Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Zakir Hussain Dahri

Date: 13 October 2020
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Auditorium, Wageningen University

Dissertation title: 

Precipitation Assessment and Hydrological Implications of Climate Change in the High-Altitude Indus Basin

Group: Water Resources Management/Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management/Water Systems and Global Change, Wageningen University
Promotors: prof. dr P Kabat and prof. dr F Ludwig
Co-promotors: prof. dr ir EJ Moors


This PhD dissertation developed high-quality reference data of precipitation and temperature to apprise their distribution in the high-altitude Indus basin. The best performing gridded precipitation product and GCM outputs were bias-corrected to develop high-quality precipitation data for the historical and projection periods. The projected data two GCMs representing warm-wet and cold-dry extremes were bias corrected for three RCPs (2.6, 4.5 & 8.5). These datasets were analysed to detect climate change and variability at sub-regional scale. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model was forced with these datasets to simulate the hydrologic regime of the study area. The results indicated an increase of 0.6 oC in the median annual air temperature and 11.9% decline in median annual precipitation during the last 40 years. The corresponding changes in river inflows remained highly variable but consistently declined. Indus-Tarbela, Jhelum-Mangla, Chenab-Marala and Kabul-Nowshera rivers inflows experienced 4.9%, 19.6%, 11.9% and 4.5% decline respectively. Future projections however show gradual increase in temperature but highly variable precipitation indicating increasing trends in Karakoram and parts of Kharmong and W-Hindukush regions and declining trends in the remaining areas. W-Himalayan and S Hindukush regions. Future river inflows are likely to increase between 17.0-73.6% at Indus-Tarbela river gauge under wet-warm scenarios and between 1.2-9.7% under cold-dry scenarios, while river inflows at the remaining three rim stations show increases for wet-warm and decreases for cold-dry scenarios. Most of the ensembles show increasing high flows and decreasing low flows at all gauging stations implying intensification of future hydrological extremes of floods and droughts.

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