Drought and the Factors That Make It — Monitoring Drought from Space

Category: Managing Water Quality and Precipitation Anomalies
Project Team: Uruguay Agriculture III
Team Location: International Research Institute for Climate and Society – Palisades, New York

DSI map along with the proposed methods of displaying the drought driver components within the map. Image Credit: Uruguay Agriculture III Team

DSI map along with the proposed methods of displaying the drought driver components within the map. Image Credit: Uruguay Agriculture III Team

Authors:
Jerrod Lessel
Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Mentors/Advisors:
Dr. Pietro Ceccato (International Research Institute for Climate Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University)

Past/Other Contributors:
Jerrod Lessel (Center Lead)
Alex Sweeney

Abstract:

The importance of monitoring drought is indispensable for countries whose economic viability is strongly tied to agriculture. Droughts are a major concern for the country of Uruguay, affecting agricultural and energy sectors. Developing an accurate and reliable remotely sensed drought-monitoring tool can aid government agencies in disseminating drought information to local stakeholders will be helpful in sustaining these important economic sectors. This study is built on the Drought Severity Index (DSI) from previous terms by modifying the scaling method within the model as well as adding a ternary diagram showing the values of each of the parameters within the DSI. The DSI is based off of methodology from Rhee et al. (2010), which uses the climatological anomalies of NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) daytime land surface temperature (LST) data, precipitation data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s Morphing Technique (CMORPH), and MODIS Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) data. This modified DSI as well as the parameter ternary diagrams have the potential to aid the Instituto Nacional de Investigacion Agropecuaria (INIA) and the Ministry of Agriculture in informing land managers, insurance providers, and policymakers in drought preparation and mitigation practices.

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