• ICIMOD Publication

Projection of Future Precipitation and Temperature Change over the Transboundary Koshi River Basin Using Regional Climate Model Precis

  • Rajbhandari, R.
  • Shrestha, A. B.
  • Nepal, S.
  • Wahid, S.

The Koshi river basin sustains the livelihoods of millions of people in the upstream and downstream areas of the basin. People rely on monsoon rainfall for agricultural production, hydropower generation and other livelihood activities. Climate change is expected to have serious implication on its environment. To reduce the adverse impacts of disasters and to better understand the implication of climate change for the sustainable development, initiative in this regard is necessary. Analysis of past meteorological trends and future climate projections can give us a sense of what to expect and how to prepare ourselves and manage available resources. In this paper, we have used a high-resolution climate model, viz., Providing REgional Climates for Impacts Studies (PRECIS), to project future climate scenario over the Koshi river basin for impact assessment. Three outputs of the Quantifying Uncertainties in Model Prediction (QUMP) simulations have been used to project the future climate. These simulations were selected from the 17-member Perturbed Physics Ensemble (PPE) using Hadley Centre Couple Model (HadCM3) based on the IPCC SRES A1B emission scenario. The future projections are analysed for three time slices 2011-2040 (near future), 2041-2070 (middle of the century) and 2071-2098 (distant future). Despite quantitative wet and cold bias, the model was able to resolve the seasonal pattern reasonably well. The model projects a decrease in rainfall in the near future and a progressive increase towards the end of the century. The projected change in rainfall is non-uniform, with increase over the southern plains and the middle mountains and decrease over the trans-Himalayan region. Simulation suggests that rainy days will be less frequent but more intense over the southern plains towards the end of the century. Further, the model projections indicate significant warming towards the end of the century. The rate of warming is slightly higher over the trans-Himalayan region during summer and over the southern plains during winter.

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