Environment

How Do Lakes Affect Energy, Heat, and Carbon Exchange Processes in Mountainous Areas?

Lakes are important in the Earth-atmosphere system. They can maintain ecological balance and regulate climate, as well as the nearby landscape.

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More than one third of lakes in China are distributed in the southern plateau region. The topography around the plateau lakes is complex and diverse, which leads to a unique local air circulation.

This meteorological phenomenon results from the interaction between lake-land breeze and mountain-valley breeze circulations. Local energy sources and material circulation rely on this mechanism. Therefore, scientists want to better understand how this process affects the carbon and water cycles as well as regional heat exchange.

"Due to the difficulty and high cost of continuous observation in lakes, the understanding of lake-air interactions is still very limited," said Prof. LIU Huizhi, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Since 2011, LIU and his research group have maintained an observation site at Erhai Lake within the Dali Basin in southwest China. Along with basic meteorological data, they were particularly interested in measuring eddy covariance at the lake surface.

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