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ADB-DFID Event: Building Capacities to Respond to Climate Change in South Asia 29thJune 2010

Session Climate Change: What the Science tells us about impacts in South Asia
By Rajan Kotru and Lochan Devkota
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Kathmandu, Nepal
The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Directors or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the source, originality, accuracy, completeness or reliability of any statement, information, data, finding, interpretation, advice, opinion, or view presented, nor does it make any representation concerning the same.

Ongoing efforts at ICIMOD Actual observed trends Impacts projected for South Asia Limitations of analysis and areas for further research

Ongoing efforts at ICIMOD

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Kathmandu, Nepal

Climate Change is a central Focus for ICIMOD
Three programs

‡ Integrated Water and Hazard Management ‡ Environmental Change and Ecosystem Services ‡ Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction
Cross-cutting programs
‡ Knowledge Management ‡ Economic Analysis Unit ‡ Gender & Governance Unit

ICIMOD¶s Key CCA Strategy
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Promotion of sustainable adaptive strategies Disaster risk reduction Livelihood diversification Institutional strengthening and climate change mainstreaming ‡ Communication and awareness raising ‡ Enhancement of Regional Policy dialogue

ICIMOD s Approach to CCA (PAR in HIMALI)
Enabling Framework for CCA Inputs to Policy , Management in Practice and Research and Development and HIMALI
PAR and Project Learning on Climate Change Adaptation Climate change risk and vulnerability International Centre forassessment for communities and Integrated Mountain Development infrastructure based on synthesis of Kathmandu, Nepal modeling and community based approaches Community-based Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Local coping strategies and Agri business Investment project
CCA:Climate Change Adaptation PAR:Participatory Action Research HIMALI:High Mountain Agribusiness and Livelihoods Improvement (ADB and MOAC-Nepal)

Multistakeholder Processes

Downscaled Climate Change Scenarios

Key Publications and Projects

‡ Over 40 ICIMOD Documents ‡ Key recent publications:
Local Responses to Too much and Too Little Water in the Greater Himalayan Region Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Himalayas Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability in the Eastern Himalayas Water Storage: A Strategy for Climate change adaptation in the Himalayas

Key Projects
‡ ADB¶s HIMALI-CCA PAR (High Mountain Agribusiness and Livelihood Improvement) ‡ Kailash Sacred Landscape-Initiative ‡ Securing Livelihoods in Uplands and Mountains of Hindu Kush Himalayas Phase II ‡ Establishment of a Regional Flood Information System in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH-HYCOS) ‡ Glacial Lake Mapping and Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) Risk Assessment in the Hindu KushHimalayas ‡ Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services in the Himalayas: Enhancing Adaptation Capacity and Resilience of the Poor to Climate and Socioeconomic Changes

Actual observed trends

Focus on Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF)
‡ ICIMOD identified 8790 Glacier Lakes in selected areas of Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Region ‡ Approx. 200 of these lakes are potentially dangerous (Nepal: 20 out of 2323; Source: Germanwatch) ‡ In 20th Century there were at least 35 GLOF-Events in Bhutan, China und Nepal ‡ Outburst of Dig Tsho in 1985: In 5 hours water from 45.000 m2 big lake was emptied Floods damaged/destroyed Bridges, Houses, cultivated areas Estimated economic damage of 1,5 Mio US$. No dead counted

Impact of Climate Change Imja Glacier, Nepal

photograph of Imja glacier
(Photo: Fritz Muller; courtesy of Jack Ives)

photograph of Imja glacier
(Photo: Giovanni Kappenberger courtesy of Alton C Byers)

The Tsho Rolpa lake: Climate Change gets a name

Germanwatch 2004 

Largest, most dangerous

and best researched Glacier Lake of Nepal 
Fed by Tradkarding-Glacier Receding by 20m/Year 
6-fold size increase of the lake since 1950 

Outburst water quantity could be 30 Mio. m3  Expected that 10.000 people, thousands of cattle, cultivated land, bridges and a hydel project are in extreme danger,

Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) hazards in Himalaya
700000 600000 rea in sq km 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 1960


Destroyed Namche Small Hydel Project at Thame Village (WECS)



Dig Tsho GLOF bursted in 1985 & released 8 million cum of water @500cum/sec

De elo ment trend of Dig Tsho Lake



1980 Year




Dig Tsho Lake and debris in the valley (Photo in 1991,WECS)

Impact of Climate Change Some Examples from Southern Himalayas
Increased scarcity of drinking water

Natural springs and water sources drying up

Loss of productive lands

Increased inciden of forest fires

Habitat loss for wildlife and productive lands for domestic animals

-20 30











22 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100

Simulated Changes in Monsoon-Rainfall in % as per HadRM2 Model for the period 2041-2060; Trend: Increase in plains and, decrease in the higher altitudes

Observed Rainfall (1981-2000)


Mean (mm) Stdev.(mm) Trend

72.5 2.7 1.8

205.1 8.0 -3.9

1410.6 38.3 -3.3

71.3 5.3 2.8

1759.5 44.1 -2.9

HadRM2 CTL Rainfall
DJF Mean (mm) Stdev.(mm) Trend MAM JJAS ON Annual

133.7 34.3 6.1

190.0 89.0 33.5

1404.2 255.7 11.4

232.2 130.4 65.1

1960.1 380.9 19.5

Seasonal rainfall simulations are relatively better. Variability and trends both are very high in the case of HadRM2 simulation. Trend is in % of average per decades.



PRECIS: EHR Validation TMAX 1961-1990





-3 26 -6 24 -9

22 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100



B2NOSUL - BLNOSUL ANNUAL TMAX (° C) 2075-1985 30





Scenario TMAX 2071-2100

2.9 26 2.7 24 2.5

22 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100



Statistical downscaling at Jumla, Nepal using GCM (HadCM3) predictors
Maximum Temperature (C) 2020s
Winter Spring Summer Autumn Annual

Minimum Temperature (C) 2020s 0.27 0.83 0.88 1.36 0.83 0.21 0.97 0.96 1.08 0.80 2050s 0.50 1.45 1.87 2.10 1.48 0.57 1.93 2.21 2.36 1.77 2080s 0.77 2.13 2.78 3.04 2.18 0.97 3.29 3.72 4.24 3.05 B2 Scenarios

Rainfall (% of base period) 2020s -17 -15 8 0 0 -13 -10 9 19 4 2050s -32 -21 16 22 4 -31 -17 9 20 1 2080s -47 -31 12 23 -2 -54 -42 13 10 -5

2050s 2.10 1.95 1.14 1.52 1.68 2.39 2.48 1.36 1.80 2.01

2080s 3.22 2.89 1.61 2.25 2.49 3.95 4.50 2.28 3.08 3.45

1.04 1.18 0.58 1.00 0.95 0.94 1.28 0.65 0.81 0.92

A2 Scenarios
Winter Spring Summer Autumn Annual

B2: Low emission scenario and A2: High emission scenario

Impact of Climate Change Peoples Major Concerns
- Erratic & irregular rainfall patterns - Longer dry spells and higher snowlines - Implications for agriculture : calendar, productivity, new pests - Food and Water Security (1.3 Billion Pop.) - Health - Flash floods: immediate damage, breakdown in accessibility

Impacts projected for South Asia

Mean (mm) Coefficient of Variation (%) Trend (% of Avg/Dec) F-Value Mannkendal






34 61 0.59 1.23 0.14

375 37 6.75 6.00 0.28

1579 13 5.90 2.08 0.18 BLNOSUL

201 46 0.23 0.01 -0.01

2190 13 13.46 6.25 0.32

Mean (mm) Coefficient of Variation (%) Trend (% of Avg/Dec) F-Value Mannkendal

60 63 6.56 2.63 0.02

688 40 -0.46 0.01 -0.02

1039 14 2.85 0.70 0.15 BLSUL

200 33 -1.44 1.11 -0.14

1987 16 0.98 0.02 0.03

Mean (mm) Coefficient of Variation (%) Trend (% of Avg/Dec) F-Value Mannkendal

54 50 6.46 2.62 -0.04

687 37 2.59 0.22 0.07

1073 16 3.53 0.77 0.05

208 36 -1.18 0.54 -0.06

2024 18 4.95 0.35 0.09

Actual observed trends (South Asia):
Country INDIA Temperature 0.68°C increase trend in annual mean temperature per century, more pronounced during post monsoon and winter Precipitation Increase in extreme rains in NW during summer monsoon in recent decades, lower number of rainy days along East Coast


0.09°C per year in Himalayas and No distinct long-term trends in 0.04°C in Terai region, more in winter precipitation records for 1948 to 1994 0.6 to 1.0°C rise in mean temperature in coastal areas since early 1900s An increasing trend of about 1°C in May and 0.5°C in November during 1985-1998 0.016°C increase per year between 1961- 90 over entire country, 2°C increase per year in central highlands 10-15% decrease in coastal belt and hyper arid plains, increase in summer and winter PPT over the last 40 years in N Pakistan Decadal rain anomalies above long term averages since 1960s Increase trend in February and decrease trend in June




Source: AR4 WGII Chapter 10 Asia

Actual observed Extreme events (South Asia):

South Asia most prone to disasters, The Rising Nepal- 25th June 2010

‡Consecutive droughts in 1999 and 2000 in Pakistan and N-W India led to sharp decline in water-tables; ‡ Consecutive droughts between 2000 and 2002 caused crop failures, mass starvation and affected ~11 million people in Orissa; ‡Fre uency of monsoon depressions and cyclones formation in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea on the decline since 1970 but intensity is increasing (also as extreme events) causing severe floods in terms of damages to life and property ‡17 May 2003 floods in southern province of Sri Lanka were triggered by 730 mm rain ‡A record 944 mm of rainfall in Mumbai, India on 26 to 27 July 2005 led to loss of over 1,000 lives with loss of more than US$250 million
Source: AR4 WGII Chapter 10 Asia

Impact of Climate Change ....:on the biodiversity
Possible Losers Possible winners Bigger, endemic wild animals Smaller, highly mobile Organisms Plant species, which appear Plant species which invade at the much later stage of on fallow sites fast (herbs) sucession Species with smaller Species with bigger population populations, having habitat on larger area Species, which are at higher Species which are in midhills altitudes or restricted to valleys source: ICIMOD

Impact of Climate Change
« on the people  Risks in food production and water availability  Enhancement of diseases (Malaria, Deficit of clean drinking water and household needs)  Poor population groups are affected and Ävulnerable³ also*: + bigger and tasty Apples, Vegetable cultivation in higher regions, where it was colder so far + warmer winter pleasant for old people + more possibilities/avenues for Tourism due to longer dry seasons
*Source: Ngamindra Dahal; Energy and Climate Change Coordinator at the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation

Sum Up

‡ Climate Change as important factor in the Himalayan region and the Indian Sub-continent ‡ Degree of warming trends in mountain regions higher than in global average ‡ Changes in Monsoon (changed Onset and End, Extreme events frequent) has consequences for Himalayan-Region and the Indian Sub-continent ‡ Coping capacities of local people has to face new challenges at faster pace ‡ A precise projection due to scattered and inadequate database not possible

Key Messages from Studies Message 1: Livelihood diversification emerges as a central adaptation strategy but support through institutions and policy is needed for long term sustainability Message 2: Social networks and local institutions play a vital role in enhancing adaptive capacity Message 3: Cultural norms affect people¶s adaptive behaviour; despite being deeply rooted, they can shift over time in response to the needs

Message 4: With good governance and planning that takes into account climate risk, infrastructure development can contribute to enhancing water/food security, flood and disaster management Message 5: Factors enabling adaptation may also be constraining factors Message 6: Adaptation requires striking a balance between short-term priorities and long term gains

Message 7: National Institutions and policies strongly affect people¶s ability to adapt at the local level, but the national level is rarely informed by adaptation concerns and priorities

Limitations and areas of research

Limitations of Analysis for downscaling of Models
‡ Inadequate data quality and limited baseline data availability ‡ High spatial climatic variability but low number of observation Points ‡ For RCMs application, computational problems (space and time) ‡ Remote sensing and modelling technologies, which are currently in initial stage ‡ For statistical downscaling, non-stationary of the predictors (data window dependent so updates of regression model is needed).

Capacity gaps
‡ Experts on climate change are still not competent and need exposure and capacity building. ‡ There is a need for hands-on experience on climate models with capacity to capture complex terrain features. ‡ There is a need to improve understanding of the regional and local dimensions of vulnerability, keeping in mind integrated approaches. ‡ There is a need to raise public awareness, focus government attention, and build capacity at all levels of society. ‡ The capacity to carry out specific research in taxonomy, conservation biology, and impact assessment needs to be improved.

Research Gaps
‡ Great deal to learn about potential magnitude/rate of CC at regional and local level and subsequently on full range of impacts ‡ No common ±hands on- experience on CC adaptation techniques available ‡ Strategic approach to set research priorities e.g. in NRM systems (e.g. which is the main climate stressor, future scenarios projection, CBA, impact mechanisms and uncertainties etc.).

Thank you

Available RCMs over South Asia
RCMs Space resolution Time resolution Base period Project ed period HadRM2 50X50Km Monthly 1981 2000 2041 2060 1%/year compound increase of CO2 from 1990 level PRECIS 50X50Km Daily 1961 1990 RegCM3 50X50Km Daily 1961 1990 2071 2100 2041 2069 A2 A2 and B2 IPCC Scenarios

PRECIS and RegCM3 can be run for 25X25 Km resolutions. However, re uire computer space and time.

Gangotri Glacier
Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India

Source: IPCC

Sum-up I

‡ The Risks of climate change are much much higher than the expected positive effects ‡ Highest Priority: Reduction of GHG emissions (in Industrial- and Developing countries) ‡ But: A ÄLimited³ Climate Change can no more be avoided (e.g. global Temperature increase of 2° C), therefore people must Äadapt³ ‡ Sir Nicholas Stern (STERN REVIEW: The Economics of Climate Change): If we reduce our GHG emissions now, we avoid damages and future costs of adaptation by 20 times