The Study and Findings of Climatology in Nepal
In many areas in Nepal, the history of climatology only dates back to 1956. Around this time, the Indian Meteorological Department instituted stations in various areas around the country, which were eventually taken over by the Nepalese government in 1966. Having these stations in place has given scientists significant insight into the Nepalese climate. However, some of the Indian equipment remained in the Nepalese stations, and unfortunately many Indian findings vary significantly from the Nepalese records of the same areas. Therefore, some information is unreliable, coupled by the fact that not all stations have operated since the start of the program (Thyer, 645). However, there are other sources of NepalÕs climate history, like extracts from articles written by climatologists from other countries, like Japan, the US, Germany, and France (Thyer, 645).
Nepal is a small country, land-locked between India and the Tibet region of China in South America. It is 900 kilometers from east to west, and 150 to 250 kilometers from north to south (Spence, 223). Nepal is home to eight of the ten highest mountain peaks in the world, most notably Mount Everest, which lies at 8,848 meters. In contrast, some of the areas that are situated lower in Nepal are only about eighty meters above sea level. Clearly, Nepal has much climate variation; in fact, the climate progresses from tropical to arctic within a 200-kilometer area from south to north (Agrawala, 12).
There are five geographical regions in Nepal (though, sometimes the mountain regions are grouped together as one). The Terai plain is the southernmost strip, bordered to the north by the Himalayan foothills and to the south by the Ganges River (Unknown-1, 1). The land of the Terai is slightly sloped, and it generally has a humid, tropical climate, with average temperatures higher than twenty-five degrees Celsius (Agrawala, 11). The Siwalik hills are known for their steep slopes, and erosion is prevalent here due to its weak bedrock. Its elevation is from 200-1500 meters, and it has a moist subtropical climate, with average temperatures around twenty-five degrees Celsius (Agrawala, 11). The Middle Mountains are characterized by their rocky soil, and there are some conifer forests here. The elevation ranges from 1,000 to 2,5000 meters, and it has a generally temperate climate, with an average temperature of twenty degrees Celsius (Agrawala, 11). The High Mountains, which include the Main Himalayas and the Inner Himalayan Valleys, have soil that does not typically weather, and its altitude ranges from 2,200 to 4,000 meters. The temperature is slightly colder here, ranging from cool to sub-alpine with temperatures between ten and fifteen degrees Celsius (Agrawala, 11). The final region is the High Himalayan region, where there is significant physical weathering and stony soils abound. The altitudes of the mountain...