Climate Change and Nepal


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Climate Change and Nepal

CLIMATE CHANGE A Nepalese Perspective
September 27, 2008

Although, Nepal’s total GHG emission share is negligible compared to the global community, Nepal has already encountered some of the negative effects of global climate change. According to the National Communication Report prepared by the Government of Nepal, net emission of CO2 was about 9.747 tonnes and the net emission of methane was estimated to be 0.948 tonnes in 1994.

Studies done by Department of Hydrology and Meteorology show that average temperature in Nepal is  increasing at a rate of approximately 0.06 degrees Celsius per year. The temperature in the Himalayas, however, is increasing at a faster rate, which is having serious impacts on the glaciers and glacial lakes – the main source of Nepal’s water resources. The Rika Samba Glacier in the Dhaulagiri region is retreating at a rate of 10 m per year. This is very unusual as glacial movement is usually measured in millimeters.  Similarly the AX010 Glacier of Shorong Himal will be extinct by 2060 if the current trend continues. UNEP has warned that more than 40 Himalayan glacial lakes are dangerously close to bursting because of the ice melt caused by global warming. Rapidly melting glaciers means more variation in river flow, which will in turn result in more floods and at later stage draughts. Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) that are occurring more frequently are disastrous to communities and infrastructure. Climatic variability such as change in precipitation intensity and frequency can trigger natural disaster events such as landslides, flash floods, soil erosion and drought so on.

The loss of top fertile soil due to soil erosion, landslide and floods coupled with negative effects of climate change may adversely reduce agricultural production in country. Nepal being a agrarian country, in the absence of systemic irrigation facility, has to  heavily depend upon natural rainfall(monsoon) .So disturbances in natural rainfall pattern caused by climate change will be responsible for enhanced food insecurity and threat for Nepalese economy which is basically agriculture dependent.

Global warming may cause forest damage through migration towards the polar region, changes in their composition, extinction of species. This would affect not only the vast biodiversity of Nepal but also the livelihoods of majority of people who derive fuel, food, fodder, timber and medicines from forest.

The growing risk of Malaria, Kalazar and Japanese Encephalitis is considered as the potential impacts of Climate change on human health as warmer temperature may create favorable conditions for more vectors and germs spread such mosquitoes.  Particularly subtropical and warm temperate regions of Nepal would be more vulnerable to Malaria, Japanese Encephalitis  and Kalazar

Source: Climate Change and Nepal Prespective CEN factsheet 2007


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    It is nice to see basic knowledge of climate change in Nepal context. The mentioned points are very common for all countries. It is obvious that climate change is due to anthropogenic activities and mitigation as well as adaptation from adverse effects are also key concern. If there is no adverse effects of climate change, I do not think we should raise this issue time to time and sell it as a business. But it is not. If we point out the adverse effects of climate change not only to human including to biosphere, there are countless. The question is how to work out in all fields simply for Nepal. The first and foremost answer is working with availability of good data. So, I request to all Nepalese scientists and concerned authorities, please try to put your effort in constructing good data source from now. So far I am working in climate change and health and I am very sad to know the quality and managing system of data in Nepal. Raising issue is short term solution, at least we should leave some information to your future generations. Again, we climate researchers should not relax in a narrow room. World is dynamic and developed countries have done and applied many researches and precaution measures in climate change but underdeveloped nations are only hosts still now………………….

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  53. Its very basic part of climate change. I am interested the last para of this article.For the detail of climate change and vector borne diseases in Nepal, I would like to request please visit-

    Again, please cite the reference whenever you mention any data as temperature increase in Nepal and others.It is hard to believe in your sayings. At least time series climate data of 10-20 years should be analyzed and compared with other relevant models or develop own model. Then, it should be published in prestigious SCI journals. This determines the extent of reliability of any findings. I would request please think that scientist is scientist and businessmen is businessmen. I never like to see Nepalese scientists as a businessmen. Try to input the things scientifically.

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    Some brilliant scientist says climate change is not happening,it is just propoganda.This title has created lots of jobs.Seriously, natural system doesn’t remain same but it is not really in critical condition.

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  65. Manjeet Dhakal said

    Dear Madan sir

    Thank you for your comments and suggestion. As a moderator of the blog I will try my best to make things clear.

    I also have heard same type of discussion many times, but I don’t know why in many literatures, “0.06 temperature rise” has reference of your own study. (Shrestha et al., 1999) [If the mentioned reference is not your I may be wrong].

    Some of the examples are;
    Nepal Status report 2009 prepared for Ministry of Environment
    MDG Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability, published by national Planning COmmission Slide number 6 …Warming seems to be consistent and continuous after mid-1970s and the average warming in annual temperature during period 1977-1994 was 0.06 oC yr-1 (Shrestha et al., 1999). ….

    Study on Temperature Trends for the period 1977-94
    Rise in temperature per decads: 4 degree Centigrade
    Winter Average:0.06
    Pre Monsson Average: 0.03
    Monsson Average: 0.051
    Post Monsoon Average: 0.8
    All Nepal annual average: 0.06

    This all have a reference of “Shrestha et al., 1999”

    Sir, can you please make it clear, so that there will be no more confusion.

  66. Dr. Madan L. shrestha said

    Isn’t it enough to post the “Climate Change and Nepal Prespective CEN factsheet 2007” with the facts from 2004 report and with false data? At least don’t keep the false information, which I had written earlier also. It is our duty to inform the people the fact, not the wrong information. There are few real works on climate change in Nepal as Rajeswor Paudel mentioned and that too is presented in a wrong way!

    Regarding Pratima Sharma’s comment: Are you referring the peer reviewed articles or just the report in the newspapers? When one quotes the scientific fact it should be authentic.

  67. Rajeshor Paudel said

    writing for writing only soesnot give any sense. I am reading the theme of the article through many published or unpublished sources. only our voice regarding the climate change is loud and if real work is to be mentioned, there is very few work. we are concerned over climate change in terms of making money, I guess.

  68. global warming n climate change is an essential subjects in nepal at 2day’s context?we outh also being doing many awarness progrmme?

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  71. Pratima Sharma said

    Thank you Dr Shrestha for the correction . This is not the first article where I read that the average temperature of Nepal is increasing at the rate of 0.06 degree Celsius per year. I have read couple of articles earlier where same thing was written.

  72. Dr. Madan L. shrestha said

    It is sad to read this article. “The average temperature of Nepal is increasing at the rate of 0.06 degree Celsius per year”. This statement is a gross blunder in part of the writer. It has no justification. If you look at the Initial National document submitted to UNFCCC, the increasing trend of average temperature of Nepal is 0.04 degree Celsius per year. The recent study using the data till 2007 is also around 0.04 degree Celsius per year. It does not mean anything to read the rest of the article. Sorry! I am just wondering how the name of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology pops in with such erroneous mistake!

    I will more than happy to help the people on the climatological data of Nepal.

  73. Dr. Madan L. shrestha said

    It is sad to read this article. “The average temperature of Nepal is increasing at the rate of 0.06 degree Celsius per year”. This statement is a gross blunder in part of the writer. It has no justification. If you look at the Initial National document submitted to UNFCCC, the increasing trend of average temperature of Nepal is 0.04 degree Celsius per year. The recent study using the data till 2007 is also around 0.04 degree Celsius per year. I does not mean anything to read the rest of the article. Sorry! I am just wondering how the name of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology pops in with such erroneous mistake!

    I will more than happy to help the people on the climatological data of Nepal.

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