Last month's WCRP Global Drought Information System Workshop

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Drought Interest Group (DIG), together with CLIVAR, GEWEX, GEO, the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, NSF, and NIDIS, sponsored a WCRP Global Drought Information System (GDIS) workshop in Frascati, Italy, in April 2012, focused on determining the needs and the steps necessary for the development of a GDIS. 

The key recommendation of the workshop was that the community should move forward with the development of the basic elements of the GDIS consisting of: 1) an experimental real-time global monitoring and prediction system; 2) a drought catalogue summarizing our understanding of drought world-wide, and 3) a research component centered on internationally coordinated cases studies of recent high profile droughts, with strong ties to users. 

The recommendations include specific steps on how to move forward on each component including the critical role of pilot studies that target existing national and other regional drought information systems in the validation and evaluation of the global products (e.g., in the highly vulnerable AGRHYMET-Sahel (Ali 2012) and Greater Horn of Africa areas (Galu 2012; Verdin 2012)). 

The workshop recommendations also emphasized the need to gain institutional commitments to contribute products to the GDIS including various satellite and in situ observations, reanalyses, and global predictions, that are required to conduct real-time global drought monitoring and prediction (e.g., Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) (Begueria et al. 2010), and Soil Moisture Anomalies (Sheffield et al. 2009)). 

GDIS workshop participants

For more information on the workshop, and on other activities of the WCRP Drought Interest Group, click here.

During and after the sessions, all participants could drop any extra advice, inspiration, suggestions or other insights on drought and water scarcity in a so called ´GDIS conclusion paper box´: these can be viewed via the following link: