A team of French researchers received the 2011 Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award for drought reanalysis research on 24 May at a ceremony during the 16th World Meteorological Congress. The award encourages cooperation between meteorology and other sciences.
This drought reanalysis tool is now being used by Météo France, and has helped quantify that the current drought is the worst since 1958, said Dr. Jean-Pierre Vidal, on behalf of the winners.
We need to promote collaboration between meteorologists and hydrologists, and therefore we are grateful for this award, Mr Vidal added.
The paper, Multi-level and multi-scale drought reanalysis over France with the Safran-Isba-Modcou hydrological suite, was published in 2010 in Volume 14 of the Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, the journal of the European Sciences Union. The authors are Drs J.-P. Vidal, E. Martin, L. Franchistguy, F. Habets, J.-M. Soubeyroux, M. Blanchard, and M. Baillon. The paper traced the evolution of drought through its full cycle, including precipitation, river flow and soil moisture, thus serving as a basis to assess the impact of climate change on drought in France.
The scientists received a cash prize, medal and certificate during the ceremony, presented by WMO President Alexander Bedritskiy and Mrs Guiard-Gerbier. Mr Michel Jarraud WMO Secretary-General, Mr Franois Jacq, Chairman and Executive Director of Météo France, and H.E. Jean-Baptiste Matti, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of France in Geneva, also made presentations during the ceremony.
The award was instituted in 1987 in honour of Norbert Gerbier-Mumm, President of the WMO Technical Commission for Agricultural Meteorology from 1979 and 1985. The WMO Executive Council selected this years winners at its 62nd session in June 2010.