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The goal of the project GlobeDrought is to develop, with stakeholder support, a web-based information system to comprehensively characterize droughts and their impacts (see framework proposal). The drought information system is to provide information on drought occurrence (drought hazard) and drought impacts/risks for a historical time period with good data availability (ca. 2003-2015) at the global scale and for selected regions. In addition, also globally and for selected regions, it will integrate and experimental drought early warning system, which as prototype will enable a drought monitoring to near-real time and will simulate a probabilistic drought forecast. The goals of the sub-project of University of Bonn are to characterize drought hazard by analyzing precipitation records (meteorological drought hazard, UB-IGG), crop modelling (agronomic drought hazard, UB-INRES), total water storage changes derived from GRACE gravity measurements (hydrological drought hazard, UB-IGG) as well as by deriving drought indices using remote sensing (UB-ZFL). Drought hazard will be quantified at global extent and, with more detail, for selected drought affected regions like Southern Africa. Another scientific objective is the analysis of drought impacts on international trade flows (UB-INRES). UB-INRES is also responsible for the coordination of the GlobeDrought project. Therefore, additional administrative-technical objectives are to coordinate the collaboration between project partners, stakeholders and users of the drought information system which will be developed in co-design. A focus of the activities will be on the improvement of the simulation results of the hydrological model WaterGAP by assimilation of total water storage changes derived from GRACE gravity measurements (UB-IGG in collaboration with University of Frankfurt). Likewise, the simulation results of the crop model solution SIMPLACE <LINTUL5, DRUNIR, CanopyT> will be improved by assimilation of remotely sensed land use, leaf area index and surface temperature data (UB-INRES, UB-ZFL). For the selected regions, the models WaterGAP and SIMPLACE will be coupled to 1) improve the modeling of hydrological drought hazard by WaterGAP and 2) to improve crop yields and water use simualted by SIMPLACE for irrigated crops by using information for available irrigation wate rresources provided by WaterGAP (collaboration with AG Döll, University of Frankfurt). The results of global and regional simulations will become essential component of the drought information system which will be developed jointly with stakeholder and user support.

Team at ZFL

Dr. Olena Dubovyk (Project coordinator)

Dr. Valerie Graw

Dr. Javier González

Jonas Schreier


GlobeDrought is an integrat part of the “Global Resource Water (GROW)” program in the framework program FONA (Research for Sustainable Development) funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

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