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Indigenous knowledge and scientific weather forecast: Implication for climate change adaptation strategies in Dessa’a, Tigray, northern Ethiopia

Mengistu Tilahun
Gebayehu Taye
Gebregzer Tesfaye
Berihe Gebremikael


Indigenous knowledge contributes to climate change adaptation measures for the community. Therefore, the study was aimed to: i) Forecast and  characterize climatic variables (maximum temperature, minimum temperature and rainfall); ii) explore indigenous knowledge weather forecast; iii) identify climate change adaptation strategies using analogues method; and iv) identify indigenous knowledge of climate change adaptation strategies. The climate modelling RCPs (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) were used with three general circulation model (GCMs). The backward analogues  method was chosen to identify analogues sites. An informal and formal meeting with key informants, interviews, focus group discussions and direct observation were used. Three hundred and fifty (350) households were selected through random sampling. Maximum temperature and minimum
temperature of the study area will be increased by 3.870c and 4.270c respectively in future up to 2099. Higher (84mm) and lower (-67) rainfall will be expected in end term and near term respectively. Indigenous knowledge’s of weather forecast at Dessa’a were identified. Backward analogues showed that the climate variables of Dessa’a will be similar with the current climate variables of the Ethiopian valley at 2050. Therefore, climate  change adaptation strategies currently practiced in the Ethiopian valley can be adopted by Dessa’a as climate change adaptation strategies.

Keywords: Adaptation strategies, climate change, indigenous knowledge and weather forecast.