Srinagar: A new study has revealed that the shifting pattern in precipitation could have serious environmental implications that will greatly influence the food security and ecological sustainability of the Kashmir region.
Entitled, “Time series analysis of climate variability and trends in Kashmir Himalaya,” the study has analyzed the climate variability and trends of change in precipitation and temperature for Kashmir Himalaya between 1980 and 2017 by using data from meteorological observatories managed by the Indian Meteorological Department. The 2021 study has been published in Ecological Indicators, an internationally acclaimed journal.
The study found that the Kashmir region receives about 72% annual precipitation from Western Disturbances (WD) and 28% from Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The influence of ISM has been higher towards south Kashmir, while north Kashmir was mostly influenced by western disturbances.
“Insignificant increasing trends were observed during autumn, winter, and spring. On the contrary, non-significant decreasing trends in precipitation were observed during summer. This shifting pattern in precipitation could have serious environmental implications that will greatly influence the food security and ecological sustainability of the region,” the study said.
Senior Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Department of Geoinformatics and co-author of the study, Dr. Irfan Rashid said they have analyzed minimum temperature, maximum temperature and precipitation from 6 meteorological stations located in the Kashmir Valley in this study.
“We saw an increase in all three variables. The temperature changes have been significant compared to the precipitation,” he said.
He emphasized the peak of precipitation has shifted from summer to spring. “We observe a lot of discharge in April and May. Our agricultural activities start in May up to August end. The paddy cultivation requires a lot of water which continues till August. When there are fewer water supplies, there will be an adverse impact on production. Such changes will affect both the environmental systems and hydrological processes which consequently have the potential to disturb the ecological balance of the region,” he said.