Barköl is noted for camel and horse breeding with the Barköl horse well known throughout China. Due to the large number of camels, which is unparalleled in China, the county is nicknamed of the "county of ten thousand camels".
Barkol Lake is an alkali lake in a closed basin. Current rainfall averages 210 millimeters (8 inches), while the annual evaporation rate is 2,250 millimeters (89 inches). Ancient shorelines show up as concentric rings on the astronaut photo at right, indicating that water levels have varied many times in the past. One study identified five climates at Barkol Lake over the past 8,000 years, ranging from warm and wet to cold and wet and finally cold and dry at present. The average annual temperature in the area is now just 1° Celsius (34° F), though temperatures swing from extreme highs (33.5° C or 92.3° F) to extreme lows (-43.6° C or -46.5° F).