Perception of climate change from the Himalayan ‘cold desert’ Ladakh, India
Keywords:People’s perception, War tourism, Climate warming, Mitigation, Ladakh Himalaya
Climate change perception survey is a method designed to gain insights on people’s perspectives of the changing climate and recognizing important factors, complexities, and limitations towards a climate-conscious conduct. Such surveys are particularly important in ecologically sensitive transitional climatic zones but logistically difficult terrains, where meteorological data is scarce and minor changes in climatic parameters can have unanticipated consequences for the local ecosystem. The current research is focused on one of such climate-sensitive areas, in the northwestern Himalaya. A binary question-based survey (interview) was conducted in the high-altitude, cold desert region – Ladakh, which covered all the five subdivisions of the union territory. According to the climate perception data, the majority of respondents are aware of climate change or global warming regardless of age, gender, and background. The exponential growth in tourist inflow over the last two decades (attributed to ‘war tourism’) equates with the increasing number of vehicles and is well perceived by the locals. Approximately 86 percent of respondents believe that humans have had a negative impact on the environment. They appear to be quite optimistic about curbing the effects of climate change, with approximately 91 percent willing to participate in mitigation efforts. The results of this study show an overall agreement between people’s perceptions of climate change and the scientific evidence of these changes. These findings are eventually intended to serve as an important parameter in developing adaptation and mitigation strategies in this ecologically sensitive and vulnerable region.
Adiyoga W 2018. February. Farmers' perceptions on climate change in lowland and highland vegetable production centers of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In International Conference on Agriculture, Environment, and Food Security IOP Publishing IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 122(1): p. 012001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/122/1/012001
Alam MS & Khan A 2020. The Impact Study of Vehicular Pollution On Environment. International Journal for Science and Advance Research in Technology 6(12): 30–37.
Allen M, Antwi-Agyei P, Aragon-Durand F, Babiker M, Bertoldi P, Bind M, Brown S, Buckeridge M, Camilloni I, Cartwright A & Cramer W 2019. Technical Summary: Global warming of 1.5° C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
Ali SN, Thakur B, Morthekai P, Farooqui S, Phartiyal B, Seth P & Sharma A 2018. Diatom diversity under extreme climate: A study from Zanskar Valley, NW Himalaya, India. Journal of the Paleontological Society of India 63(1): 119–126.
Ara PG & Reazul ASM 2013. Impacts of climate change on food security of rural poor women in Bangladesh. Management of Environmental Quality 24(6): 802–814. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-04-2013-0033
Arora P, Ali SN & Morthekai P 2021. Local Perceptions and Trends of Climate Change in the Sikkim Himalaya, North-East India. Journal of Climate Change 7(2): 1-26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JCC210008
Arora P, Ali SN & Morthekai P 2022. Exploring methodological approaches for Climate Perception studies in Himalaya. In Climate Change- Impacts, Responses and Sustainability in the Indian Himalaya 293–308 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92782-0_15
Ayanlade A, Radeny M & Morton JF 2017. Comparing smallholder farmers’ perception of climate change with meteorological data: A case study from southwestern Nigeria. Weather Climate 15: 24–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wace.2016.12.001
Barua A, Katyaini S, Mili B & Gooch P 2014. Climate change and poverty: building resilience of rural mountain communities in South Sikkim, Eastern Himalaya, India. Regional Environmental Change 14(1): 267–280. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0471-1
Bellwood P 2013. First Migrants: Ancient Migration in Global Perspective Chichester and Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell: 326p.
Bhatta LD, van Oort BEH, Stork NE & Baral H 2015. Ecosystem services and livelihoods in a changing climate: Understanding local adaptations in the Upper Koshi, Nepal. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 11(2): 145-155. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2015.1027793
Bhutiyani MR, Kale VS & Pawar NJ 2007. Long-term trends in maximum, minimum and mean annual air temperatures across the Northwestern Himalaya during the twentieth century. Climatic Change 85(1-2): 159–177. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-006-9196-1
Bhutiyani MR, Kale VS & Pawar NJ 2010. Climate change and the precipitation variations in the northwestern Himalaya: 1866–2006. International journal of climatology 30: 535–548. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1920
Bolch T, Kulkarni A, Kääb A, Huggel C, Paul F, Cogley JG, Frey H, Kargel JS, Fujita K, Scheel M & Bajracharya S 2012. The state and fate of Himalaya glaciers. Science 336(6079): 310–314. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1215828
Brechin SR & Bhandari M 2011. Perceptions of climate change worldwide Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Climate Change 2(6): 871–885.This reference is not in text DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.146
Chatterjee M, Kohli S & Singh A 2005. Travel Tourism Working Paper No. 2 In: Enterprising Ladakh, Prosperity, Youth Enterprise and Cultural Values in Peripheral Regions Centre for Development of Corporate Citizenship, S P Jain Institute of Management Research Mumbai LAHDC, Leh.
Chaudhary P, Rai S, Wangdi S, Mao A, Rehman N, Chettri S & Bawa KS 2011. Consistency of local perceptions of climate change in the Kangchenjunga Himalaya landscape. Current Science 504-513.
Chaudhary P & Bawa KS 2011. Local perceptions of climate change validated by scientific evidence in the Himalayas. Biology Letters 7(5): 767–770. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0269
Chen NS, Hu GS, Deng W, Khanal N, Zhu YH & Han D 2013. On the water hazards in the trans-boundary Kosi River Basin. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 13: 795–808. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-13-795-2013
Killing Ladakh [Video file] 2018. Killing Ladakh [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.scoopwhoop.com/originals/killing-ladakh/?ref=page_video?ref=clipboardcopy
Chumikchan R 2016. As vehicles increase, so does parking chaos Reach Ladakh Bulletin, LEH, Aug 02, 2016 (https://www.reachladakh.com/news/city-buzz/as-vehicles-increase-so-does-parking-chaos)
Clouse C, Anderson N & Shippling T 2017. Ladakh’s artificial glaciers:climate-adaptive design for water scarcity. Climate Development 9(5): 428–438. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2016.1167664
Cole JJ, Caraco NF, Kling GW & Kratz TK 1994. Carbon dioxide super-saturation in the surface waters of lakes. Science 265: 1568–1570. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.265.5178.1568
Cook J 2019. Understanding and countering misinformation about climate change. In: Chiluwa I & Samoilenko S (Editors)-Handbook of Research on Deception, Fake News, and Misinformation Outline Hershey PA: 281–306. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-8535-0.ch016
Dame J & Nüsser M 2008. Development Perspectives in Ladakh, India. Geographische Rundschau International Edition 4: 20–27.
Daultrey S & Gergan R 2011. Living with change: adaptation and innovation in Ladakh Climate Adaptation Series (online), Cambridge, UK Available online: http://www ourplanet com/climateadaptation/Daultrey_Gergan pdf (Accessed on 20 April 2012).
Debela N, Mohammed C, Bridle K, Corkrey R & McNeil D 2015. Perception of climate change and its impact by smallholders in pastoral/agropastoral systems of Borana, South Ethiopia. Springer Plus 4: 236, doi:101186/s40064-015-1012-9 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-1012-9
Dimri AP & Dash SK 2012. Winter time climatic trends in the western Himalayas. Climate Change 111(3–4): 775–800. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0201-y
Dolnicar S, Grün B & Leisch F 2011. Quick, Simple and Reliable: Forced Binary Survey Questions. International Journal of Market Research 53(2): 231–252. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2501/IJMR-53-2-231-252
FAO 2008. Food security in mountains: High time for action. Brochure of the International Mountain Day http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/mountainday/docs/pdf_2008/IMD08_brochure En_LR.pdf
Fraser ED, Dougill AJ, Hubacek K, Quinn CH, Sendzimir J & Termansen M 2011. Assessing vulnerability to climate change in dryland livelihood systems: conceptual challenges and interdisciplinary solutions. Ecology and Society 16(3): art-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-03402-160303
Geneletti D & Dawa D 2009. Environmental impact assessment of mountain tourism in developing regions: A study in Ladakh, Indian Himalaya. Environmental impact assessment review 29(4): 229–242. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2009.01.003
Ghosh M & Ghosal S 2021. Climate change vulnerability of rural households in flood-prone areas of Himalayan foothills, West Bengal, India. Environment, Development and Sustainability 23(2): 2570–2595. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00687-0
Goeury D 2010. Ladakh, kingdom of sustainable development? Journal of Alpine Research 98(1): 109–121. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/rga.1147
Guhathakurta P & Rajeevan M 2008. Trends in the rainfall pattern over India. International Journal of Climatology, Royal Meteorological Society 28(11): 1453–1469. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1640
Gupta AK, Negi M, Nandy S, Alatalo JM, Singh V & Pandey R 2019. Assessing the vulnerability of socio-environmental systems to climate change along an altitude gradient in the Indian Himalayas. Ecological Indicators 106: 105512. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105512
Hamid A, Sharif M & Archer D 2014. Analysis of Temperature Trends in Sutluj River Basin, India. Journal of Earth Science and Climatic Change 5: 1–9.
Harris IC 2019. CRU TS v4.03: Climatic Research Unit (CRU) Time-Series (TS) version 4.03 of high-resolution gridded data of month-by-month variation in climate (Jan. 1901- Dec. 2018). Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA),
Hasan Md K & Kumar L 2019. Comparison between meteorological data and farmer perceptions of climate change and vulnerability in relation to adaptation. Journal of Environmental Management 237: 54–62. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.02.028
Hein Y, Vijitsrikamol K, Attavanich W & Janekarnkij P 2019. Do farmers perceive the trends of local climate variability accurately? An analysis of farmers’ perceptions and meteorological data in Myanmar. Climate 7: 1–21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7050064
Hussain A, Agrawal NK & Leikanger I 2016. Action for Adaptation: Bringing climate change science to policy makers – a synthesis report of a conference held in Islamabad on 23–25 July 2015. Food Security 8(1): 285–289. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-015-0529-7
Immerzeel WW, van Beek LPH & Bierkens MFP 2010. Climate change will affect the Asian water towers. Science 328: 1382–1385. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1183188
IPCC 2014. Climate Change: Synthesis Report Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Technical Report; IPCC: Geneva, Switzerland.
Joshi V & Kumar K 2006. Extreme rainfall events and associated natural hazards in Alaknanda valley, Indian Himalayan region. Journal of Mountain Science 3(3): 228–36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-006-0228-0
Kamp U, Byrne M & Bolch T 2011. Glacier fluctuations between 1975 and 2008 in the Greater Himalaya Range of Zanskar, southern Ladakh. Journal of mountain science 8(3): 374–389. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-011-2007-9
Khan MAR, Singh S, Pandey P, Bhardwaj A, Ali SN, Chaturvedi V & Ray PKC 2021. Modelling permafrost distribution in Western Himalaya using remote sensing and field observations. Remote Sensing 13: 4403. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13214403 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13214403
Kour R, Patel N & Krishna AP 2016. Effects of terrain attributes on snow-cover dynamics in parts of Chenab basin, western Himalayas. Hydrological Science journal 61(10): 1861–1876. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2015.1052815
Kumar R, Bahugana IM, Ali SN & Singh R 2020. Lake Inventory and Evolution of Glacial Lakes in the Nubra-Shyok Basin of Karakoram Range. Earth System and Environment 4(1): 57-70. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41748-019-00129-6
Kumar S 2019. A self-governance approach to solving the water crisis in Ladakh, India: the ice stupa project (available at: https://essayutwentenl/79522/1/Kumar_MA_BMSpdf)
Lal SS 2014. Doctoral Dissertation: Climate Change Resilience and Vulnerability of Farmers in Nepal. Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation Hiroshima University.
Lama L, Kayastha RB, Maharjan SB, Bajracharya SR, Chand MB & Mool PK 2015. Glacier area and volume changes of Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal from ˜1980s to 2010 based on remote sensing. Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) 368: 57–62. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-368-57-2015
Makuvaro V, Walker S, Masere TP & Dimes J 2018. Smallholder farmer perceived effects of climate change on agricultural productivity and adaptation strategies. Journal of Arid Environments 152: 75–82. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.01.016
Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, da-Fonseca GAB & Kent J 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 40: 853–858. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/35002501
Nagai H, Fujita K, Sakai A, Nuimura T & Tadono T 2016. Comparison of multiple glacier inventories with a new inventory derived from high-resolution ALOS imagery in the Bhutan Himalaya. Cryosphere 10(1): 65–85. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-65-2016
Nandargi S & Dhar ON 2011. Extreme rainfall events over the Himalayas between 1871 and 2007. Hydrological Sciences Journal 56(6): 930–945. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2011.595373
Negi HS, Kanda N, Shekhar MS & Ganju A 2018. Recent wintertime climatic variability over the North West Himalayan Cryosphere. Current Science 114(4): 760–770. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18520/cs/v114/i04/760-770
Negi VS, Maikhuri RK, Pharswan D, Thakur S & Dhyani PP 2017. Climate change impact in the Western Himalaya: people’s perception and adaptive strategies. Journal of Mountain Science 14: 403-16. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-015-3814-1
Niles MT & Mueller ND 2016. Farmer perceptions of climate change: Associations with observed temperature and precipitation trends, irrigation, and climate beliefs. Global Environmental Change 39: 133–142. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.002
Norberg-Hodge H 1991. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh San Francisco. Sierra Club Books: 204p.
O'Rourke PJ 1988. Holidays in Hell. Grove Atlantic, United States: 257p.
Pandey P, Ali SN, Sharma V & Champati Ray PK 2020. Focus on Thermokarst Lakes in Indian Himalaya: Inception and implication under warming climate. Journal of Climate Change, 6(2): 59–69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JCC200012
Pandey R, Kumar P, Archie KM, Gupta AK, Joshi PK, Valente D & Petrosillo I 2018. Climate change adaptation in the western-Himalayas: Household level perspectives on impacts and barriers. Ecological Indicators 84: 27–37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.08.021
Peterson BG & Carl P 2019. Performance Analytics: Econometric Tools for performance and Risk Analysis R package version 153 https://CRAN." R-project. org/package= PerformanceAnalytics
Poudel RS, Shrestha S, Piryani RM, Basyal B, Kaucha K & Adhikari S 2017. Assessment of insulin injection practice among diabetes patients in a tertiary healthcare Centre in Nepal: a preliminary study. Journal of diabetes research: Article-ID-8648316. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8648316
Rabatel A, Francou B, Soruco A, Gomez J, Caceres B, Ceballos JL, Basantes R, Vuille M, Sicart JE, Huggel C, Scheel M, Lejeune Y, Arnaud Y, Collet M, Condom T, Consoli G, Favier V, Jomelli V, Galarraga R, Ginot P, Maisincho L, Mendoza J, Menegoz M, Ramirez E, Ribstein P, Suarez W, Villacis M & Wagnon P 2013. Current state of glaciers in the tropical Andes: A multi-century perspective on glacier evolution and climate change. Cryosphere 7(1): 81–102. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-7-81-2013
R. Core Team 2019. R: A language and environment for statistical computing R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria
Safari B 2012. Trend analysis of the mean annual temperature in Rwanda during the last fifty-two years. Journal of Environmental Protection 3(6): 538–551. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/jep.2012.36065
Sarkar S 2020. Extreme rainfall events have more than doubled in the Himalayas. Thethirdpole. net.
Scherler D, Bookhagen B & Strecker MR 2011. Spatially variable response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change affected by debris cover. Nature Geoscience 4(3): 156–159. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1068
Sharma V, Mishram VD & Joshi PK 2012. Snow cover variation and stream flow simulation in a snow-fed river basin of the northwest Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science 9: 853–868. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-012-2419-1
Sharma V, Mishra VD & Joshi PK 2014. Topographic controls on spatiotemporal snow cover distribution in northwest Himalaya International. Journal of Remote Sensing 35(9): 3036–3056. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01431161.2014.894665
Shrestha A, Wake CP, Mayewskim PA & Dibb JE 1999. Maximum temperature trends in the Himalaya and its vicinity: an analysis based on temperature records from Nepal for the period 1971–94. Journal of climate 12(9): 2775–2786. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012<2775:MTTITH>2.0.CO;2
Singh S, Kumar R, Bhardwaj A, Sam L, Shekhar M, Singh A, Kumar R & Gupta A 2016. Changing climate and glacio‐hydrology in Indian Himalayan Region: a review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 7(3): 393-410. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.393
Singh S, Bhardwaj A, Singh A, Sam L, Shekhar M, Martín-Torres FJ & Zorzano MP 2019. Quantifying the Congruence between Air and Land Surface Temperatures for Various Climatic and Elevation Zones of Western Himalaya. Remote Sensing 11(24): 2889. https://doi.org/103390/rs11242889 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11242889
The Royal Society 2014. Climate change: evidence and causes https://royalsocietyorg/news/2014/climate-change-evidence-causes/
Tomizuka A 2015. Influence of Greenhouse Gases to Global Warming on Account of Radiative Forcing Global Warming: Causes, Impacts and Remedies, 1. https://doi.org/10.5772/58995 (Available from https://wwwintechopencom/books/global-warming-causes-impacts-and remedies/influence-of-greenhouse-gases-to-global-warming-on-account-of-radiative forcing) DOI: https://doi.org/10.5772/58995
UNISDR C 2015. The human cost of natural disasters: A global perspective.
Vedwan N & Rhoades RE 2001. Climate change in the Western Himalayas of India: a study of local perception and response. Climate Research 19: 109–117. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr019109
Wang L, D’Odorico P, Evans JP, Eldridge DJ, McCabe MF, Caylor KK & King EG 2012a. Dryland ecohydrology and climate change: critical issues and technical advances. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16: 2585–2603. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-2585-2012
Wang L, Liu J, Sun G, Wei X, Liu S & Dong Q 2012b. Water, climate, and vegetation: ecohydrology in a changing world. Hydrol. Earth System Science 16: 4633–4636. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-4633-2012
Weber EU 2010. What shapes perceptions of climate change? Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Climate Change 1(3): 332–342. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.41
Yang X, Zhang T, Qin D, Kang S & Qin X 2011. Characteristics and Changes in Air Temperature and Glacier’s Response on the North Slope of Mt Qomolangma (Mt Everest). Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research 43: 147–160. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-43.1.147