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Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin, global teleconnections and hydrological implications

Abstract : Most of the flow in the River Indus from its upper mountain basin is derived from melting snow and glaciers. Climatic variability and change of both precipitation and energy inputs will, therefore, affect rural livelihoods at both a local and a regional scale through effects on summer runoff in the River Indus. Spatial variation in precipitation has been investigated by correlation and regression analysis of long-period records. There is a strong positive correlation between winter precipitation at stations over the entire region, so that, for practical forecasting of summer runoff in some basins, a single valley-floor precipitation station can be used In contrast, spatial relationships in seasonal precipitation are weaker in summer and sometimes significantly negative between stations north and south of the Himalayan divide. Although analysis of long datasets of precipitation from 1895 shows no significant trend, from 1961?1999 there are statistically significant increases in winter, in summer and in the annual precipitation at several stations. Preliminary analysis has identified a significant positive correlation between the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and winter precipitation in the Karakoram and a negative correlation between NAO and summer rainfall at some stations.

Keywords: upper Indus basin, climate change, time series analysis, spatial correlation, teleconnections

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D.R. Archer, H.J. Fowler. Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin, global teleconnections and hydrological implications. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, European Geosciences Union, 2004, 8 (1), pp.47-61. ⟨hal-00304788⟩

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