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Taikan Oki

Special Advisor to the President, Professor, The University of Tokyo

Prof. Oki received his Ph.D in Civil Engineering at The University of Tokyo in 1993. Prof. Oki's most important and wide-reaching work has been in demonstrating the connections between the hydrologic cycle, renewable water resources, the global economy, and sustainability culminating in his 2006 paper in Science. Prof. Oki has demonstrated the tight nexus among local hydrologic sustainability, climate, and macroscale socioeconomic pressures. As a citizen of an island nation highly dependent on the import of natural resources and foodstuffs, he has demonstrated clearly how the international exchange of "virtual water", that needed to produce agricultural and other commodities traded on the global market, can exacerbate vulnerabilities in water-poor regions. Early in his career Prof. Oki developed a global river routing dataset for climate applications, Total Runoff Integrating Pathways (TRIP), which continues to be widely used around the world to study large-scale hydrology and the water cycle. It is a part of many climate models including those used in assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). He was one of the coordinating lead authors for Chapter 3 “Freshwater Resources” of the IPCC WGII AR5, and a review editor for Chapter 8 “Poverty, Livelihoods and Sustainable Development” of IPCC WGII AR6. He has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the Biwako Prize for Ecology in 2011, and the Japan Academy Medal in 2008. He is the first Japanese AGU Fellow in its Hydrology Section with quotes "For interdisciplinary research and leadership bridging hydrology, climate, and sustainability through numerical modeling and scientific analysis." He became a full member of the Club of Rome and the Science Council of Japan in October 2020, and he won the 2021 International Hydrology Prize (Dooge medal).

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