China's largest salt lake hits record size

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 19, 2017 shows Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland saltwater lake, in Northwest China's Qinghai province. [Photo/Xinhua]

XINING - Qinghai Lake, China's largest salt lake, reached record size due to abundant precipitation since June.

The area of Qinghai Lake hit 4,548.56 square kilometers on July 4, an expansion of 51.55 square km compared with last year's size, according to the Qinghai Institute of Meteorological Sciences (QIMS).

The lake's current size is the biggest it has ever been, breaking an 18-year record.

The expansion is due to abundant rainfall since June, said Liu Baokang, an engineer at QIMS. The average precipitation between Saturday and Tuesday was 42.8 millimeters, tripling the rainfall during the same period over the past 10 years.

The lake is forecast to continue expanding in July due to more precipitation, said Liu.

"The expansion of the lake will result in a bigger habitat and richer food for wildlife as well as improve local environment," he added.