Impact of Climate Change on Vegetation Distribution and Net Primary Productivity of Forests of Himalayan River Basins: Brahmaputra, Koshi and Indus (2018)

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The impacts of climate change in terms of forest vegetation shifts and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) changes are assessed for Brahmaputra, Koshi and Indus river basins for the mid (2021-2050) and long (2071-2100) terms for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. Two Dynamical Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs), Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS) and (Lund Postdam and Jena (LPJ), have been used for this purpose. The DGVMs are driven by the ensemble mean climate projections from 5 climate models that contributed to the CMIP5 data base. While both DGVMs project vegetation shifts in the forest areas of the basins, there are large differences in vegetation shifts projected by IBIS and LPJ. This may be attributed to differing representation of land surface processes and to differences in the number of vegetation types (Plant Functional Types) defined and simulated in the two models. However, there is some agreement in NPP changes as projected by both IBIS and LPJ, with IBIS mostly projecting a larger increase in NPP for the future scenarios. Despite the uncertainties with respect to climate change projections at river basin level and the differing impact assessments from different DGVMs, it is necessary to assess the “vulnerability” of the forest ecosystems and forest dependent communities to current climate risks and future climate change and to develop and implement resilience or adaptation measures. Assessment of the “vulnerability” and designing of the adaptation strategies could be undertaken for all the forested grids where both IBIS and LPJ project vegetation shifts.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Earth & Environmental Sciences, 7: 271-294 p.

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