Climate change and development in the mountains of Nepal

Since July 2012, we began compiling a state of the literature look at climate change in Nepal.

First issue, July 2012: Chapters 1 - 4

Robin Garton

The Glacier Trust

This is written an introductory text for students and NGOs looking at the possible causes and probable effects of recent catastrophic warming in the Himalayas and its consequences for livelihood.

The text is drawn from hundreds of peer reviewed papers and provides the first attempt to gain a coherent overview of a rapidly changing situation. Unless the causes and probable consequences of climate change in the Himalayas are better understood, interventions for development may prove to be useless. Click on a chapter that interest you below:

Prelims: Title; Contents; Preface; Acknowledgements; Acronyms, abbreviations & measurements.

Chapter 1: Introduction: The effects of increased global temperatures and comparative abilities of communities to adapt. This short introduction explains how climate change is affecting the lower latitudes disproportionately and why it is so particularly difficult for the countries most affected to adapt.

Chapter 2: Climate change in the Himalayas provides important background information on Nepal and discusses the highly localised effects of climate change in Nepal’s mountains. The chapter considers how climate change has evolved as a priority in development in Nepal both pre- and post-2010, when the National Adaptation Programme of Action to Climate Change was eventually published.

Chapter 3: Himalayan weather systems & temperature controls explains the different seasonal weather patterns affecting the Himalayas and why glacial responses are different between the western Himalayas and the rest of the region. The Indian summer monsoon is discussed in terms of its propagation, influences and predictability. The role of aerosol forcing on the monsoon and on the climate of the Himalayas is considered in some depth. Causes of changes to temperature regimes both on the Tibetan plateau and in Nepal are discussed and assessed.

Chapter 4: Forest, agroforestry and slope stability examines the relationship between forestry, agroforestry, terraced agriculture and slope stability. It discusses the historical perspective of deforestation and its consequences. Timber demands on the forest and the relationship of forestry to alternative wage sources are considered. The problems caused by invasive species (banmara) are discussed with examples. Bamboo is considered as a check against erosion. The final section deals with land use after landsliding.