Unpacking future climate extremes and their sectoral implications in western Nepal

Dipesh Chapagain*, Sanita Dhaubanjar, Luna Bharati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Existing climate projections and impact assessments in Nepal only consider a limited number of generic climate indices such as means. Few studies have explored climate extremes and their sectoral implications. This study evaluates future scenarios of extreme climate indices from the list of the Expert Team on Sector-specific Climate Indices (ET-SCI) and their sectoral implications in the Karnali Basin in western Nepal. First, future projections of 26 climate indices relevant to six climate-sensitive sectors in Karnali are made for the near (2021–2045), mid (2046–2070), and far (2071–2095) future for low- and high-emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively) using bias-corrected ensembles of 19 regional climate models from the COordinated Regional Downscaling EXperiment for South Asia (CORDEX-SA). Second, a qualitative analysis based on expert interviews and a literature review on the impact of the projected climate extremes on the climate-sensitive sectors is undertaken. Both the temperature and precipitation patterns are projected to deviate significantly from the historical reference already from the near future with increased occurrences of extreme events. Winter in the highlands is expected to become warmer and dryer. The hot and wet tropical summer in the lowlands will become hotter with longer warm spells and fewer cold days. Low-intensity precipitation events will decline, but the magnitude and frequency of extreme precipitation events will increase. The compounding effects of the increase in extreme temperature and precipitation events will have largely negative implications for the six climate-sensitive sectors considered here.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Climate change impacts
  • Climate extremes
  • ClimPACT2
  • ET-SCI
  • Karnali
  • Nepal


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