EGU21-9381, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Using systematic review to analyse climate change impacts and adaptation associated with mountain permafrost

Prashant Baral1 and Simon Allen2,3
Prashant Baral and Simon Allen
  • 1NIIT University, Computer Science and Engineering (GIS Area), India (
  • 2Research Group on Environment and Climate (Eclim), Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland (
  • 3Climatic Change Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland

Mountain permafrost in Asia incorporates permafrost in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia, Qinghai Tibetan plateau and other mountain ranges in China. Changes in climate variables in recent decades have considerably influenced permafrost in these regions and produced vivid impacts. While climate change impacts on mountain permafrost in the alpine regions of Europe, US and Canada are relatively well documented, records about mountain permafrost in Asia are mostly available for the Qinghai Tibetan plateau region and a few other mountain ranges in China. Considerably little information is available for the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and other mountain ranges in Asia. This systematic review analyses climate change related impacts and adaptation in mountain permafrost regions of Asia and attempts to evaluate the status of knowledge based on peer-reviewed journal publications. Impacts on hydrology, geomorphology and ecology were examined and resulting socioeconomic effects were considered. Additionally, ongoing and potential adaptation practices were explored. Warming climate has been found responsible for a gradual shift of the lower limit of mountain permafrost in the region. Increased probabilities of mass wasting events due to reduced slope stability, changes in composition and quality of fresh water resources, irregularities in seasonal flows, changes in permafrost ecosystems and contemporaneous need for the protection of engineered constructions were identified as some of the key impacts. There is a high necessity for increased understanding of mountain permafrost and well-designed response actions to evaluate processes and interactions influencing changes in the natural environment and subsequent effects on sustainable living conditions. Therefore, suitable risk management practices need to be designed with a proper consideration of the anticipated future dynamics of climate, economy and society.

How to cite: Baral, P. and Allen, S.: Using systematic review to analyse climate change impacts and adaptation associated with mountain permafrost, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9381,, 2021.


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