CHG - News
Climate Early Warning Sparks SADC Member States to Expedite National Vulnerability Assessments for Timely Regional Aid
Climate Early Warning Sparks SADC Member States to Expedite National Vulnerability Assessments for Timely Regional Aid
American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Fall Meeting Hosts Climate Hazards Center’s Researchers and Affiliates
The Climate Hazards Center proudly announces its participation at AGU’s 2018 Fall Meeting
publication:“Examining the role of unusually warm Indo-Pacific sea-surface temperatures in recent African droughts” in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
The Climate Hazards Center is proud to announce that our article, “Examining the role of unusually warm Indo-Pacific sea-surface temperatures in recent African droughts,” has been published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS).
CHG becomes CHC!
The CHG is proud to announce that we have transitioned to the Climate Hazards Center, an institution based upon the principles of scientific integrity and excellence in early warning and climate risk management and adaptation.
CHG explores precipitation response by strength of El Nino events
CHG members Catherine Pomposi, Chris Funk, Shraddanand Shukla, Laura Harrison and Tamuka Magadzire collaborated on an article titled, "Distinguising Southern Africa precipitation response by strength of El Nino events and implications for decision-making". This article has been published into IOP Science.
CHG studies linkages between rainfall and out-migration in Mali
An article titled, "Examining rural Sahelian out-migration in the context of climate change: An analysis of the linkages between rainfall and out-migration in two Malian villages from 1981 to 2009" has been published in the Journal of World Development, co-authored by Professor Kathryn Grace and Greg Husak, of Climate Hazards Group.
Grace examines climate variability and birth weight in Mali and Kenya
An article titled, "Climate, Birth Weight, and Agricultural Livelihoods in Kenya and Mali" has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, co-authored by Professor Kathryn Grace, of Climate Hazards Group.
Greg Husak co-authors article studying crop area in Tigray, Ethiopia
An article titled, "Smallholder crop area mapped with wall-to-wall WorldView sub-meter panchromatic image texture: A test case for Tigray, Ethiopia" has been published in the upcoming volume of Remote Sensing of Environment, co-authored by Dr. Greg Husak of Climate Hazards Group.
CHG studies Kenyan Maize Yields Response to Climate Variability
A study involving CHG & USGS scientists published in the Climatic Change journal analyzes the response of Kenyan maize yields to near-term climate change and explore potential mitigation options.
Chris Funk co-authors article published into International Journal of Climatology
An article titled, "Assessing recovery and change in West Africa's rainfall regime from a 161‐year record" by Chris Funk, Sharon E. Nicholson, and Andreas H. Fink was published by the Royal Meteorological Society into the International Journal of Climatology.
CHG hosts trainings in Tanzania and Kenya, Africa
2018 has already been a busy year for the Climate Hazards Group, as members held two trainings at the end of January and early February in Tanzania and Kenya, Africa. The first training, "SERVIR ESA Regional Hydroclimate Services Training Workshop" was held from January 30th to February 2nd, 2018 in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania. From February 5th to 8th, Climate Hazards Group held another training, titled, "GeoMod and hydrometeorological data for climate impact assessments" in Nairobi, Kenya at the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC).
Chris Funk co-authors article published in Global and Planetary Change
An article titled, "Rainfall over the African continent from the 19th through the 21st century" by Chris Funk, Sharon E. Nicholson, and Andreas H. Fink was published into the Global and Planetary Change issue to be released in June 2018.
CHG's research published in Scientia
In the latest edition of Scientia Global, CHG and their work was highlighted in an article titled, "Improved Drought Early Warning Science Helps Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa". The article summarizes CHG's work with climate and hydrologic models, satellite-based earth observations, and socio-economic data sets to predict and monitor droughts and food shortages among the world's most vulnerable populations, supporting critical planning and timely humanitarian assistance. Contributing researchers from the CHG are Chris Funk, Tamuka Magadzire, Gregory Husak, Alkhalil Addoum, Mario Rodriguez, Shraddhanand Shukla, Frank Davenport, Gideon Galu, and Diriba Korecha.
FEWS NET data featured in NASA's Earth Observatory Image of the Day
The article discusses a record low in levels of "snow water equivilent" coming from the snowpack in Afganistan. These levels are concerning as, "snowmelt is an important source of water for crops and irrigation". USAID's Famine Early Warnings Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported that the high temperatures are expected to deplete the snowpack "sooner than normal, resulting in possible irrigation water shortages in April and May". The map on the right shows conditions on February 21, 2018, amid a low snowpack; while the left map shows conditions on February 21, 2017.
Edhat features article on CHG's successful predictions
An article titled, "Drought & Food Insecurity Predictions" was published on Edhat Santa Barbara discussing the work of the Climate Hazards Group and the predicitions made involving droughts beginning in 2015 in Ethiopia. According to the article, "Working with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) as well as scientists from the Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the multidisciplinary team has been able to deliver skillful predictions of both drought and famine that have helped reduce the effects of food insecurity. Their latest findings appear in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorologic Society."
CHG and FEWS NET featured in New York Times
An article titled, "Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World's Poorest" by Somini Sengupta was published into the New York Times early this week. The article features Chris Funk, Gideon Galu and their work with Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), looking at 30 years of weather data in East Africa. Funk linked recent drought to the long-term warming of the western Pacific Ocean as well as higher land temperatures in East Africa, both products of human-induced climate change.
CHG contributes to Journal of Climate
An article titled, "Attribution Analysis of the Ethiopian Drought of 2015" (10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0274.1) co-authored by Chris Funk was published into the Journal of Climate, vol. 31, no. 6. on March 1st, 2018. The article is available online and you may obtain the final citation information and download a copy of the PDF.
CHIRPS used to analyze Capetown water shortage
An article published by the Washington Post on Cape Town, South Africa and its diminishing reservoir water quantity due to climate-change induced droughts, featured a season rainfall map from Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station Data (CHIRPS) report.
COP23 Africa Day features PREPARED Project report
On Africa Day of COP23, the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development (PREPARED) Program presented a brief report on vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation assessment (VIA) in the East Africa region (with a special focus on the Lake Victoria Basin) to support programs and development plans by decision and policy makers. Chris Funk of the Climate Hazards Group contributed to the report and is listed as the lead author. Gideon Galu coordinated the creation of the report.
CHG station data provider Kukua receives Microsoft award
Kukua, a data provider for CHG, has been award a Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative (AAI) grant.According to Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative website, "Kukua's grant will be used to conduct an impact study in Uganda, and further develop its apps, products, and delivery channels with an aim of improving and better scaling its solution."
CHG hosts GSFC collaborators
The Climate Hazards Group hosted our colleagues from the Hydrologic Sciences group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for a day of collaboration and information sharing.
CHIRPS Contributed to Women's Health Research
The Climate Hazard's Group CHIRPS dataset has been used in a recently published paper in Nature Climate Change. The paper examines women's health research with regards to climate and weather.
CHG recognized with Inspiring Service Emerald Award
The efforts of the Climate Hazards Group in tracking drough across eastern Africa have been recognized with an Inspiring Service Emerald Award for addressing the the UN Sustainable Development Goals "Zero Hunger", "Sustainable Cities and Communities", and "Partnership for the Goals".
Funk, CHG work featured in light of Somalia drought
In light of the severe drought in Somalia, UC Santa Barbara's The Current featured Chris Funk and the work of the CHG in predicting the current climate hazard. The work featured echoes the disaterous conditions of Ethiopia in 1984 as well as the early warning efforts to mitigate famine in Ethiopia in 2011 and in Somalia in 2015.
NASA-SERVIR Grant Awarded
A NASA-SERVIR grant awarded to The Climate Hazards Group's researchers and collaborators for a three years project titled "Enhancing Eastern and Southern Africa climate services by increasing access to remote sensing and model datasets".
The CHG Contributes to New Leaf Area Index Paper
Earth Systems Dynamics has published a paper titled co-authored by CHG scientists Laura Harrison and Chris Funk in their first issue of Volume 7, 2016.
A Profile of the Climate Hazards Group
This profile of the Climate Hazard's Group was writeen by Emily Williams and originally posted in the UCSB Geography departmental newsletter.
CHG contributes to "Reviving The Rice Mother"
The CHG contributed to a short documentary on the effects of climate change on Thai rice farming called "Reviving The Rice Mother".
Recent study examines the relationship between temperature, precipitation and birth weight in Africa
A recent publication in Global Environmental Change) examines the relationship between birth weight, precipitation, and temperature in 19 African countries and finds that higher temperatures have a negative impact on birth weight.
Recent study examines impacts of high temperatures on the Water Year 2014 drought in California
A recent study (now accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters) examines the role that higher-than-normal temperatures played in exacerbating the severity of the Water Year 2014 drought in California.
Widespread media coverage of Kelley paper linking Syria conflict to climate change
A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America with the CHG's Colin Kelley as lead author sparked widespread media attention when it demonstrated a connection between the 2007-2010 Syrian drought, athropogenic climate change, and the ongoing conflict there.
CHIRPS Version 2.0 Available as of February 12, 2015
CHIRPS Version 2.0 Released!
Important Alert Regarding CHIRPS for Eastern Equatorial Africa
Alert regarding data irregularities in CHIRPS for Eastern Equatorial Africa.
Environmental Monitor features article on CHIRPS
The Environmental Monitor, published by Fondriest Environmental, is a print and online magazine for environmental monitoring specialists. Chris Funk sat down with Alex Card, a journalist for Environmental Monitor, to discuss the CHIRPS dataset and its impact on drought monitoring and early warning systems.
CHG travels to International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai, UAE
The UCSB Geography Department's online newsletter highlights CHG scientist's (Dr. Andrew Hoell and Dr. Colin Kelley, as well as Dr. Amy McNally, now at NASA Goddard) visit to International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai, UAE.
UCSB Newsletter and USGS Science Features highlight new CHG CHIRPS The State of Rain.
UC Santa Barbara's The Current, the University's newsletter, and USGS's Science Features top story recently featured an article outlining the structure and benefits of the new CHIRPS dataset.
CHIRPS Version 1.8 Available as of May 1st, 2014
CHIRPS Version 1.8, a 30+ year quasi-global terrestrial rainfall dataset is ready for release and available to the public as of May 1st, 2014.
CHG Partner Update for Upcoming CSP Newsletter
An update for the Climate Services Partnership (CSP) newsletter (out soon) which focuses on the CHG's partnership with FEWS NET on the GeoCLIM training implemented in several East African countries in support of the USAID/PREPARED project.
Climate Services Partnership Recognizes CHG Contributions to Food Security Decision Making
Climate Services Partnership, a loose coalition aimed at improving and disseminating climate services worldwide, has released a case study on CHG detailing our operations and contributions to food security decision making.
ScienceBlog interviews Joel Michaelsen, Greg Husak and Chris Funk
The website ScienceBlog has interviewed Joel Michaelsen, Greg Husak and Chris Funk regarding the science of drought prediction. The article explains how this relates to food security and illustrates the many facets of the Climate Hazards Group mission.
CHG Examines the Emerging Role of Indian Ocean Sea Surface Temperature
In an article in Climate Dynamics entitled "Recent summer precipitation trends in the Greater Horn of Africa and the emerging role of Indian Ocean sea surface temperature", CHG researchers continue to examine the effects the warming Indian Ocean has on precipitation in the Greater Horn of Africa.
Jankowska interviewed in Nature Climate Change regarding collaborative study with CHG
Monica Contestabile from Nature Climate Change recently interviewed Marta Jankowska, an SDSU graduate student working with David López-Carr of UCSB Geography, regarding a recent collaborative study between Professor Carr's HED Lab and CHG.
Famine Officially Declared in Somalia
On July 20th, 2011, the United Nations officially declared that Southern Somalia was suffering from famine. The effort to predict, forestall, declare and mitigate the famine is a collaborative effort involving many people in several organizations. Data collected and analyzed by CHG played a key role in the prediction of the famine conditions and facilitated the preparations necessary to mitigate the already heartbreaking death toll resulting from the humanitarian crisis there - though it is not enough. Oppressive militant groups and compounding food production and distribution issues have created the worst famine in sixty years. Back in the states, conjecture about the causes of global warming make famine a contentious issue and serve to obfuscate the very real crisis at hand.
PRI's The World on Famine
Recently PRI's The World aired a segment called "What Constitutes a Famine?". In the story they explored the reasons why governmental agencies have been reluctant to declare famine in Somalia, which is currently in the midst of a severe food emergency.
CHG Tools Featured in Geospatial Revolution, Episode Four
Geospatial Revolution is a production of Penn State Public Broadcasting. It aims to raise awareness of geospatial technology and the importance of its impact. The fourth and final episode concentrates on monitoring global climate change, preventing famine, tracking disease and mapping communities never before seen on a map. During an interview with Molly Brown from NASA, images from EWX and GeoWRSI are shown as examples of tools used to help prevent starvation in struggling nations.
USAID: 2010/2011 One of the Driest years in Eastern Africa in 60 Years
In order to provide some historical context for the current drought in Eastern Africa, FEWS NET/USGS has compared rainfall totals from the past year with comparable data for the last 60 years for specific drought-affected pastoral areas of Kenya and Ethiopia. This analysis indicates that rainfall was below-average in all analysis areas with 2010/11 being the driest or second driest year since 1950/51 in 11 of the 15 analyzed pastoral zones.
CHG Collaborates with EROS Data Center to produce The Decision Support Interface (DSI)
6-1-2011 | mentioned: Greg Husak
The Decision Support Interface (DSI) represents a joint initiative by EROS Data Center and UCSB to provide decision makers with a one-stop overview of rainfall conditions in crop growing areas of Africa.
Solve Climate News Consults the Climate Hazards Group
3-23-2011 | mentioned: Chris Funk
Solve Climate News, an online source for climatological news and analysis, recently consulted Climate Hazards Group's Chris Funk regarding his recent article with Park Williams in Climate Dynamics.
Chris Funk Featured in Kenyan Newspaper
2-28-2011 | mentioned: Chris Funk
Chris Funk was cited in a recent article in Kenya's daily newspaper regarding the drought in Eastern Africa.
New CHG Article in 'Climate Dynamics'
1-11-2011 | mentioned: Chris Funk, A. Park Williams

A recent collaboration between A. Park Williams and Chris Funk has been published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics. The work shows a connection between warming in the Indian Ocean and suppression of convective rainfall during the Long Rains season of March through June in eastern Kenya and Ethiopia. The paper clearly has food security implications and also has implications for the way we interpret projections of tropical circulation and precipitation made by GCMs. While GCMs tend to project a decreased atmospheric Walker Circulation over the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans (slower over-turning circulation between the eastern tropical Pacific cold-tongue region and western Pacific/Indian Ocean Warm pool), the paper shows that, thus far, a slowed Walker circulation cannot be detected in the observed climate record. Instead, it shows that the Warm Pool has extended westward into the Indian Ocean, causing the western, convective branch of the Walker Circulation to extend to the west as well.

As evaporation, convection, and precipitation have increased over the Indian Ocean, circulation has been altered in surrounding areas including the Horn of Africa.

A. Park Williams, Chris Funk and Joel Michaelsen are continuing to work with the data from June through September of 2010. Preliminary findings indicate the impacts of Indian Ocean warming on atmospheric circulation during these months are equally or more striking. Impacts on the Horn of Africa appear to include a slowdown/shutdown of moisture transports from the Congo Basin. The article is published with Open Access and can be downloaded from SpringerLink here.

CHG Participates in Agristat Workshop
10-21-2010 | mentioned: Greg Husak
Greg Husak was in Brussels October 13-14, 2010 to participate in the Agrisat Workshop there. The objective of the workshop was to "review the state of the art, the current issues and the way forward in agricultural monitoring systems for different regions of the world". The CHG's experience in performing cropped area estimates for a number of locations in Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and central Asia allowed for insight on the current state of the practice in estimating cropped area. Furthermore, past experience with very high resolution data provided an opportunity for discussion about ways to incorporate this information in future work.