Country

Nepal

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Nepal.

Climate Data Historical

Nepal’s climate varies considerably both seasonally and according to altitude. Nepal can be divided into different climate zones according to altitude, ranging from the Terai region in the south at less than 500 m above sea level to the High Himalayan region in the north at over 5,000 m. Average temperatures decline from a peak of over 24°C in the south down to sub-zero temperatures in Nepal’s highest mountains. Precipitation is spatially variable with some central and northerly pockets of the country receiving more than 3,000 millimeters (mm), the central and southern plains typically receiving 1,500 – 2,000 mm, and some high-altitude areas in the north receiving less than 1,000 mm.

Temperature

  • Historical warming in Nepal is estimated at between 1.0°C – 1.3°C and studies focusing on the Himalayan region experiencing higher rates of warming, with average temperatures increasing by 1.5°C between 1982 – 2006.
  • Nepal’s warming is complex, and not homogenous across Nepal’s surface area, nor defined consistently by altitude. 

Precipitation

  • Annual precipitation rates in Nepal vary spatially and include both positive and negative movements.
  • Some regions (notably western Nepal) are believed to have experienced an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events.
  • Evidence suggests that wet areas are becoming wetter, and dry areas are becoming drier. The Himalayan region has experienced increasing average annual precipitation at a rate of 6.5 mm/year between 1982 – 2006.
  • Other factors affecting inter-annual precipitation variability include global climate phenomena such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole. ENSO has been shown to have complex relationships with both drought and extreme precipitation.
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