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.