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Precipitation Variations under a Changing Climate from 1961–2015 in the Source Region of the Indus River

1
Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Geospatial Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5
Water Management Research Center, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
6
Irrigation and Drainage Department, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071366
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
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Abstract

The source region of the Indus River (SRIR), which is located in the Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalayan (HKH) mountainous range and on the Third Pole (TP), is very sensitive to climate change, especially precipitation changes, because of its multifarious orography and fragile ecosystem. Climate changes in the SRIR also have important impacts on social and economic development, as well as on the ecosystems of the downstream irrigation areas in Pakistan. This paper investigates the changes in precipitation characteristics by dividing the daily precipitation rate into different classes, such as light (0–10 mm), moderate (10.1–25 mm) and heavy precipitation (>25 mm). Daily precipitation data from gauging and non-gauging stations from 1961–2015 are used. The results of the analysis of the annual precipitation and rainy day trends show significant (p < 0.05) increases and decreases, respectively, while light and heavy precipitation show significant decreasing and increasing trends, respectively. The analysis of the precipitation characteristics shows that light precipitation has the highest number of rainy days compared to moderate or heavy precipitation. The analysis of the seasonal precipitation trends shows that only 18 stations have significant increasing trends in winter precipitation, while 27 stations have significant increasing trends in summer precipitation. Both short and long droughts exhibit increasing trends, which indicates that the Indus Basin will suffer from water shortages for agriculture. The results of this study could help policymakers cope with floods and droughts and sustain eco-environmental resources in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitation; climate change; trend analysis; source region of Indus River (SRIR) precipitation; climate change; trend analysis; source region of Indus River (SRIR)
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Rizwan, M.; Li, X.; Jamal, K.; Chen, Y.; Chauhdary, J.N.; Zheng, D.; Anjum, L.; Ran, Y.; Pan, X. Precipitation Variations under a Changing Climate from 1961–2015 in the Source Region of the Indus River. Water 2019, 11, 1366.

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