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Analysis and farmers’ perception of climate change in the Kashmir Valley, India

Abstract

Analysis of climatic variables is important for the detection and attribution of climate change trends and has received considerable attention from researchers across the globe including in India. The mountains surrounding the Kashmir Valley in northwestern India are often glacierized. Hence, the area will react strongly to even small changes in temperature and precipitation. To this end, the current study analyzes the changing patterns in precipitation and temperature for various elevation zones of the Kashmir Valley and also investigates farmers’ perceptions of climate change. The results revealed that during the last 40 years (1980–2019), the annual minimum and maximum temperatures have increased by 0.02 and 0.017 °C/year. With some numerical variations, the warming trends were observed in all seasons of different elevation zones. The rate of increasing temperature in plains and mountains was more than Karewas and foothill regions. Conversely, a downward trend of annual precipitation at − 5.01 mm/year has been recorded due to declining precipitation during spring, winter, autumn, and summer seasons at − 4.95, − 0.30, − 0.28, and − 0.06 mm/year, respectively. Higher rates of declining precipitation around the mountainous area may be detrimental to the crops of Kashmir Valley by disturbing the water supply and groundwater recharge. Focused on the farmers’ perception of climate change, the majority of farmers (> 65%) perceived the changes in temperature and precipitation in line with the above results of historical meteorological data analysis, conforming with an upward and downward trend of temperature and precipitation respectively over time. Farmers’ knowledge coupled with the actual data analysis may concertedly give a clearer understanding of climate change–related instability and patterns in weather variables, which is critically important for planning and implementing appropriate adaptation measures in their farming against climate change in the Kashmir Valley.

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Data availability

Data and materials are available with the Division of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) and will be made available on a formal request to the corresponding author.

Code availability

NA.

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Acknowledgements

The authors express their gratitude to ICAR-CRIDA, NICRA, Hyderabad, for funding the project and acknowledge the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, Maharashtra, and Rambagh, Srinagar, for providing the necessary weather data. The authors are also grateful to farmers of different surveyed locations in Kashmir Valley for sharing the information regarding the weather/climate changes in their area. All authors are indebted to the anonymous reviewers and the Editor who helped for improving the quality of the manuscript.

Funding

The work in this paper is a part of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (ICAR-NICRA)–funded project.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Dr. S. Sheraz Mahdi (PI): conceptualization of project idea. Bhagyashree S. Dhekale (Co-PI): statistical analysis of data. Ashaq Hussain (Co-PI): assisted in conducting farmers’ surveys and data compilation. IntikhabAalum Jehangir (Co-PI): assisted in conducting farmers’ surveys and data compilation. Rukhsana Jan (SRF): working as a senior research fellow in the project. M. Anwar Bhat (Co-PI): assisted in conducting farmers’ surveys and data compilation. Najeebul Rehman Sofi (Co-PI): organizing survey program/data compilation. Latief Ahmed (Co-PI): assisted in meteorological data analysis. Asif M. Iqbal Qureshi (Co-PI): database management of weather files/analysis. Aziz Mujtaba Aezum (Co-PI): assisted in manuscript writing. Shabir A. Bangroo (Co-PI): assisted in weather database management. Owais Ali Wani (Ph.D. student): map creation and designing using QGIS. F.A. Bahar (Co-PI): assisted in manuscript writing. S.K. Mishra (external expert): methodology visualization, writing—review, and editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Sheraz Mahdi.

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Ethics approval/approval of an ethics committee

All procedures performed in the present study involving human participants (farmers interview) were following the ethical standards of the University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. No human being or a farmer was harmed during the study and formal permission was also sought from the Head, Division of Agronomy, SKUAST-K, for interviewing the farmers. Furthermore, the work in this paper is an original piece of work that has been carried out under the ICAR-NICRA sponsored project. The paper or its part has not been submitted to any other journal for its publication. The results of the paper have been presented without any manipulation. No data or text from any other source have been used.

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I, the corresponding author, have taken consent from all authors and provided consent for the publication of this paper in the prestigious journal “Theoretical and Applied Climatology.”

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The corresponding author declares that all authors of this paper have participated in the research work and have contributed as mentioned above.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Mahdi, S.S., Dhekale, B.S., Jan, R. et al. Analysis and farmers’ perception of climate change in the Kashmir Valley, India. Theor Appl Climatol 149, 727–741 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-022-04072-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-022-04072-x