Photo: Mulugeta Mokria at the Foundation's Head Quarters - Monaco, October 2015
Mulugeta Mokria is a young Ethiopian researcher who is a member of the IPCC Fellowship Program supported by the Foundation since 2013. His research project focuses on the dendroclimatological potential of trees to reconstruct multi-century hydro-climatic information, never recorded before. The young scholar uses tree rings of the Afromontane trees found in the upper Blue Nile River Basin as proxy for his study. In the absence of recorded data for distant periods, the trees become handy to back-paddle the course of time ; the trunks keep the traces of the climatic situations the trees undergo and reveal them later on through rings.
Approaching the last phase of his study, Mr Mokria has just published a scientific article in the highly esteemed journal "Global Change Biology". Published by the Institute of Genomic Biology of Illinois (USA) under the guidance of Professor Steve Long, this journal ranks among the top 10 publications in the fields it specialises in. The journal promotes understanding of the interface between the current environmental change and biological systems.
The article unveils some of the first findings of Mr Mokria's long-term research conducted at the Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Some of the facts, unpublished to date, include climatic models and irregularities in the average return periods for dry and wet seasons, reconstituted from as early as 1811.
Mr. Mokria's research would be a valuable asset in backcasting climate and hydrological models and for developing regional strategic plans to manage scarce and contested water resources of the Great Horn of Africa.