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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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 was cited in a recent article in Kenya's daily newspaper regarding the drought in Eastern Africa.
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.
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.