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Comparison of climatic trends and variability among glacierized environments in the Western Himalayas

Abstract

The climate and hydrology of the Western Himalayas is complex and a function of snow and glacier melt, land use, topography, and Indian summer and winter monsoon dynamics. Improving our knowledge about these processes is important from societal and agricultural points of view. In this study, an observational analysis is carried out to assess the changing climatic trends and the associated interannual variability in winter temperature and precipitation at three glacierized regions of Western Himalayas having distinctly different sub-regional characteristics. In situ observations of 23 years (1985–2007) are used. These observations are passed through rigorous statistical quality control checks. Results show higher interannual variability with increasing temperature trends in the glacierized regions of the Siachen (Karakoram Range) and Chotasigri (Great Himalayan Range). Karakoram Range has higher warming trends than the Great Himalayan Range. In case of precipitation, an overall decrease in precipitation is observed with contrasting trends in the last decade. Nino3.4 index is positively correlated with winter precipitation with similar interannual variability. In addition, at Siachen temperature and precipitation show strong negative correlation, and precipitation to spell length correlation is opposite at Siachen and Chotasigri.

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Acknowledgments

APD acknowledges Ms. Anila Rambal for providing English edits of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to A. P. Dimri.

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Dimri, A.P., Immerzeel, W.W., Salzmann, N. et al. Comparison of climatic trends and variability among glacierized environments in the Western Himalayas. Theor Appl Climatol 134, 155–163 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2265-8

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