former. The abstract of the paper “Rapid loss of lakes on the Mongolian Plateau” can be read here.

Einen kurzer Spiegel Online Artikel hierzu: “Bergbau und Landwirtschaft: Das Mongolische Plateau trocknet aus“ gibt es hier.



Threatened by climate change: A glacier in the Altai Mountains at
the border triangle Mongolia-China-Russia. photo © M. Grimm



Industrialization: building a dam at a river in western Mongolia,
at the edge of the Mongolian Plateau. photo © A. Bräunlich