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Snow cover area change and its relations with climatic variability in Kashmir Himalayas, India

Shafiq, Mifta ul, Ahmed, Pervez, Islam, Zahoor ul, Joshi, P. K., Bhat, Waseem A.
Geocarto international 2019 v.34 no.6 pp. 688-702
climate, hydrology, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, snowmelt, snowpack, statistical analysis, temperature, Himalayan region, India
Snowmelt makes an essential component of the hydrological system of Kashmir Himalayas. The present study was carried out to examine the status of Snow Cover Area (SCA) using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8-day Snow Cover Product between 2000 and 2016. The intra- and inter-annual variability in SCA and in meteorological parameters was observed and various statistical tests were used to study the interrelationship. Results of statistical analysis indicate decrease in maximum temperature (−0.05 °C/year) and minimum temperatures (−0.02 °C/year) while rise in precipitation (19.13 mm/year). It also showed an increase in annual mean SCA (43.5 sq km) during the study period. The analysis was also carried out on a seasonal basis. The results revealed that in Kashmir Himalayas, climate plays a dominating role in controlling the SCA. The results depict the short-term fluctuations in SCA and show the magnitude of change between two successive values being very large in SCA.