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).
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.
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".
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
New CHG Article in 'Climate Dynamics'
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
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.