LANZHOU, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Increasing levels of aerosols might be good for lakes on the Chinese Loess Plateau as they have weakened summer monsoons, decreasing rainfall and lake fertilization over the past few decades, according to a research paper.
In a paper published in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change for this week, a team led by Chen Fahu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the research was based on the study of fossil evidence stored in dated lake sediment profiles in the plateau over the past 2,000 years.
Chen was also a professor with the key laboratory of western China's environmental systems in Lanzhou University.
Rainfall brought about by the monsoon typically causes massive soil erosion and mobilizes large amounts of nutrients in the form of phosphate from the soil in the plateau. This nutrient-rich run-off fertilizes the water system, lowering oxygen levels and reducing water quality, according to the paper.
The team said, ironically, that continued environmental efforts to reduce anthropogenic aerosols in Asia to fight against global warming would likely lead to the return of severe nutrient enrichment and thus further impair the already stressed freshwater supply in the region.
The Chinese Loess Plateau takes its name from extensive deposits of mineral-rich, powdery soil known as loess. It is one of the most erodible areas on Earth, and people living there face serious erosion and eutrophication.