Drought early warning information systems: Towards a new generation of risk-informed decision-support

Author

Markus Enenkel

Mark Svoboda

Source(s)
Frontiers in Climate
A farmer overlooking his dried up field.
Edgar G Biehle/Shutterstock

About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 28 February 2023

Manuscript Submission Deadline 28 June 2023

Climate change projections suggest more frequent and more severe droughts over large parts of the land surface. In addition to different definitions across climate regions, affected sectors, and scientific disciplines, drought-related losses are often seriously underestimated, and many impacts not explicitly attributed to drought. Another major challenge is the critical disconnect between the monitoring and prediction of large-scale droughts and community-level impacts. In short, drought remains one of the most challenging climate extremes.

Fortunately, scientific capacities to monitor and predict drought hazards and socioeconomic or environmental impacts are increasing. However, the entry barrier for practitioners to embed drought early warning systems into decision-support systems remains high. Hence, this special issue aims to align novel data, tools, and methods with the practical needs of stakeholders in various domains, such as humanitarian assistance (incl. anticipatory action), agricultural and water resource monitoring, or disaster risk finance.

It is time to translate more data into actionable knowledge and information to complement global strategies with capacity building at the national and community level. During COP 27, the UN World Meteorological Organization revealed plans to reach everyone on the planet with early warnings against increasingly extreme weather and climate shocks within five years. A wide range of scientific studies and the latest UNDRR Special Report on Drought call for more proactive and integrated drought risk management solutions. These systems need to allow a transition of the humanitarian system from a response to a more forward-looking approach in which early warning is a prerequisite for acting ahead of the disaster. There are many success stories of researchers and practitioners joining forces to develop truly risk-informed decision-making systems. This special issue will present some of the most ground-breaking findings, solutions, and lessons learned with a focus on drought.

We welcome all article types accepted by Frontiers in Climate except clinical trial, curriculum, and correction. Most importantly, submissions should highlight the practical impact that the presented work had or could have on decision-making processes. Furthermore, we encourage researchers to join forces with practitioners to describe and analyze the (potential) added-value and limitations of their research.

Possible themes/communities could be:

  • Food security, malnutrition
  • Agricultural monitoring
  • Climate services/forecasting
  • Climate change/loss and damage
  • Drought Impact monitoring
  • Impact-based forecasting
  • Remote Sensing
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Humanitarian Decision-support/Anticipatory action
  • Disaster risk finance
  • Water resource management
  • Research on systemic risk, compound and cascading risks (e.g. drought vs. epidemics, pests, or conflict)
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