Advertisement

Deciphering Climate Variability over Western Himalaya Using Instrumental and Tree-Ring Records

  • H. P. BorgaonkarEmail author
  • T. P. Sabin
  • R. Krishnan
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss climate variability over the Western Himalaya based on instrumental records as well as information derived from tree-ring data. We focus here on two important climatological elements, namely rainfall and temperature of Western Himalayan region. Trend analyses of rainfall based on 14 stations covering entire western Himalayan region from Kashmir to Uttarakhanda indicate different patterns of rainfall variability. The database does not show any coherent patterns among the stations and does not indicate any significant trend during the twentieth century. Data on temperature show overall warming mainly contributed by maximum temperature. Most of the stations indicate significant increasing trends in maximum temperature for all the seasons. Cooling trend is observed mostly in minimum temperature of some stations for different seasons. Annual maximum, minimum and mean temperature series of all the stations indicate significant warming except slight cooling in minimum temperature of Deheradun, Mukteswar and Mussoorie. Climate projections for twenty-first century also indicate warming over the entire Himalayan region with significant warming in Tibetan plateau, and increasing trend in summer precipitation over the central Himalayan region including Nepal and Tibetan Plateau.

Dendroclimatic reconstructions give some information about summer climate conditions since past several centuries. They indicate some cool epochs associated with Little Ice Age (LIA). It is also seen that high altitude near glacier tree-ring records would be the potential source of information on long-term temperature variability and glacier fluctuations. Overall warming trends noted in different parts of the western Himalaya may be linked partially to global warming trends and rapid urbanization of the hill stations were the observatories are located.

Keywords

Western Himalaya Trends in rainfall Trends in temperature Climate variability Tree-ring 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to Director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune for kindly providing the facilities to prepare this article. Meteorological data used in the analysis are kindly provided by the India Meteorological Department, Pune. The part of the work was supported by PACMEDY Project (No. MoES/16/06/2016-RDEAS) under the Belmont Forum, Paris, France.

References

  1. Agarwal DP (1985) Cenozoic climate changes in Kashmir: the multidisciplinary data. In: Agarwal DP, Kusumagar S, Krishnamurthy RV (eds) Climate and geology of Kashmir, Current trends in Geology. VI. Today & Tomorrow’s Printers and Publishers, New Delhi, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  2. Agarwal DP, Dodia R, Kotlia BS, Razdan H, Sahni A (1989) The plioplestocene geologic and climatic record of the Kashmir valley, India: a review and new data. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeocol 73:267–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bamzai PNK (1962) A history of Kashmir. Metropolitan Book Co., New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. Basistha A, Arya DS, Goel NK (2009) Analysis of historical changes in rainfall in the Indian Himalayas. Int J Climatol 29:555–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beniston M (2003) Climatic change in mountain regions: a review of possible impacts. Clim Chang 59:5–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beniston M, Rebetez M (1996) Regional behavior of minimum temperatures in Switzerland for the period 1979–1993. Theor Appl Climatol 53:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhattacharyya A (1989) Vegetation and climate during the last 30,000 years in Ladakh. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 73:25–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhattacharyya A, Chaudhary V (2003) Late-summer temperature reconstruction of the eastern Himalayan region based on tree-ring data of Abies densa. Arct Antarct Alp 35:1196–2002Google Scholar
  9. Bhattacharyya A, Yadav RR (1989) Dendroglimatic research in India. Proc Indian Natl Sci Acad 55A:696–701Google Scholar
  10. Bhattacharyya A, Lamarche VC Jr, Telewski FW (1988) Dendrochronological reconnaissance of the conifers of northwest India. Tree-Ring Bull 48:21–30Google Scholar
  11. Bhutiyani MR, Kale VS, Pawar NJ (2007) Long-term trends in maximum, minimum and mean annual air temperatures across the northwestern Himalaya during the twentieth century. Clim Chang 85:159–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bhutiyani MR, Kale VS, Pawar NJ (2010) Climate change and the precipitation variations in the northwestern Himalaya: 1866–2006. Int J Climatol 30:535–548Google Scholar
  13. Böhm R, Auer I, Brunetti M, Maugeri M, Nanni T, Schöner W (2001) Regional temperature variability in the European Alps: 1760–1998 from homogenized instrumental time series. Int J Climatol 21:1779–1801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Borgaonkar HP (1996) Tree growth – climate relationship and long-term climate change over western Himalaya: a dendroclimatic approach. PhD thesis, University of Pune, PuneGoogle Scholar
  15. Borgaonkar HP, Pant GB, Rupa Kumar K (1994) Dendroclimatic reconstruction of summer precipitation at Srinagar, Kashmir, India since the late 18th century. The Holocene 4(3):299–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Borgaonkar HP, Pant GB, Rupa Kumar K (1996) Ring-width variations in Cedrusdeodara and its climatic response over the western Himalaya. Int J Climatol 16:1409–1422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Borgaonkar HP, Rupa Kumar K, Sikder AB, Ram S, Pant GB (2002) Tree ring variations over the western Himalaya: little evidence of the Little Ice Age. PAGES News Lett 10:1Google Scholar
  18. Borgaonkar HP, Somaru Ram, Sikder AB (2009) Assessment of tree-ring analysis of high elevation Cedrusdeodara D. Don from western Himalaya (India) in relation to climate and glacier fluctuations. Dendrochronologia 27(1):59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB, Ram S (2011) High altitude forest sensitivity to the recent warming: a tree-ring analysis of conifers from western Himalaya, India. Quat Int 236:158–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Borgaonkar HP, Gandhi N, Ram S, Krishnan R (2018) Tree-ring reconstruction of late summer temperatures in northern Sikkim (eastern Himalayas). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 504:125–135.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.05.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bradley RS (1992) When was the “Little Ice Age”? In: Mikami T (ed) Proceedings of the international symposium on the Little Ice Age climate. Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  22. Bradley RS, Jones PD (1993) Little Ice Age’s summer temperature variations: their nature and relevance to recent global warming trends. The Holocene 3:367–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bräuning A, Mantwill B (2004) Summer temperature and summer monsoon history on the Tibetan plateau during the last 400 years recorded by tree rings. Geophys Res Lett 31:L24205.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2004GL020793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chen F, Xiaozhong H, Jiawu Z, Holmes JA, Jianhui C (2006) Humid Little Ice Age in arid central Asia documented by Bosten Lake, Xinjiang, China. Sci China 49(12):1280–1290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Chen F, Chen JH, Homes J, Boomer I, Austin P, Gates JB (2010) Moisture changes over the last millennium in arid central Asia: a review, synthesis and comparison with monsoon region. Quat Sci Rev 29:1055–1068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cook ER, Krusic PJ, Jones PD (2003) Dendroclimatic signals in long tree-ring chronologies from the Himalayas of Nepal. Int J Climatol 23:707–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cook ER, Krusic PJ, Anchukaitis KJ, Buckley BM, Nakatsuka T, Sano M, PAGES Asia 2k members (2013) Tree-ring reconstructed summer temperature anomalies for temperate East Asia since 800 CE. Clim Dyn 41:2957–2972.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-012-1611-xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Das BK, Gaye B, Malik MA (2010) Biogeochemistry and paleoclimate variability during the Holocene: a record from Mansar Lake, Lesser Himalaya. Environ Earth Sci 61:565–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. De Terra H, Paterson TT (1939) Studies on the ice age in India and associated human cultures, vol 493. Carnegic Institute of Washington, Washington, DC, p 354Google Scholar
  30. Demske D, Tarasov PE, Wünnemann B, Riedel F (2009) Late glacial and Holocene vegetation, Indian monsoon and westerly circulation in the Trans-Himalaya recorded in the lacustrine pollen sequence from Tso Kar, Ladakh, NW India. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 279:172–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dhar ON, Bhattacharya BK (1976) Variation of rainfall with elevation in the Himalayas – a pilot study. Indian J Powr River Valley Dev 26:191–195Google Scholar
  32. Dhar ON, Farooqui SMT (1973) A study of rainfall recorded at the Cherrapunji observatory. Hydrol Sci Bull 18:441–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dhar ON, Mulye SS (1987) Brief appraisal of precipitation climatology of the Ladakh region. In: Pangtey YPS, Joshi SC (eds) Western Himalaya, Vol. I – Environment. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital, pp 87–98Google Scholar
  34. Dhar ON, Narayanan J (1965) A study of precipitation distribution in the neighbourhood of Mount Everest. Indian J Meteorol Geophys 16:230–240Google Scholar
  35. Dhar ON, Kulkarni AK, Sangam RB (1975) A study of extreme point rainfall over flash flood prone regions of the Himalayan foothills of north India. Hydrol Sci Bull 20:61–67Google Scholar
  36. Dhar ON, Kulkarni AK, Sangam RB (1984a) Some aspects of winter and monsoon rainfall distribution over the Garhwal-Kumaon Himalayas – a brief appraisal. Himal Res Dev 2:10–19Google Scholar
  37. Dhar ON, Soman MK, Mulye SS (1984b) Rainfall over the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the adjoining plains during breaks in monsoon. J Climatol 4:671–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Dhar ON, Mandal BN, Kulkarni AK (1987) Some facts about precipitation distribution over the Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh. In: Pangtey YPS, Joshi SC (eds) Western Himalaya, Environment, vol I. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital, pp 72–86Google Scholar
  39. Diaz HF, Bradley RS (1997) Temperature variations during the last century at high elevation sites. Clim Chang 36:253–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Diaz HF, Grosjean M, Graumlich L (2003) Climate variability and change in high elevation regions: past, present and future. Clim Chang 59(1):1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Duan K, Yao T (2003) Monsoon variability in the Himalayas under the condition of global warming. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 81(2):251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Duan W, Kotlia BS, Tan M (2013) Mineral composition and structure of the stalagmite laminae from Chulerasim cave, Indian Himalaya and the significance for palaeoclimatic reconstruction. Quat Int 298:93–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Esper J, Schweingruber FH, Winiger M (2002) 1300 years of climatic history for western Central Asia inferred from tree-rings. The Holocene 12:267–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Fan ZX, Bräuning A, Yang B, Cao KF (2009) Tree ring density-based summer temperature reconstruction for the central Hengduan Mountains in southern China. Glob Planet Chang 65:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Grove JM (1988) The Little Ice Age. Methuen, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Gupta AK, Anderson DM, Overpeck JT (2003) Abrupt changes in the Asian southwest monsoon during the Holocene and their links to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature 421:354–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Gupta AK, Mohan K, Das M, Singh RK (2013) Solar forcing of the Indian summer monsoon variability during the Ållerød period. Sci Report 3:2753.  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep02753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Harris I, Jones PD, Osbornaand TJ, Listera DH (2014) Updated high-resolution grids of monthly climatic observations – the CRU TS3.10 Dataset. Int J Climatol 34:623–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hughes MK (1992) Dendroclimatic evidence from the western Himalaya. In: Bradley RS, Jones Routledge PD (eds) Climate since A.D. 1500. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Hughes MK (2001) An improved reconstruction of summer temperature at Srinagar, Kashmir since 1660 AD based on tree-ring width and maximum latewood density of Abiespindrow [Royle] Spach. Palaeobotanist 50:13–19Google Scholar
  51. Jones PD, Moberg A (2003) Hemispheric and large-scale surface air temperature variations: an extensive revision and an update to 2001. J Clim 16:206–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Joshi LM, Kotlia BS, Ahmad SM, Sanwal J, Raza W, Singh AK, Shen C, Long T, Sharma AK (2017) Reconstruction of Indian monsoon precipitation variability between 4.0 and 1.6 ka BP using speleothem δ18O records from the Central Lesser Himalaya, India. Arab J Geosci 10:356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Juyal N, Pant RK, Basaviah N et al (2009) Reconstruction of last Glacial to early Holocene monsoon variability from relict lake sediments of the higher central Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India. J Asian Earth Sci 34:437–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kotlia BS, Sanwal J, Phartiyal B, Joshi LM, Trivedi A, Sharma C (2010) Late Quaternary climatic changes in the eastern Kumaun Himalaya, India, as deduced from multi-proxy studies. Quat Int 213:44–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kotlia BS, Ahmad SM, Zhao J-X, Raza W, Collerson KD, Joshi LM, Sanwal J (2012) Climatic fluctuations during the LIA and post-LIA in the Kumaun Lesser Himalaya, India: evidence from a 400y old stalagmite record. Quat Int 263:129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kotlia BS, Singh AK, Joshi LM, Dhaila BS (2015) Precipitation variability in the Indian Central Himalaya during last ca. 4000 years inferred from a speleothem record: impact of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and Westerlies. Quat Int 371:244–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Koul A (1978) Geography of Jammu and Kashmir state (Revised by Bamzai PNK). Light and Life Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  58. Krusic PJ, Cook ER, Dukpa D, Putnam AE, Rupper S, Schaefer J (2015) Six hundred thirty-eight years of summer temperature variability over the Bhutanese Himalaya. Geophys Res Lett 42:2988–2994.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL063566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Leipe C, Demske D, Tarasov P, HIMPAC Project Members (2017) A Holocene pollen record from the northwestern Himalayan lake Tso Moriri: implications for palaeoclimatic and archaeological research. Quat Int 348:93–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Li M-Y, Wang L, Ze-Xin F, Chen-Chen S (2015) Tree-ring density inferred late summer temperature variability over the past three centuries in the Gaoligong Mountains, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 422:57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Liang F, Brook GA, Kotlia BS, Railsback LB, Hardt B, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Kandasamy S (2015) Panigarh cave stalagmite evidence of climate change in the Indian Central Himalaya since AD 1256: monsoon breaks and winter southern jet depressions. Quat Sci Rev 124:145–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Liu X, Chen B (2000) Climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades. Int J Climatol 20(14):1729–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Mayewaski PA, Pregent GP, Jeschke PA, Ahmad N (1980) Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan glacier fluctuations and the South Asian monsoon record. Arct Alp Res 12:171–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Morris TO (1938) The Bain Boulder bed, a glacial episode in the Siwalik series of the Marwet Kundi Range and Sheik Budin, North-west Frontier province, India. Q J Geol Soc Lond 94:385–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Oppo DW, Rosentha Y, Linsley BK (2009) 2,000-year-long temperature and hydrology reconstructions from the Indo-Pacific warm pool. Nature 460:1113–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. PAGES 2k Consortium (2013) Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nat Geosci 6:339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pant GB (1979) Role of tree-ring analysis and related studies in palaeoclimatology: preliminary survey and scope for Indian region. Mausam 30:439Google Scholar
  68. Pant GB (1983) Climatological signals from the annual growth rings of selected tree species of India. Mausam 34:251Google Scholar
  69. Pant GB, Borgaonkar HP (1984) Climate of the hill regions of Uttar Pradesh. Himal Res Dev 3(I):13–20Google Scholar
  70. Pant GB, Borgaonkar HP, Rupa Kumar K (2003) Climate variability over the western Himalaya since the little ice age: dendroclimatic implications. Jalvigyan Sameeksha (Hydrol Rev) 18(1–2):111–121Google Scholar
  71. Phadtare NR (2000) Sharp decrease in summer monsoon strength 4000e3500 cal yr BP in the Central Higher Himalaya of India based on pollen evidence from alpine peat. Quat Res 53:122–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Pilgrim GE (1932) The fossil Cornivora of India. Palaeol India Calcutta 18:232Google Scholar
  73. Pilgrim GE (1944) The lower limit of the Pleistocene in Europe and Asia. Ged Mag Lond 81:28–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ramaswamy C (1972) Rainfall over Cherrapunji and Mawsynram. Vayu Mandal 2:119–124Google Scholar
  75. Rupa Kumar K, Krishna Kumar K, Pant GB (1994) Diurnal asymmetry of surface temperature trends over India. Geophys Res Lett 21:677–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sanwal J, Kotlia BS, Rajendran C, Ahmad SM, Rajendran K, Sandiford M (2013) Climatic variability in central Indian Himalaya during the last 1800 years: evidence from a high resolution speleothem record. Quat Int 304:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Shrestha AB, Wake CP, Mayewski PA, Dibb JE (1999) Maximum temperature trends in the Himalaya and its vicinity: an analysis based on temperature records from Nepal for the period 1971–94. J Clim 12(9):2775–2786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sinha A, Cannariato KG, Stott LD, Li HC, You CF, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Singh IB (2005) Variability of Southwest Indian summer monsoon precipitation during the Bølling-Ållerød. Geology 33:813–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sinha A, Kathayat G, Cheng H, Breitenbach SFM, Berkelhammer M, Mudelsee M, Biswas J, Edwards RL (2015) Trends and oscillations in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall over the last two millennia. Nat Commun 6:6309.  https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Theurillat JP, Guisan A (2001) Potential impact of climate change on vegetation in the European Alps: a review. Clim Chang 50:77–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Treydte KS, Schleser GH, Helle G, Frank DC, Winiger M, Haug GH, Esper J (2006) The twentieth century was the wettest period in northern Pakistan over the past millennium. Nature 440:1179–1182.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wang LL, Duan JP, Chen J, Huang L, Shao XM (2010) Temperature reconstruction from tree-ring maximum density of Balfour spruce in eastern Tibet, China. Int J Climatol 30:972–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wu J, Xu Y, Gao X-J (2017) Projected changes in mean and extreme climates over Hindu Kush Himalayan region by 21 CMIP5 models. Adv Clim Chang Res 8(3):176–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yadav RR, Park WK, Bhattacharyya A (1999) Spring temperature fluctuations in the western Himalayan region as reconstructed from tree-rings; AD 1390–1987. The Holocene 9:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Yadav RR, Park WK, Singh J, Dubey B (2004) Do the western Himalayas defy global warming? Geophys Res Lett 31:L17201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Yadav RR, Misra KG, Yadava AK, Kotlia B, Misra S (2015) Tree-ring footprints of drought variability in last ~300 years over Kumaun Himalaya, India and its relationship with crop productivity. Quat Sci Rev 117:113–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Yadav RR, Gupta AK, Kotlia BS, Singh V, Misra KG, Yadava AK, Singh AK (2017) Recent wetting and glacier expansion in the northwest Himalaya and Karakoram. Sci Rep 7:6139.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06388-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Yadava AK, Yadav RR, Misra KG, Singh J, Singh D (2015) Tree ring evidence of late summer warming in Sikkim, northeast India. Quat Int 371:175–180.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2014.12.067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Yatagai A et al (2012) PHRODITE: constructing a long-term daily gridded precipitation dataset for Asia based on a dense network of rain gauges. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93:1401–1415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Zeuner FE (1972) Dating the past. Hafner Publishing Co, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  91. Zhang P, Cheng H, Edwards RL et al (2008) A test of climate, sun and culture relationships from a 1810-year Chinese cave record. Science 322(5903):940–942CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

Personalised recommendations