Analyzing snowfall variability over two locations in Kashmir, India in the context of warming climate
Present study focuses on examination snowfall variability over Gulmarg and Pahalgam of Kashmir Valley in India during past 31 years (1980-2010). Trends in temperature over the study area is also explored. Minimum and maximum temperature shows increasing trends which is consistent with increase in black carbon column mass density. Increase in black carbon mass density is attributed to urbanization over study area. Trends of minimum temperature is statistically significant. It is reported that snowfall over the Pahalgam shows decreasing trend except for the month of February and January. Pahalgam shows a significant decreasing trend in snowfall of about 48 mm per decade during March. Pahalgam and Gulmarg show seasonal decreasing trends of snowfall of about 15 mm and 1.8 mm per decade, respectively. These decreasing trends in snowfall are consistent with decadal increasing trends of about 1.2 °C and 0.8 °C in minimum temperature over Pahalgam and Gulmarg, respectively. Seasonal snowfall over both the regions shows decreasing trend (insignificant). Results reported in this study show a decrease of about 24.16% ± 9.86% per degree increase in minimum temperature over Pahalgam. Changing characteristics of snowfall in the context of anthropogenic warming present major challenges to the tourism and socioeconomic aspects over the Valley.