Darya Shahidi Masouleh, University of Rhode Island


The Brahmaputra River basin (BRB) is one of the largest in Asia, spread over the countries of China, Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh, having a total area of 5,73,000 Sq.km. It is one of the last major free-flowing rivers in the world, and the river and its tributaries provide important social, environmental, cultural, and economic services to more than 60 million people for their livelihood in Bangladesh, northeastern India, Bhutan, and China. The BRB is undergoing rapid environmental changes in recent decades. One of the most important drivers of this change is Land Use, and Land Cover (LULC) changes in this region, affecting people's lives significantly along the river. This study aims to evaluate and quantify the LULC change and co-evolving precipitation and temperature changes in the BRB region. Three different locations from the BR’s upper, middle and lower parts in China, India, and Bangladesh, respectively, were selected to perform the above analysis. Our results show an increasing trend in precipitation and temperature over the last 30 years. Furthermore, more variability in both temperature and precipitation data was observed. Also, a growing trend was identified in vegetation cover and especially agricultural land in all regions. An increasing trend was also observed in urban areas in all regions. The others type of land covers did not show any distinguished trend. Results suggest a combined effect of warming temperatures and higher precipitation in terms of rainfall can be the result of the increasing trend in vegetation cover in upper part, and population-driven urban and agricultural area growth in middle and lower parts of BRB.