Nepali scientists able to forecast multiple climate effects

Yogesh Pokhrel

Nepalese scientists and researchers have claimed that they also can forecast climate change and multiple climatic effects in the country with the establishment of Dendro-Lab in the capital.

They said that in order to facilitate and further dendrological works in Nepal, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), in cooperation with Ev-K2-CNR Italy, had set up a Dendro Lab at its premises.

Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree-ring growth patterns. The technique can date wood to exact calendar years. Tree rings are one important source of what are called proxy-climate indicators or paleeoclimate data.

For this, NAST is organising a training workshop for 18 researchers and university students from a trainer Prof. Dr. Marco Carrer from the University of Padova, Italy.

Dr. Dinesh Bhuju, a senior scientist and training coordinator at the Dendro-Lab Focal Point, said that the tree rings respond to multiple climatic effects such as temperature, moisture and cloudiness, so that various aspects of climate can be studied. "From the analysis of the data obtained from them information can also be acquired about natural disturbance such as hurricane, earthquake, flood, drought, conflagration or erosions," Bhuju said.

He said that analysing the obtained data they could make forecasts about the upcoming disasters and evaluate the previous disasters too.

As an initiative, Dr. Bhuju and Dr. Carrer have established two permanent plots at the tree-line of Sagarmatha National Park in 2007 and collected some 300 tree cores, mainly from Abies and Juniper.

According to Dr. Bhuju, as the tree ring is safe from any human and other manipulations, the prediction made from this method is hundred per cent correct and reliable.

He informed that pine trees like Abies and Juniper, are best for Dendro research. Dr. Bhuju said that they would start their research from the Himalayan region, where the impact of global warming and climate change had been more pronounced.

He, further, said that after the completion of the trial research in the Himalayan region, they would find out the previous climatic change and prediction in the historical palaces, temples, and archeological areas using the same technique.

He said that they would extend their work to each and every climatic and geographical region of the country in the near future so that the concerned authorities in the area would remain alert and could initiate necessary steps to minimise the potential risks and damage.

He said that any environmental activities, favourable or unfavourable, were printed as annual rings of the trees.

Global warming and climate change are of the global concern at the present time. Nepali researchers are now hopeful to make prediction of changing patterns by reconstructing past climatic history through what they call Dendrochronological technique. "We are happy to institutionalize the knowledge and hope to see many researchers using this technique in environmental and archeological studies as well," Bhuju said.

This news article was published on The Rising Nepal. It shows some scientists in Nepal are also doing some research activities where there is no good environment for such activities and hundreds of young science and engineering graduates are leaving the country.

More about Dendrochronoly on wikipedia.

More about NAST

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