Climate Change Impact in Jomsom of Mustang District
It is an old news, but in an attempt to compile all the stories on climate change impacts in the Himalayas, the news article form Everest Journal.com is provided below:
Fright of climate change and its effects is making life of alpine people a nightmare. People of Mustang have also been experiencing terrible nightmares due to the effects of climate change in their livelihood and economy lately.
Fluctuation of temperature and irregular pattern of rain and snowfall has severely affected the lives of Mustang. Mustang’s popular apple farming is on the edge of extermination due to no rainfall and no snowfall in the valley for an entire year. Due to increase in temperature, house flies and mosquitoes are plentiful nowadays while some years before they were rarely found. Locals are facing shortage of water because of rapid evaporation and water sources drying up drastically. Not only the Jomsom and lower Mustang, but even VDCs of the Upper-Mustang are facing water shortage. Due to this, livestock are severely affected. The areas where no plants were found some years before has started to grow plants because the snow-line is moving up to an altitude of 5,000 m. Since there is hardly any rainfall, fertile lands have turned barren. This has also had an adverse effect on the livestock. Local people have noticed the drastic change in bio-diversity and wildlife movement though. As per the locals, one can easily find jackals at an altitude of 3800 m these days, which was impossible until just a few years ago.
The maximum temperature in Jomsom Valley town rose to 27 degree Celsius while it was 24 last year. This year the minimum temperature recorded here was 13 degree Celsius while the preceding years normally dropped down to less than minus 4 degrees Celsius. This year, the town area of Jomsom Valley saw no snowfall and no rainfall at all.
Horticulture is the worst among the affected, which is on the edge of extinction. “In Kunjo and Kobang, there is no apple farming at all now,” said Paras Bahadur Singh, the conservation officer of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). He informed that locals of Kunjo are now considering orange farming as an option and in Kobang people are opting walnut farming.
Mustang which resides 14,000 people is now considered one of the most vulnerable places under the threat of glacier lake outburst. Experts have said that Thulagi glacial lake in northern Manang, is the biggest danger of the region.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Himalayan glaciers are receding faster than in any other part of the world and the resulting meltwater could trigger flooding, avalanches and the devastation of land within some years. Tsho Rolpa at the height of 4580, Lower Barun at 4570, Imja at 5000 metres, Thulagai at 4146 metres are some among the many glacial lakes prone to GLOF (glacial lake outburst flood) risk.
Nepal has around 3,250 glaciers, and hundreds of millions of people in South Asia depend on the rivers they help to sustain, according to the Ministry of Environment. Since 1964, there have been more than 13 reported glacial lake outbursts causing damage to livestock, property, environmental resources and infrastructure in Nepal.
Since Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of climate change, the government is gearing up to make its existence felt at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. “The risks are growing, especially for people living in mountainous areas, and we are taking this message to Copenhagen,” a government official said. “Our hope rests on the world leaders of powerful nations to make historic decisions in Copenhagen,” he added.