Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 499–515, 2016
Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 499–515, 2016

Research article 26 May 2016

Research article | 26 May 2016

Comparing peasants' perceptions of precipitation change with precipitation records in the tropical Callejón de Huaylas, Peru

Wolfgang Gurgiser1, Irmgard Juen1, Katrin Singer2, Martina Neuburger2, Simone Schauwecker3,4, Marlis Hofer1, and Georg Kaser1 Wolfgang Gurgiser et al.
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Institute of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4Meteodat GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. Pronounced hygric seasonality determines the regional climate and, thus, the characteristics of rain-fed agriculture in the Peruvian Callejón de Huaylas (Cordillera Blanca). Peasants in the Cuenca Auqui on the eastern slopes above the city of Huaraz attribute recently experienced challenges in agricultural production mainly to perceived changes in precipitation patterns. Statistical analyses of daily precipitation records at nearby Recuay (1964 to 2013) and Huaraz (1996 to 2013) stations do not corroborate the perceived changes. Either insufficient temporal resolution of available precipitation records or other environmental and sociopolitical factors impacting traditional farming methods may be the reason for the lack of concordance between the two information sources investigated in this study.

Short summary
Working on the interface of water availability and water demand in a small Andean catchment, peasants’ reports on detrimental precipitation changes during the last decades have attracted our scientific interest. We could not confirm any precipitation trends in this period with nearby precipitation records, but we found precipitation patterns that very likely pose challenges for rain-fed farming – in addition to potential other stresses by environmental and sociopolitical changes.
Final-revised paper