Tribune News Service
Dehradun, September 24
The Himalayan region is facing the challenge of climate change with an increasing warming trend in the environs predicted that could be detrimental to the wildlife. The temperatures in the region are forecast to rise by five degrees in the long term.
According to a study by Sujata Upgupta of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Himalayan region is proving to be sensitive to the impacts of a gradually changing climate. The study results reveal an increasing warming trend and rising precipitation levels in the Himalayan region.
Warming is projected to be more pronounced in the upper ranges of the Himalayas with temperature changes of more than 5°C in the long term. “The high altitude conservation areas and their inhabited wildlife are at higher risk due to these climate change effects,” says Sujata.
“Mountain ecosystems are being affected at a much faster rate than other terrestrial habitats, thus putting at risk many ecosystem services provided by them,” she adds.
The specific study done for Uttarakhand considered the existing climate models from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which capture the global climate changes for past, current and future conditions for various plausible scenarios.
The mean annual temperature and the annual precipitation for future periods from 2050 up to 2080 with respect to the baseline data from 1960 up to 1990 was taken up to project future temperature changes.
This understanding of climate change helps to assess and quantify its impacts and vulnerability providing potential opportunities for innovative solutions in climate adaptation, mitigation sustainability and resilience planning.
The study comes at a time when a global concern is being raised over the rising climate challenge particularly in the Himalayan region and reveals the vulnerability of Himalayan region vis-à-vis climate change.
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