John Dalton Medal Lecture by Martha C. Anderson & Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Niko Wanders


John Dalton Medal Lecture by Martha C. Anderson & Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Niko Wanders
Convener: Maria-Helena Ramos
| Tue, 24 May, 19:00–20:00 (CEST)
Room B

Session assets

Presentations: Tue, 24 May | Room B

Chairperson: Maria-Helena Ramos
Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture
On-site presentation
Niko Wanders

Droughts have major economic, social and environmental impacts around the world, and they are expected to increase in severity and magnitude because of changes in climate and its variability. In recent years we have seen incredible developments in the field of drought research and we have significantly improved our understanding of this complex phenomenon. While observations have become more abundant, we have also seen significant improvements in hydrological models that are better constrained by these observations. These model improvements also include the addition of new, relevant processes, needed to fully understand drought feedbacks.

In this talk I will discuss my experience with modeling drought at larger scales and including human-water interactions at these scales. These models are also used to study the impact of climate change on drought and show the impact of rising temperatures on society’s exposure to these impactful events. Spatial resolutions of hydrological models have improved significantly and the complexity of processes that we are able to simulate has increased, leading to exciting new insights. At the same time, we have to communicate these findings with not only the scientific community, but also the general public. This brings new challenges for scientists and affects our science.

I’ll highlight recent advances in the field of drought research and hydrological modelling, as well as frontiers and interesting developments in the field. I’ll mention some key challenges that we still have to face to better understand the impact and feedbacks of extreme hydroclimatic events.

How to cite: Wanders, N.: Dry drier drought – Understanding drought in a changing society and climate, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3416,, 2022.

John Dalton Medal Lecture
Virtual presentation
Martha Anderson, Yun Yang, Jie Xue, Kyle Knipper, Yang Yang, Feng Gao, Christopher Hain, Thomas Holmes, William Kustas, Milan Fischer, and Mirek Trnk

Thermal infrared (TIR) and visible/near-infrared (VNIR) surface reflectance imagery from remote sensing can be effectively combined in surface energy balance models to map evapotranspiration (ET) and vegetation stress, with broad applications in agriculture, forestry, and water resource management. Particularly valuable are ET retrievals at medium resolution (100 m or finer), resolving scales at which water and land are actively managed over much of the Earth’s surface. At this scale, TIR and VNIR data in the Landsat archive provide a 40-year and growing global record of coupled land and water use change.  In this presentation we will discuss the unique information content conveyed by the land-surface temperature signal regarding the surface moisture status and vegetation health. We will explore applications for field-scale temperature and ET retrievals in promoting sustainable water use, forest health, and regenerative agricultural practices. Widespread and routine generation of ET data at this scale has been enabled by cloud computing technologies, with the OpenET ensemble modeling platform as an example of collaborative geospatial information development.  Looking forward, integration of Landsat with new sources of medium-resolution TIR imagery (e.g., ECOSTRESS, LSTM, TRISHNA, SBG, Landsat-Next, and Hydrosat), as well as all-sky microwave-based temperature retrievals, will improve our ability to detect rapid changes in water use and availability – a key factor in real-time decision making.

How to cite: Anderson, M., Yang, Y., Xue, J., Knipper, K., Yang, Y., Gao, F., Hain, C., Holmes, T., Kustas, W., Fischer, M., and Trnk, M.: On the value of thermal infrared remote sensing for water and land management, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6797,, 2022.