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Temperature and Precipitation trends in Kashmir valley, North Western Himalayas

Abstract

Climate change has emerged as an important issue ever to confront mankind. This concern emerges from the fact that our day-to-day activities are leading to impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere that has the potential to significantly alter the planet’s shield and radiation balance. Developing countries particularly whose income is particularly derived from agricultural activities are at the forefront of bearing repercussions due to changing climate. The present study is an effort to analyze the changing trends of precipitation and temperature variables in Kashmir valley along different elevation zones in the north western part of India. As the Kashmir valley has a rich repository of glaciers with its annual share of precipitation, slight change in the temperature and precipitation regime has far reaching environmental and economic consequences. The results from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data of the period 1980–2014 reveals that the annual mean temperature of Kashmir valley has increased significantly. Accelerated warming has been observed during 1980–2014, with intense warming in the recent years (2001–2014). During the period 1980–2014, steeper increase, in annual mean maximum temperature than annual mean minimum temperature, has been observed. In addition, mean maximum temperature in plain regions has shown higher rate of increase when compared with mountainous areas. In case of mean minimum temperature, mountainous regions have shown higher rate of increase. Analysis of precipitation data for the same period shows a decreasing trend with mountainous regions having the highest rate of decrease which can be quite hazardous for the fragile mountain environment of the Kashmir valley housing a large number of glaciers.

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Acknowledgements

The acknowledgements are due to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Srinagar for necessary meteorological data. Thanks are also to Mr. Hartmut Graßl, editor-in-chief of the journal and anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and comments.

Funding

The authors would like to express their gratitude to University Grants Commission (UGC), Govt. of India for fellowship in the form of NET-JRF to the first author.

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Correspondence to Pervez Ahmed.

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Shafiq, M.U., Rasool, R., Ahmed, P. et al. Temperature and Precipitation trends in Kashmir valley, North Western Himalayas. Theor Appl Climatol 135, 293–304 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2377-9

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