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Assessments of Climate Change Indicators, Climate-Induced Disasters, and Community Adaptation Strategies: A Case from High Mountain of Nepal

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Land Cover Change and Its Eco-environmental Responses in Nepal

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Abstract

Rainfall, temperature and snow cover are widely used indicators to define climate change pattern. This research analyzed a series of climatic and satellite data to determine the trend of climate, snow cover and vegetation cover dynamics in the context of changing climate. Also, community’s adaptation practices and challenges to face severe climate-induced disaster were explored for the Seti Khola catchment of western Nepal. Temporal Landsat images were used for quantifying snow and vegetation covers based on NDSI and NDVI indices. Household surveys, key informant interview, and direct field observation were used to verify the status of climate change indicators and to document community response for adaptation and reduction of existing and potential damages from climate-induced disasters. The annual average maximum and minimum temperature increases at the rate of 0.043 and 0.023 °C, respectively; precipitation is decreasing by 11.17 mm per annum with the erratic pattern. Melting of snow, occurrence of landslide and conversion of snow mountain to barren land and then vegetation are some distinctly noticed scenario associated with climate change. More than 25% people residing in the area seems highly vulnerable to floods and landslides caused primarily by climatic variability and an accelerated rate of snowmelt. Lack of knowledge, lack of political leadership and institutional mechanism were key issues for adaptation strategies. Regular monitoring of climatic indicators and assessment of damages and risks from the climate-induced disaster are important to formulate future climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge NORHED SUNREM-Himalaya Project, IOF, Office of the Dean for providing financial support to conduct this research. The authors also express gratitude to HUC/ICIMOD for helping to establish an institutional link between IOF and IMHE/CAS, China through Mobility Program, and this article is output from the linkage. The valuable technical advice provided by Prof. Krishna Raj Tiwari as well as linguistic support by Prof. Abadhesh Singh and field data collection by Mr. Prabin Poudel are duly respected. Similarly, the valuable time spared by the local people in conducting this research is also acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Binod P. Heyojoo .

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Heyojoo, B.P., Yadav, N.K., Subedi, R. (2017). Assessments of Climate Change Indicators, Climate-Induced Disasters, and Community Adaptation Strategies: A Case from High Mountain of Nepal. In: Li, A., Deng, W., Zhao, W. (eds) Land Cover Change and Its Eco-environmental Responses in Nepal. Springer Geography. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2890-8_9

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