Accelerated melting of Himalayan snow and ice triggers pronounced changes in a valley peatland from northern India
Article first published online: 10 AUG 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 15, August 2006
How to Cite
2006), Accelerated melting of Himalayan snow and ice triggers pronounced changes in a valley peatland from northern India, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L15709, doi:10.1029/2006GL026704., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 10 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 10 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Received: 25 APR 2006
 The Himalayan region of northern India depends on monsoon rains, together with snow and glacial melt, to supply life-sustaining water to one of the world's most densely populated areas. Here we provide high-resolution pollen and diatom evidence from a peat deposit in the Pinder Valley that shows a synchronous and abrupt ecosystem turnover toward a wetter state in the last two centuries that exceeded changes recorded over the last three millennia. Contrary to expectations, there was no relationship between recent proxy changes and summer monsoon precipitation. Strong relationships, however, were found with winter climate data. We link this recent unprecedented wetness to marked warming at higher elevations resulting in increased seasonal runoff and associated climatic feedbacks in this snow and ice-melt dominated region. In contrast to the expected desiccation and decomposition of most peat systems with warming, this site has instead become the wettest in its ca. 3500-year history.