Pasadena, CA, USA, 11-13 December 2014

pasadena-cityThere 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. As part of an on-going effort to address this problem (building in particular on the outcomes of two previous workshops), we are requesting support for an international workshop focusing on the necessary next steps (including the identification of research gaps) for moving forward with an experimental global drought information system (GDIS). In particular, a key goal of this workshop is to develop a concrete implementation plan towards realizing practical continental scale pilots that will mesh with actual users (such as the food security community).

Sponsorship and support for the workshop are provided by the US National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 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). NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Climate Center and GEWEX are hosting the workshop and providing logistical support.

Proposed Attendees, Including Likely Number

Approximately 50-70 participants spanning the drought research community and selected representatives from applications communities and providers of regional and global drought information products throughout the world.

Proposed Invited Speakers

We expect to invite some of the leading drought researchers in the world to help summarize our current understanding of drought and to identify key research gaps. We will also invite representatives of various regional organizations (regional drought information providers) as well as providers of global drought information, some of which have already expressed an interest in participating in GDIS pilot projects.

Nature and Format of Meeting

The workshop will have the following sessions reflecting our main goals:

  • Day 1: Mechanisms/predictability of drought world-wide, with a focus on regional climate information and GDIS needs.
  • Day 2: Regional capabilities and needs versus global capabilities.
  • Day 3: Next steps: development of an implementation plan for a short duration pilot project to demonstrate current GDIS capabilities.

Day 1 invited speakers in particular will be asked to provide overview/review style presentations (rather than more specialized topics focused on their research alone) that will be conducive to obtaining a comprehensive global picture of research gaps. Day 2 will have invited talks from representatives of the key regional, national and international institutions/programs – with a focus on those groups that will participate in the planned pilot project. The meeting format will include sufficient time for discussion each day. Day 3 will focus on identifying a clear (and feasible) path toward a GDIS that takes into account current and emerging capabilities in drought monitoring and prediction. In addition to the invited talks, we expect to have posters including those from early career scientists and students.


Legler, D. and A. Pirani, 2009: WCRP Drought Interest Group (DIG) Coordinates Drought Research for Better Prediction of Regional Drought
D. Legler and A. Pirani, On behalf of the WCRP Drought Interest Group (DIG). CLIVAR Exchanges, 51, Oct 2009.