Climatic uncertainty in Himalayan water towers

Show simple item record Mishra, Vimal 2015-05-24T06:58:40Z 2015-05-24T06:58:40Z 2015-04
dc.identifier.citation Mishra, Vimal, “Climatic uncertainty in Himalayan water towers”, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, DOI: 10.1002/2014JD022650, vol. 120, no. 7, pp. 2689-2705, Apr. 2015. (Already available update the volume number and date) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2169-8996
dc.description.abstract The Himalayan water towers (e.g., Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra) play a major role in water resource availability and affect a significant population in the South Asia region. Climatic uncertainty in the region not only hampers progress toward process understanding but also decision making. Observational data sets show uncertainty (standard deviation in mean temperature in data sets) of 0.2 to 0.5°C in winter (January-February-March-April) and the monsoon season (June-July-August-September) air temperature. Observational uncertainty in precipitation in the winter and monsoon seasons ranged between 6 and 17% (with respect to ensemble mean seasonal precipitation) in the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins. The Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) South Asia regional climate models (CORDEX-RCMs) show larger uncertainty (1–3.6°C in temperature and 18–60% in precipitation) than that of the observations. Moreover, RCMs exhibit a large cold bias (6–8°C) and are not able to reproduce the observed warming in the Himalayan water towers. In fact, the CORDEX-RCMs overestimate observed warming by threefold in Ganges and Brahmaputra basins, which raises a question on their reliability on future warming trends in the region. The CORDEX-RCMs overestimate the area that experienced significant warming and fail to reproduce precipitation trends in both magnitude as well as direction. In observational data sets, uncertainty in precipitation and air temperature increases with elevation, which may be associated with sparse observations. However, the CORDEX-RCMs showed larger uncertainty at the lower elevations in both precipitation as well as temperature. The host general circulation models show a better performance in simulating winter climate than the CORDEX-RCMs, which suggest that an improved representation of elevation may not necessarily improve the model's performance. While observations show significant warming in the Indus basin and decline in the monsoon season precipitation in the Ganges basin, reliability of future climate projections and their impacts on water resources in the region will depend on improvements in the models and observations in coming years. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Vimal Mishra
dc.format.extent vol. 120, no. 7, pp. 2689–2705
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Wiley en_US
dc.subject CORDEX-RCMs en_US
dc.subject Downscaling en_US
dc.subject Water en_US
dc.title Climatic uncertainty in Himalayan water towers en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.relation.journal Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

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