Drought is a climate extreme that is usually driven by a lack of precipitation and high atmospheric water demand. Depending on the duration, effects and intensity, drought can be classified into four types: meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic. The first three types deal with the physical phenomenon, while the last is associated with the socio-economic effects of drought.

Droughts can have substantial impacts on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Due to climate change, an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts and heat waves is expected in some regions. Therefore, CLIMERS is investigating this complex phenomenon by researching how to use novel Earth Observation data for improving monitoring, modelling and forecasting of droughts and their impacts.

Ongoing projects

Climate change increases the risk of severe weather events in central Europe. Increasing resilience to droughts, heatwaves and fires is urgent but tools that monitor and predict these phenomena are widely missing. The Clim4Cast project establishes a new weather forecast tool, which will be integrated into existing national monitoring platforms of seven countries. 

Read more on the Clim4Cast project page

Completed projects

In DryPan, we integrated several European EO datasets to characterize drought and to forecast drought impacts on agriculture in the Pannonian Basin.

Read more on the DryPan page

The salt pans of the National Park Neusiedler See - Seewinkel in Burgenland, Austria, are the only Central European wetlands located in the steppe ecoregion with important functions for biodiversity. In FEMOWINKEL, we mapped the dynamics of salt pans using the complete Landsat 5 and 8 archive to develop a time series of water extent from 1985 to 2021.

Read more on the FEMOWINKEL page

The main objective of this project was to support World Bank Crisis and Disaster Risk Finance activities in the area of anticipatory and/or parametric climate risk financing with tailored data- and research-driven approaches applied to promising satellite-derived datasets that have so far not been considered for operational purposes.

Read more on the Smart-DRI page