Weather and Water Patterns in Kara Kulja, Osh: A Climate Change Analysis (by Laurie Ashley and Dr Natasha Ershova)
17 August 2011
UCA Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Date: 17 August 2011, 4 PM
Venue: University of Central Asia, 138 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Conference Room
Weather and water patterns in Kara-Kulja district of Osh have undergone distinct changes during recent decades. Local hydro-meteorological data, observations by local people, and climate science all show increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation occurrence, increasing wind speed, and rising river levels. Combining multiple information sources, an AKF-led climate change analysis revealed that climate change impacts are already having implications for agriculture, water resources, and non-seismic natural disasters. Changing weather and water patterns have affected all villages in the district through drying and drought impacts to crops and livestock, wind damage to crops and infrastructure, and the increased frequency and magnitude of flooding. In response to these changes, many individuals and villages have already begun adaptation efforts including increasing use of remote pastures, changing crop types, increasing fodder production, and improving irrigation practices. People have also relied heavily on remittances and credit after climate related losses. Climate science projections for increased water stress, increased flood and slope destabilization related to heavy rain and glacial melt, eventual decreased river flows, and decreased soil moisture in Central Asia emphasize the need for continued adaptation efforts. Adaptation efforts may include technological, behavioral, financial, institutional, and informational measures. This climate change analysis, funded by ICCO, documents climate trends in Kara-Kulja based on government hydro-meteorological data from 1940 to 2010 and local observations, projections based on climate models, and existing and recommended adaptation measures for reducing climate change impacts on local livelihoods.
Laurie Ashley is a Natural Resource Management Specialist at the Aga Khan Foundation, Kyrgyzstan. Her work includes integrating climate change adaptation into natural resources and disaster risk reduction programming. Laurie has experience in research, program design and implementation, teaching/training, and monitoring related to natural resource conservation and rural livelihoods.
Dr Natalia Ershova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. She is a Meteorologist and Climatologist with a focus on water resources. Her research focuses on climate change and land use impacts on river flow, surface run-off, and natural disaster conditions. She has published 20 scientific articles and two manuals.
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