Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

Cryospheric and Hydrological Processes in the Himalayan region: An assessment of snowmelt dynamics, hydrology, and climatic hazards

Event time: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 5:30pm
Room 202, Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT
Event description: 
There is mounting evidence that the regional climate, hydrology, and ecology of the Hindu Kush-
Himalayan (HKH) region in South Asia is changing, thereby also increasing the possibility for extreme
climate and weather hazards in the coming decades. The HKH region sustains around 210 million people
across eight countries in South Asia with nearly a billion people depending on water across the major
river basins such as the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, and Yellow River. Climate change could
undoubtedly amplify the environmental and societal risk and hazards; however, the connection
between climatic change and hazards remains to be fully understood for this region. In this paper, I
discuss and summarize major climate-related hazards such as hydro-meteorological hazards, flooding,
extreme events, and landslides using most recent case studies from the region. In doing so, I also
examine, through basin- to regional-scale analyses, snowmelt processes, snowmelt hydrology, and
climate extremes across the HKH region by integrating remotely sensed datasets with available field
observations, global climate model outputs, and hydrological modeling. I further emphasize the
connectivity and significance of the regional hydro-climatology and climate change to food and water
security, transboundary water issues, and regional vulnerability of the HKH region.
Dr. Prajjwal Panday joined Nichols College as Assistant Professor of Environmental Science in the Fall of
2016. He is a broadly trained geographer with expertise in environmental modeling, hydro-climatology,
remote sensing, and geospatial technologies. His research and intellectual interests focused on using a
systems approach to determine linkages between climate variability, anthropogenic changes, and land-
water interactions. His research utilizes field-based observations, satellite remote sensing, geospatial
data, and process-based modeling to understand terrestrial and hydrological processes across various
spatial and temporal scales. Much of his work thus far has focused on the monitoring and modeling of
various components of the hydrological cycle in some of the fastest changing regions of the world such
as the Himalayas as well as the Amazon. His research builds on degrees in both Environmental Sciences
(MSc, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY) and Geography (PhD, Clark
University, Worcester, MA), and experience working in the non-profit sector (Woods Hole Research
Center, Falmouth, MA)