Abstracts of papers to be presented in session on Climate Change & Agro-Economy of Himalayan Range
Impact of Recent Change in Climatic Parameters on Agro-economy of Zanskar Valley, Ladakh
Climatic changes during last two decades have changed environment balance of plant colonization in higher Himalaya particularly the Zanskar valley affecting several hundred hectares of two types of landscape processes:plant colonization and para glacial morphogenesis.Zanskar valley represents a distinctive geoenvironment unit marked by magnitude high relief of young mountain ranges of North-West Himalaya(3340m to6200m) created by snow and large glacier system(400 glaciers),surging river system produced by Doda river in north-northwest and Lungnak river in east that confluence at Padam with limited tract of alluvial floor and verdant upland that are judiciously cultivated by agrarian peasantry. It has a distinctive climatic characteristic as it is confined to shadow zone of Great Himalaya,having aerodynamic link with Pamir ranges.The region has cold semi desert of climate with long(7months) cold chilly winters and short(4 months) mild summers.During winter season temperature drops to -35C that leads to freezing of Suru-Zanskar river and frozen river is used as main pedestrian route(locally called Chadar route) to Leh.The region has 7000 Sq.km of area out which very limited area (1.5% of area) under agriculture activity confined the river basin and along river terraces whereas maximum area is either barren (53.08%) or covered under glacier,Peri-glacier and para glacial activity(43.14%).The region has sparse vegetation comprising of few herbs and shrubs in higher altitude in the vicinity in permafrost area.In the lower reaches,there are meadows and pasture lands adapted to moderate heat and basin floor supports the cultivation of wheat,grim,pea,fodder and vegetable
The Zanskar valley has no meteorological station,however meteorological/weather data generated by meteorological observatory located at Drass by Indian meteorological department,New Delhi(crow fly distance of 30km.from region) and manual observatory set up by Jammu University research team at Durung Drung glacier(4200m) are taken as representative of region.The trends in seasonal and monthly mean maximum as well mean minimum temperature show an increasing trend from 1994 to 2009,there by indicating warming during during july to September.The increasing trend in maximum temperature has led to marginal increase in sublimation of ice from glacier body resulting in increasing trend in summer precipitation.These changes have encouraged the farmers to switch over to wheat cultivation from barley cultivation, in areas where soil is conducive for its growth.Further in adjoining mountainous region where crop production has least feasibility, live stock rearing is natural alternative supported by more conducive sub-arid cold climate during the summer season.Nearly 35% of cultivated land is devoted to wheat cultivation,its cultivation has been extended to highly marginal area such as pasture lands,where crop grows under sufficient moisture and ripens during summer warm temperature.There has been 20.5% increase in pasture land higher alpine and meadow region due to warm moist climate and similarly there has been marginal reduction( 13.45%) in fodder cropped area in low land region.The increase in forage from range from grasses and shrubs has greatly helped to meet entire demand for cattle population as well the pastoral products including demand of of domestic fuel in the form dung mass; as well demand of butter,wool and meat.The region is famous for Zanskari butter in entire Ladakh region.
An attempt has further been made to divide Zanskar valley in to ago-ecological zones in order to have understanding of cropping system that may be suitably adopted in such a high altitude region.The Zanskar valley has been delineated into five major ago-ecological zones by digitizing different layers of data which pertains to physiography, slope, climate, soil type, soil moisture adequacy index, soil temperature and later the composite ecological map where superimposed on soil fertility, irrigation potential and agriculture productivity zones to carve out different agro climatic boundaries of the zones.
Validating PRECIS Regional climate Model Simulations with Historical Meteorological data for Assessing the Climate Change Impacts on Food Production in Kashmir Valley
By: Shakil Romshoo
Climate change is one of the global environmental challenges facing humanity with implications for snow/glaciers, food production, natural ecosystems, freshwater supply, health, etc. Over the past 100 years, the global average temperature has increased by approximately 0.6°C and is projected to rise at a rapid rate. The third assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that the earth’s average surface temperature will increase by 1.4 to 5.8°C between 1990 and 2100. This unprecedented increase is expected to have severe impacts on the global hydrological system, ecosystems, sea level, crop production and related processes.
Climate models are being used for regional projections of future climate and its likely variations. Increasingly, these are viewed as key planning products by decision makers. But, how good are model predictions? Surface temperature warming, precipitation, and weather-pattern changes will vary from region to region. What can we say with high confidence about future climate change? What and how large are the uncertainties - indeed, how reliable are current estimates of uncertainty in future climate change on the regional scale? Baseline climate data were obtained from Indian meteorological Department for 1980–2010. The future climatic for 2011–2040 and 2040–2090 under A1B scenarios were extracted from a PRECIS run. The PRECIS model simulations from 1980 to 2010 were validated with the locally available temperature and precipitation data in Kashmir and a reasonably good correlation was obtained for most of the places in the valley. The results showed that the overall maximum and minimum temperature is projected to increase by 5.390C (± 1.76) and 5.080C (± 1.37) from baseline in 2011 to 2090. The projected precipitation is likely to decrease by about 16.67 % in 2090
To assess the impacts of climate change on crop productivity, a regional study was carried out to evaluate the potential consequences of climate change and variability on the paddy crop yield in Kashmir valley. As part of this process, the future climatic scenarios of the PRECIS and the GEPIC agro ecosystem model were used to evaluate climate-change impacts on crop yield.. GEPIC was run for Kashmir valley under current climate and two 30 –year and 50 year periods centered on 2025 and 2075, each at CO2 concentrations of 437 and 630ppm.The results showed that rice production for baseline as (4305.55kg/hectare) which will decrease by about 6.6% (4019.4 kg/hectare) by 2040 and 29.1% (3049 kg/hectare) by2090. The observed and simulated yield showed a good match with R2= 0.95, RMSE = 132.24 for 2010.