Climate change detection and attribution in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins

Chetan Sharma, Anoop Kumar Shukla, Yongqiang Zhang

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river basin is the third-largest and one of the most populated river basins in the world. As climate change is affecting most of the hydrometeorological variables across the globe, this study investigated the existence of climate change signal in all four climatological seasons in the GBM river basin and assessed the contribution of anthropogenic activities, i.e., Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emission in the change. Significant decreasing trends in the monsoon and a small increase in pre-monsoon precipitation were observed. Negligible change was detected in post-monsoon and winter season precipitation. CMIP5 GCMs were used for climate change detection, change point estimation, and attribution studies. Support Vector Machine (SVM) regression method was adopted to downscale GCM variables at the local scale. Monte-Carlo simulation approach was used to detect changes in different seasons. The climate change ‘signals’ were detectable after the year 1980 using Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) method in the majority of central and north-western regions. The change point was detectable only in annual monsoon precipitation at the basin level. Attribution analysis indicated >50% contribution of anthropogenic activities (GHGs) to annual monsoon precipitation changes. So, there is high confidence that monsoon precipitation in GBM has significantly changed due to anthropogenic activities. Different mitigation and adaption measures are also suggested, which may be adopted to manage the growing demand and water availability in the basin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101186
JournalGeoscience Frontiers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 09-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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