Research Articles

Climate change on the southern slope of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) Region in Nepal since 1971

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Institute of Meteorology, Zhejiang Meteorological Bureau, Hangzhou 310017, China;
    4. Central Department of Geography, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Qi Wei (1987-), Ph.D. Candidate, specialized in physical geography. E-mail:

Received date: 2013-03-18

  Revised date: 2013-04-15

  Online published: 2013-08-15

Supported by

National Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB951704;Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDB03030500;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40901057


Based on monthly mean, maximum, and minimum air temperature and monthly mean precipitation data from 10 meteorological stations on the southern slope of the Mt. Qomolangma region in Nepal between 1971 and 2009, the spatial and temporal characteristics of climatic change in this region were analyzed using climatic linear trend, Sen's Slope Estimates and Mann-Kendall Test analysis methods. This paper focuses only on the southern slope and attempts to compare the results with those from the northern slope to clarify the characteristics and trends of climatic change in the Mt. Qomolangma region. The results showed that: (1) between 1971 and 2009, the annual mean temperature in the study area was 20.0℃, the rising rate of annual mean temperature was 0.25℃/10a, and the temperature increases were highly influenced by the maximum temperature in this region. On the other hand, the temperature increases on the northern slope of Mt. Qomolangma region were highly influenced by the minimum temperature. In 1974 and 1992, the temperature rose noticeably in February and September in the southern region when the increment passed 0.9℃. (2) Precipitation had an asymmetric distribution; between 1971 and 2009, the annual precipitation was 1729.01 mm. In this region, precipitation showed an increasing trend of 4.27 mm/a, but this was not statistically significant. In addition, the increase in rainfall was mainly concentrated in the period from April to October, including the entire monsoon period (from June to September) when precipitation accounts for about 78.9% of the annual total. (3) The influence of altitude on climate warming was not clear in the southern region, whereas the trend of climate warming was obvious on the northern slope of Mt. Qomolangma. The annual mean precipitation in the southern region was much higher than that of the northern slope of the Mt. Qomolangma region. This shows the barrier effect of the Himalayas as a whole and Mt. Qomolangma in particular.

Cite this article

QI Wei, ZHANG Yili, GAO Jungang, YANG Xuchao, LIU Linshan, Narendra R. KHANAL . Climate change on the southern slope of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) Region in Nepal since 1971[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2013 , 23(4) : 595 -611 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-013-1031-9


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