The ice cover on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau plays an important role in the environmental and ecological systems. We analyze the in situ measurements of ice growth and examine the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice in the Beiluhe basin. We evaluate numerically the change of thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice with changing ice temperature using an optimal control model. In a higher ice temperature regime (–3 to 0°C), the thermal diffusivity of thermokarst lake ice decreases exponentially with increasing ice temperature, and approaches the thermal diffusivity value of fresh water near the freezing-point temperature. In a lower ice temperature regime (–15 to –3°C), the thermal diffusivity increases slowly with decreasing ice temperature.