Drought events pose a threat to crop productivity, can cause socioeconomic impacts such as decreased farmer income, and may even result in the need for international food aid. While several drought information and early warning systems are operational, they do not typically make use of the information available across scientific fields and tend to rely on simple indicators which only describe either agricultural, meteorological or hydrological drought alone. Information on socioeconomic factors that strongly affect drought impacts are also rarely considered, despite their importance.
GlobeDrought combines spatially explicit, historical information on drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability from meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic sources to provide reliable and comprehensive information on drought risk at a global level. These global analyses will be complemented by more detailed assessments in regions severely affected by droughts, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Missouri Basin (USA), Maharashtra State (India) and Ceará State (Brazil). In addition, this information will be used to model future trends in an experimental early warning system.
The project will produce a spatially explicit description of drought risks by considering three components: drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability. It will investigate how droughts impact water resources, crop productivity, trade in food products and the need for international food aid. In terms of methodology, the project aims to link satellite-based remote sensing and analyses of precipitation data with hydrological modelling and yield modelling. This will produce indicators for characterizing meteorological, hydrological and agricultural droughts, which in turn will make it possible to quantify drought risks. Analyses of socioeconomic data will provide the basis for quantifying exposure and vulnerability.
Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen; IGG-Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn; ZFL-Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces, University of Bonn; Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt; Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University; Welthungerhilfe