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China's Largest Salt Lake Seriously Basified
Experts said China's largest salt lake in Qinghai, a province neighboring Tibet is becoming seriously basified, indicating environmental deterioration.

Ma Haizhou, a Chinese Academy of Sciences expert on salt lakes, said the pH level of Qinghai lake has increased to 9.5, 46 percent higher than the level of sea water. The lake water contains 16 kg of salt per liter, up by 28 percent on the figures of thirty years ago.

Ma said a decrease in both rainfall and underground water supply has resulted in a drop of 11.7 meters in the lake's water level within a century. And the per-unit salt level has increased accordingly.

Qinghai lake, which is almost as big as Salt Lake in Utah, the United States, is located 3,200 meters above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The basification has caused the average size of fish in the lake to decrease and also curbed their reproduction level.

Ma said the reasons for the changes in the lake's water level still remain a mystery, and it needs world attention.

(People’s Daily October 28, 2001)

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