Global Drought Information System

Global Drought Information System



17 December 2014

A group of international experts convened in Pasadena, USA to discuss the next steps in coordinating global and regional information on drought monitoring, forecasting, and management. The Global Drought Information System (GDIS) Workshop: Next Steps was held from 11-13 December 2014 to review the physical mechanisms and predictability of drought world-wide, review and discuss regional capabilities and needs versus global capabilities, and to develop pilot projects as part of a limited duration real time demonstration of current GDIS capabilities.

As such, the workshop goals address the fact that there is currently no global, authoritative, and consistent information on drought that is easily accessible to all users, including such information as our understanding of the physical mechanisms and predictability of drought, real time assessments of on-going drought, and predictions.

A key outcome of the workshop was that representatives of many existing regional and global drought initiatives tentatively agreed to contribute to the GDIS pilots including the WMO/GWP Integrated Drought Management Programme. In addition, the review of drought research provided a wide-ranging assessment of current understanding and capabilities, as well as highlighting the key gaps that limit our ability to predict and monitor drought world-wide.

The workshop participants also agreed to develop a GDIS concept note in the next three months that establishes a framework for participation in the GDIS, and work to add regional and global monitoring products as well as compile a list of peer-reviewed global drought forecasting products to the existing GDIS web portal. The GDIS web portal is supported by US National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and hosted by the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

The workshop was hosted by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Climate Center, and the Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges Project (GEWEX), which is a core project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).  Sponsorship and support for the workshop were provided by the US NIDIS program, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP (GEWEX, CLIVAR), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), and through the efforts of the US CLIVAR program, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs on Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) and Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP).   

There were more than 60 participants from 15 countries spanning the drought research community and selected representatives from applications communities and providers of regional and global drought information products throughout the world.

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