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dc.contributor.authorShrestha, Uttam Babu
dc.contributor.authorGautam, Shiva Prasad
dc.contributor.authorBawa, Kamaljit S.
dc.date.accessioned2013-03-11T15:53:58Z
dc.date.issued2012
dc.identifier.citationShrestha, Uttam Babu, Shiva Gautam, and Kamaljit S. Bawa. 2012. Widespread climate change in the Himalayas and associated changes in local ecosystems. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36741.en_US
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10384786
dc.description.abstractBackground: Climate change in the Himalayas, a biodiversity hotspot, home of many sacred landscapes, and the source of eight largest rivers of Asia, is likely to impact the well-being of \(\sim\)20% of humanity. However, despite the extraordinary environmental, cultural, and socio-economic importance of the Himalayas, and despite their rapidly increasing ecological degradation, not much is known about actual changes in the two most critical climatic variables: temperature and rainfall. Nor do we know how changes in these parameters might impact the ecosystems including vegetation phenology. Methodology/Principal Findings: By analyzing temperature and rainfall data, and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) values from remotely sensed imagery, we report significant changes in temperature, rainfall, and vegetation phenology across the Himalayas between 1982 and 2006. The average annual mean temperature during the 25 year period has increased by 1.5\(^\circ\)C with an average increase of 0.06\(^\circ\)C yr\(^{−1}\). The average annual precipitation has increased by 163 mm or 6.52 mmyr\(^{−1}\). Since changes in temperature and precipitation are immediately manifested as changes in phenology of local ecosystems, we examined phenological changes in all major ecoregions. The average start of the growing season (SOS) seems to have advanced by 4.7 days or 0.19 days yr\(^{−1}\) and the length of growing season (LOS) appears to have advanced by 4.7 days or 0.19 days yr\(^{−1}\), but there has been no change in the end of the growing season (EOS). There is considerable spatial and seasonal variation in changes in climate and phenological parameters. Conclusions/Significance: This is the first time that large scale climatic and phenological changes at the landscape level have been documented for the Himalayas. The rate of warming in the Himalayas is greater than the global average, confirming that the Himalayas are among the regions most vulnerable to climate change.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen_US
dc.relation.isversionofdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036741en_US
dc.relation.hasversionhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3352921/pdf/en_US
dash.licenseLAA
dc.subjectBiologyen_US
dc.subjectEcologyen_US
dc.subjectGlobal Change Ecologyen_US
dc.subjectEarth Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectAtmospheric Scienceen_US
dc.subjectClimatologyen_US
dc.subjectClimate Changeen_US
dc.subjectClimate Recorden_US
dc.titleWidespread Climate Change in the Himalayas and Associated Changes in Local Ecosystemsen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.description.versionVersion of Recorden_US
dc.relation.journalPLoS ONEen_US
dash.depositing.authorShrestha, Uttam Babu
dc.date.available2013-03-11T15:53:58Z
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0036741*
dash.contributor.affiliatedShrestha, Uttam Babu
dash.contributor.affiliatedGautam, Shiva


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