Abstract Author: Stefan Niemeyer
Abstract Title: Towards a European Drought Observatory
Abstract: Droughts have received increasing interest in Europe due to repeated drought events in the last decade throughout the continent. In 2007, the European Commission presented a Communication on Water Scarcity and Droughts as a first step towards concerted actions in this field. One cornerstone for public awareness rising, preparedness, and early warning is the development of a European Drought Observatory (EDO) by 2012; accordingly, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is currently developing a first prototype of EDO.
The Observatory is planned to consist of multiple scale information: Besides hosting the portal of EDO JRC will produce consistent continental overview information on droughts derived predominantly from European scale datasets. National and regional authorities will produce drought information derived from national and local datasets, providing additional local information that is not available at the continental scale. The regional and national level of information will be directly linked to the continental level in the portal, thus enabling a direct up- and downscaling and comparison of drought information produced a various spatial scales.
Current products on precipitation, soil moisture, and vegetation development derived from observations and modelling to be used for drought monitoring and forecasting in EDO will be presented.