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«DIPLOMA THESIS Linking Climate Change with Food Security in the highlands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northwest Pakistan Presented by: Martin Kienzler ...»

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2010) and hence food security in Pakistan, especially in the rural and mountainous northwestern part of the country. Across the region the livelihoods of the people are mostly dependent on semi-subsistence or subsistence agriculture. In most parts agriculture moreover is only possible through irrigation. The water for irrigation originates out of the numerous glaciated areas of the world’s highest mountain ranges and is distributed through the huge river systems of Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra. The only regions where agriculture is possible under rainfed conditions are found within the high mountain areas of the Himalaya, where monsoon still exerts its influence and rainfall amounts are enough for cropping. These remote regions however are characterized by an extremely rugged terrain, harsh climate, hindered accessibility and resource-scarcity. Within the valleys of Hindu Kush and Karakoram water scarcity hampers the situation. Regarding glacier retreat and precipitation variabilities this water supply is more and more under threat. The increasing occurrence of heavy rainfall events moreover involves the risk of landslides and floods within the steep and narrow mountain valleys. Population growth forces farmers to elude to the steep slopes of the valleys and to cultivate their crops in higher elevations. Hence the associated land use change which results in deforestation in turn accounts for environmental and climate change on a considerable scale.

Therefore the high mountain regions of South Asia are “particularly sensitive to climate change” (ICIMOD, 2008) and climate change is supposed to “place additional stress on these already challenged ecosystems and livelihoods”, according to Macchi et al.

(2011). Especially climate extreme events which could trigger severe floods on the one hand and droughts on the other hand, that Pakistan had to face in recent years, are likely

Chapter 1. Introduction

to lead to shortages in food production and hence affect overall food security (Ahmad & Farooq, 2010). At the same time, climate change might be rather beneficial in some mountain areas on a local scale (Hofer & Ceci, 2009) through higher temperatures and an extended growing season.

The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwestern Pakistan, generally being among the “least developed regions” (Shahbaz et al., 2010), is representative for remote mountain regions, lying at the meeting point of Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush. A high climatic variability across the area is supposing quite different characteristics of climate change on a relatively small scale. Because agriculture, the mainstay of the people’s livelihoods, highly depends on climatic conditions it is quite important to know about recent climate related changes and to evaluate the future development. Only with the help of this knowledge climate impacts and adaptation measurements of the population to these changes can be assessed. The aim of this study therefore is to describe the characteristics of climate change in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on a small scale and to evaluate its impacts on agriculture.

The problem of this is that mountain regions such as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa represent “a white spot in that it lacks consistent long-term data” (ICIMOD, 2008) for evaluating climate change impacts. Because “the availability of climate data in remote mountain regions, however, is often very limited and scenario simulations particularly difficult” (Salzmann et al., 2009), the analysis of climate change is made with the help of a regional climate model and a global gridded observational dataset in this thesis for the period 1901 to 2009 and furthermore for the future period until 2100. Additionally the recent development of climate within two selected case studies is assessed through the people’s personal perception and shall help to validate the results of the analysis.

The objectives of this thesis are the following:

• to analyze the characteristics of climate change in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

• to identify farmer’s perception of changes in climatic and agricultural patterns

• to evaluate the link between climatic changes, agriculture and food security The results of the thesis shall present an evaluation of the extent of climate change within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is supposed to act as a basic framework for further climate change related research within the project.

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1.2 Frame of the thesis in the NCCR North-South program (RP 2) This thesis is embedded in a new project of the National Competence Centre of Research (NCCR) North-South program, namely “Livelihood futures in resource-scarce areas”.

The project is part of the Research Project (RP) 2 (“Livelihood futures”) of the NCCR North-South of South Asia and is conducted at the Development Study Group Zurich (DGSZ), University of Zurich. It is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Field work in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was conducted in cooperation with the staff of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, Pakistan. They also provided technical and logistical support.

1.3 Structure of the thesis A short summary of how climate changed during the last century on a global scale is given in chapter 2, alongside with an overview of the characteristics of climate change in South Asia as well as Pakistan. Furthermore the current state of research concerning the link between climate change and food security in some selected mountain regions around the globe and in northwestern Pakistan is presented. Chapter 3 outlines the characteristics of the study area Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including physiographical aspects such as topography, climate and geology, as well as demographical and agricultural aspects.





Besides it describes the two case studies more exactly. The data used for the climatological analysis of this thesis is described in chapter 4, including observational and model data. Chapter 5 explains the methodological approach of this study, separating statistical trend analysis and qualitative research. The results obtained with the help of these methods are presented in chapter 6. Mean climatology and trends of temperature and precipitation are described separated and future projections are taken into account.

Subsequently the results are discussed concerning the comparison of the outcome of the different data and methods and validation with different studies in chapter 7. At last chapter 8 summarizes the conclusions which can be drawn from this study and gives an outlook to further research.

2 Climate change and food security in South Asia - State of research

2.1 Climate change on a global scale Since the beginning of industrialization in the 1850s a distinct increasing trend of global mean temperature can be observed. Compared with temperature development of the last millenium, derived from climate proxy data such as tree rings, ice cores, borehole temperatures, etc., the magnitude of the 20th-century warming is supposed to be the highest of the last 1000 years. Within this century the 1990s have been the warmest decade and 1998 is likely to be the warmest year on a global scale. Figure 2.1 shows the global mean temperature, combining sea surface and land temperatures. Regarding the period 1906-2005 the warming trend is 0.74◦ C per century, while the trend of the last 25 years is more than twice as high. This accelerated warming gives reason to the assumption that human influence now is the main driving force of climate change.

(IPCC, 2007) Figure 2.1 – Annual global mean observed temperatures (1850-2007) and linear trends for different time periods. Source: Trenberth et al. (2007) The main reason for global warming apparently is the intensification of the natural greenhouse effect as a result of the constantly increasing emissions and hence atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG), mainly through fossil fuel burning.

Chapter 2. Climate change and food security in South Asia - State of research The most important of the GHG is carbon dioxide (CO2 ), generating about 60% of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

CO2 concentration in the atmosphere rose from a preindustrial level of 280 ppm to 384 ppm in 2007 (Latif, 2009). Other important gases are methane (CH4 ) and nitrous oxide (N2 O), which are mainly derived from agricultural processes. The emission of aerosols, ozone (O3 ) and halocarbones play an important role in climate change, too. Another very important factor are land use changes depending on human activities, mainly deforestation processes, which lead to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases on the one hand and alterations of the surface albedo on the other hand. (Trenberth et al., 2007; IPCC, 2007) Figure 2.2 – Annual surface temperature trends for the periods 1901 to 2000 (a), 1910 to 1945 (b), 1946 to 1975 (c), and 1976 to 2000 (d), respectively (◦ C/decade).

Source: Folland et al. (2001) However the intensity of change is not uniform around the globe. It can be assumed that some regions suffer stronger warming than the global average, for example the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, especially in the period 1976-2000. In contrast some regions even show a negative temperature trend, for example the northern Atlantic.

Generally land surface temperatures rise faster than sea surface temperatures (figure 2.2).

During the period 1946-1975 most parts of the globe are marked by a cooling trend, which is partly explained by the strong emission of aerosols during this period (Latif, 2009).

Regarding seasonal trends, it is obvious that high latitudes are heating at the highest rate during winter months, while mid-latitudes show the strongest temperature rise in summers (Folland et al., 2001).

Chapter 2. Climate change and food security in South Asia - State of research

2.2 Characteristics of climate change in South Asia and Pakistan 2.2.1 Climate change in South Asian mountain regions The northwestern Indian Himalaya directly is adjoining the Pakistan part of the Himalaya and shows similar climate conditions, but is even more influenced by the Indian summer monsoon. A trend analysis of three climate stations in different Himalayan mountain ranges for the period 1901 to 2002 (Bhutiyani et al., 2007) revealed a warming trend of this region of 1.6◦ C per century, which is a lot higher than the global average, the strongest warming being during winter months and during the last two decades. High altitude stations in this region show an even higher warming rate of winter temperatures of up to 3.8◦ C per century. In contrast to other mountain regions like the European Alps or the Rocky Mountains maximum temperatures appear to increase at a higher rate than minimum temperatures in the Northwestern Himalaya. An interesting point is that the strong teleconnections between temperatures and precipitation (“the periods of excess (deficient) annual precipitation (..) were associated with low (high) maximum temperatures, high (low) minimum temperatures and lower (higher) diurnal temperature range.” (Bhutiyani et al., 2007) seem to have extenuated since the late 1960s. This could be the result of the increasing effect of non-natural climate forces.

Long-term tree ring proxy data from the western part of the Indian Himalaya, which compensate the lack of climate stations in these high mountain regions, even revealed a distinct negative trend of minimum temperatures for the premonsoon (March to May) season since the late 1950s. The rate of cooling is around three times higher than the rate of increase in maximum temperatures and therefore leads to a distinct cooling trend in mean temperatures. As population has increased approximately three times since the 1950s in this region and the demand for agricultural crop land and pastures constantly grew, large-scale deforestation took place. This leads to direct heating of the surface in daytime, followed by intense nocturnal cooling. So the deforestation process is mainly supposed to be responsible for this increase of the diurnal temperature range. (Yadav et al., 2004) Generally variations in precipitation do not follow global trends or patterns as temperature fluctuations tend to do, but rather are influenced by “local factors such as orography, geographical location of the area, etc.” (Bhutiyani et al., 2010). Climate stations in the Northwestern Indian Himalaya all show a decreasing trend of monsoonal rainfall amount while winter and mean annual precipitation does not reveal any signicant trends for the period 1866-2006. Strongly increasing winter temperatures result in less snowfall component in total winter precipitation and both, the delay of winter onset (2 days per decade) and the advanced onset of spring (3 days per decade). So the duration of winter has been reduced by about 2 weeks in the last three decades in this region.

Chapter 2. Climate change and food security in South Asia - State of research

2.2.2 Climate change in Pakistan Compared to other parts of the globe, there are not many studies dealing with climate change in Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. One reason for this is “the limited density of station network in Pakistan” (ul Islam et al., 2009): “The combination of poor accessibility and low population numbers means that the density of meteorological stations in the Hindu Kush - Himalaya (HKH) is less than elsewhere and that long-term data records are few” (Singh et al., 2011). For example the mountainous country of Switzerland, which area is less than half of the area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) together, has about 500 weather stations, while there are only 13 distributed around KP.

The lack of climate stations brings along the need to draw upon proxy data. Therefore Esper (2000) tried to draw a long-term climate analysis for the last 500 years for the Hunza-Karakoram region (Northern Areas) derived from Juniperus tree-ring variations near the upper timberline, where temperature rather than precipitation is the limiting growth factor. For the 20th century there were two periods with favorable climatic conditions, the first one between 1940s and 1960s, the second one beginning in late 1970s.



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