Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-29
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-29

  03 Jun 2021

03 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Snow cover variability and trend over Hindu Kush Himalayan region using MODIS and SRTM data

Nirasindhu Desinayak1, Anup Krishna Prasad1, Hesham El-Askary2, Menas Kafatos2, and Ghassem R. Asrar3 Nirasindhu Desinayak et al.
  • 1Photogeology and Image Processing Laboratory, Department of Applied Geology, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad –826004, India
  • 2Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, 452 N. Glassell, Orange, CA 92866, USA
  • 3Universities Space Research Association, 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046, USA

Abstract. Snow cover changes has a direct bearing on the regional and global energy and water cycles, and the change in Earth's climate condition The study of long term altitudinal (spatial and temporal, 2000–2017) in the coverage of snow and glaciers in one of the world’s largest mountainous region, the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region including Tibet have been studied using remote sensing data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra (at 5 km grid resolution). Terra provided a unique opportunity to study zonal and hypsographic changes in the intra-annual (growing season and melting season) and inter-annual variations of snow and glacial cover over the HKH region (2000–2017). The zonal and altitudinal (hypsographic) analyses were carried out for melting-season and accumulating-season. The altitude-wise linear trend analysis (Pearson’s) of snow cover, shown as a hypsographic curve, clearly indicate a major decline in snow cover (average of 5 % or more, at 100 m interval aggregates) between 4000–4500 m and 5500–6000 m altitudes, which is consistent with the median trend (Theil-Sen, TS) and the monotonic trend (Mann-Kendall statistics, MK) analysis. The regions and altitudes where major and statistically significant increase (10 to 30 %) or decrease (−10 to −30 %) in snow cover are identified. The extrapolation of the altitude-wise linear trend shows that it may take between ~74 to 7900 year (for 3001–6000 m and 6000–7000 m altitude zones respectively) for mean snow cover to decline approximately 25 % in the HKH region, assuming no-change in other parameters) that affect the snow cover.

Nirasindhu Desinayak et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-29', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Anup Krishna Prasad, 08 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-29', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Anup Krishna Prasad, 06 Sep 2021

Nirasindhu Desinayak et al.

Nirasindhu Desinayak et al.

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Short summary
The study presents long-term attitudinal changes and variability (spatial and temporal, during 2000–2017) in the coverage of snow and glaciers in one of the world’s largest mountainous regions, the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The western zone and high-altitude regions (above 6000 m) show no significant decline in snow cover whereas the lower altitude regions (< 6000 m) show a variable but statistically significant decline in snow cover in the central and eastern zones (5–15 %).