XINING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland saltwater lake, saw a record increase of 0.4 meter in its water level last year, the highest during the past 13 years.
The rise largely resulted from "unusually" abundant precipitation in the lake basin, which recorded average rainfall of 511 millimeters in 2017, 40 percent more than previous years, according to Dai Sheng, senior engineer at the provincial meteorological center.
The lake's water level has grown by 2.07 meters since 2005, Dai said, adding that the current water level is equal to the level in the mid-1970s.
Rising temperatures and precipitation due to climate change, as well as increasing snow melt, have contributed to continuous growth in the lake's water level, Dai said.
Qinghai Lake plays an important role in the ecological security of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The lake had been shrinking since the 1950s, but the combined effects of conservation and changes to the regional climate turned things around in 2005.