Streamflow response to shrinking glaciers under changing climate in the Lidder Valley, Kashmir Himalayas Streamflow response to shrinking glaciers under changing climate in the Lidder Valley, Kashmir Himalayas

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Vol15 No.6: 1241-1253

Title】Streamflow response to shrinking glaciers under changing climate in the Lidder Valley, Kashmir Himalayas

Author】Asif Marazi; Shakil A. Romshoo*

Addresses】Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, Srinagar Kashmir, India

Corresponding author】Shakil A. Romshoo

Citation】Marazi A, Romshoo SA (2018) Streamflow response to shrinking glaciers under changing climate in the Lidder Valley, Kashmir Himalayas. Journal of Mountain Science 15(6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4474-0

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4474-0

Abstract】The study investigated the streamflow response to the shrinking cryosphere under changing climate in the Lidder valley, Upper Indus Basin (UIB), Kashmir Himalayas. We used a combination of multi-temporal satellite data and topographic maps to evaluate the changes in area, length and volume of the glaciers from 1962 to 2013. A total of 37 glaciers from the Lidder valley, with an area of 39.76 km2 in 1962 were selected for research in this study. It was observed that the glaciers in the valley have lost ~28.89 ±0.1% of the area and ~19.65 ±0.069% of the volume during the last 51 years, with variable inter-decadal recession rates. Geomorphic and climatic influences on the shrinking glacier resources were studied. 30-years temperature records (1980-2010) in the study area showed a significant increasing trend in all the seasons. However, the total annual precipitation during the same period showed a non-significant decreasing trend except during the late summer months (July, August and September), when the increasing trend is significant. The depletion of glaciers has led to the significant depletion of the streamflows under the changing climate in the valley. Summer streamflows (1971-2012) have increased significantly till mid-nineties but decreased significantly thereafter, suggesting that the tipping point of streamflow peak, due to the enhanced glacier-melt contribution under increasing global temperatures, may have been already reached in the basin. The observed glacier recession and climate change patterns, if continued in future, would further deplete the streamflows with serious implications on water supplies for different uses in the region.

Keywords】Glacier Mapping; Glacier Volume; Climate Change; Streamflow; Himalayas