Elevation dependent precipitation and temperature changes over Indian Himalayan region
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Journal articles 
Original versionClimate Dynamics. 2022, . 10.1007/s00382-021-06113-z
Various studies reported an elevation dependent precipitation and temperature changes in mountainous regions of the world including the Himalayas. Various mechanisms are proposed to link the possible dependence of the precipitation and temperature on elevation with other variables, including, long- and short-wave radiation, albedo, clouds, humidity, etc. In the present study changes and trends of precipitation and temperature at different elevation ranges in the Indian Himalayan region (IHR) is assessed. Observations and modelling fields during the period 1970–2099 are used. Modelling simulations from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment-South Asia experiments (CORDEX-SA) suites are considered. In addition, four seasons—winter (Dec, Jan, Feb: DJF), pre-monsoon (Mar, Apr, May: MAM), monsoon (Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep: JJAS) and post-monsoon (Oct, Nov: ON)—are considered to detect the possible seasonal response of elevation dependency. Firstly, precipitation and temperature fields, separately, as well as the diurnal temperature range (DTR) are assessed. Following, their long-term trends are investigated, if varying, at different elevational ranges in the IHR. To explain plausible physical mechanisms due to elevation dependency, trend of other variables viz., surface downward longwave radiation (DLR), total cloud faction, soil moisture, near surface specific humidity, surface snow melt and surface albedo, etc. are investigated. Results point towards an decreased (increased) precipitation in higher (lower) elevation. And amplified warming signals at higher elevations (above 3000 m), both in daytime and nighttime temperatures, during all seasons except the monsoon, are noticed. Increased DLR trends at higher elevation are also simulated well by the model and are likely the main elevation dependent driver in the IHR.