Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 9, 1147–1167, 2015
The Cryosphere, 9, 1147–1167, 2015

Research article 02 Jun 2015

Research article | 02 Jun 2015

Snowfall in the Himalayas: an uncertain future from a little-known past

E. Viste and A. Sorteberg

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Cited articles

Akhtar, M., Ahmad, N., and Booij, M. J.: The impact of climate change on the water resources of Hindukush-Karakorum-Himalaya region under different glacier coverage scenarios, J. Hydrol., 355, 148–163, 2008.
Anders, A. M., Roe, G. H., Hallet, B., Montgomery, D. R., Finnegan, N. J., and Putkonen, J.: Spatial patterns of precipitation and topography in the Himalaya, in: Tectonics, Climate, and Landscape Evolution, Geological Society of America Special Paper, edited by: Willett, S. D., Hovius, N., Brandon, M. T., and Fisher, D., Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, USA, 39–53, 2006.
Archer, D. R. and Fowler, H. J.: Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin, global teleconnections and hydrological implications, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 47–61,, 2004.
Bhutiyani, M. R., Kale, V. S., and Pawar, N. J.: Long-term trends in maximum, minimum and mean annual air temperatures across the Northwestern Himalaya during the twentieth century, Climatic Change, 85, 159–177,, 2007.
Bhutiyani, M. R., Kale, V. S., and Pawar, N. J.: Climate change and the precipitation variations in the northwestern Himalaya: 1866–2006, Int. J. Climatol., 30, 535–548,, 2010.
Short summary
Snow and ice provide large amounts of meltwater to the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. In this study we show that climate change will reduce the amount of snow falling in the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram substantially. The limited number of observations in remote upper-level terrain makes it difficult to get a complete overview of the situation today, but our results indicate that by 2071–2100 snowfall may be reduced by 30–70% with the strongest anthropogenic forcing scenario.