Publication: EUROCLIMA Desertification Land Degradation and Drought Observatory
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Year: 2014 ISBN:
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Summary:
EUROCLIMA is a regional cooperation Programme between the European Union and Latin America with emphasis on climate change (http://www.euroclima.org). Its goal is to facilitate the integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into Latin American public development policies and plans from national to regional levels. The Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) Component of the EUROCLIMA Programme focuses on sustainable agriculture and aims at improving regional food security. The main goal of technical and scientific activities on DLDD is to provide models, information and tools to support stakeholders in terms of addressing actions and decisions to tackle the effects of climate change on land degradation processes and droughts in Latin America. In the framework of the DLDD component of the EUROCLIMA Programme, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (EC-JRC) has been developing the prototype of an Observatory for drought forecasting, detection, and monitoring in Latin America, as well as addressing the biophysical aspects of land degradation for the region. The EUROCLIMA DLDD Observatory is conceived as a web-based information system (http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/scado), integrating information from various sources and disciplines relevant to detect and monitor droughts and the problem of land degradation throughout South-Central America. The Observatory is based on similar work currently being developed by the JRC for the European Drought Observatory (EDO, http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu), and is planned to access consistent information from different sources and to provide the means for exploring and connecting it at different spatial and temporal scales. Overall, the main idea for the system is that the JRC produces regular continental overview information derived predominantly from South-Central American scale datasets, whereas a network of national and regional authorities are expected to contribute with identical information derived from national and local datasets. The local and national levels of information are directly linked to the continental level in the Observatory, thus enabling a direct up- and downscaling comparison of DLDD information produced a various spatial scales. Currently, the DLDD indicators are made available for visualization and querying by means of a map viewer supported by an Oracle database. The web-based information system generates maps of the different indicators and provides functionalities to browse the maps online, query the data, produce graphs, and output the maps in various geographic formats for offline visualization and analysis. So far, the Observatory is performing the pre-operational production of drought indices using meteorological information and remote sensing data. In particular, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) shows the general precipitation status according to the historical average in a predefined accumulation period. SPI in a monthly step is calculated for the 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 48 months averaging periods from 1.0dd spatial resolution precipitation dataset covering the whole South-Central America. A satellite remote sensing indicator is also produced for agricultural drought monitoring based on 10-daily Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetic Active Radiation (fAPAR) anomalies. fAPAR 10-day composites are currently obtained from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Products of mean drought duration and probability of drought occurrence based on historical time-series of monthly precipitation data at the 0.5dd spatial resolution are also available for the region. In addition, the Observatory provides relevant and spatial continuous baseline information layers for addressing land degradation issues based on innovative satellite remote sensing approaches. Using satellite based time-series imagery, vegetation phenology and productivity metrics for the whole continent have been analyzed and made available in the Observatory. Such metrics have been calculated from the NOAA-AVHRR satellite vegetation index time-series extending from 1982 until now. Future thematic developments direct towards drought prediction products using meteorological forecasting models applied to drought indices such as the SPI, and developing models for mapping drought vulnerability and risk. To fulfil the user necessities for the region, it is expected the Observatory to provide products that reflect the impacts of climate change on drought frequency, duration and severity. Regarding land degradation, research is converging for the production of Human- Environment (H-E) system productivity maps, as well as for mapping the respective economic valuation aspects considering the effects of climate change.
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