Student Authors

Student Author

Natalie Kisak '19, Gettysburg College

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

Environmental Studies


Himalayan communities that depend on rain-fed agriculture are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. In this study, we compare local perceptions of climate change from a household survey (n = 251) to climate data obtained from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS 2.1) and MODIS Terra Snow Cover data product datasets. The study is situated in and around the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located within the Garhwal Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. We found that a large majority of respondents perceive that rainfall is increasing and that snowfall is decreasing, while a smaller majority perceives an increase in summer temperatures and no change in winter temperatures. Agreeing with the perceptions of the majority, the climate data show an increase in summer temperature and winter rainfall. However, the climate data also show an increase in winter temperature, and no monotonic change in snowfall, findings which are contrary to the perception of the majority. Household perceptions of climate change were not associated with adaptation; while many households perceived change, very few reported that they were planning to adapt. To encourage adaptation, communities would benefit from locally appropriate climate data products, and collaboration on best practices with researchers, NGOs, and extension services.





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