EGU24-3770, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

From development of multi-sectoral drought hazard indicators to global drought hazard propagation

Neda Abbasi1, Stefan Siebert1, Malte Weller1, Tina Trautmann2, Jan Weber3, Tinh Vu4, Ehsan Eyshi Rezaei5, Harald Kunstmann3,6, Harald Koethe4, Christof Lorenz3, and Petra Döll2,7
Neda Abbasi et al.
  • 1Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 3Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research – Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Garmisch- Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 4International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change at the Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany
  • 5Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany
  • 6Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 7Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt (SBiK-F), Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Droughts pose a substantial threat to various sectors, including agriculture, human water supply but also natural ecosystems. While various studies have been conducted for drought evaluation, the majority of them have focused on a particular drought type. This may lead to a lack of comprehensive understanding of the features and progression of droughts among different drought types through time. For example, for water resources management and planning purposes, it is critical to understand the changes and temporal development of drought signals from abnormal meteorological conditions to soil moisture, groundwater levels, and streamflow. Within the OUTLAST project, which aims at developing an operational, multi-sectoral global drought hazard forecasting system, we develop a near real-time drought hazard monitoring and forecasting system which, for the first time, includes tailored indicators for various sectors, including water supply, riverine and non-agricultural land ecosystems, as well as rainfed and irrigated agriculture. In this context, the primary objectives of this study are to 1) develop different drought hazard indicators (DHI) to monitor and forecast the drought across different sectors; and 2) assess the spread and propagation of droughts across different sectors and regions at a global scale. For this purpose, DHIs were computed for a 40-year reference period (1981 to 2020) using ERA5 as meteorological forcing data to drive the DHIs using the global hydrological model (WaterGAP) and the global crop water model (GCWM). These DHIs cover meteorological (SPEI and SPI), hydrological (empirical percentiles and relative deviations of soil moisture and streamflow), as well as agricultural droughts (crop-specific DHIs for rainfed and irrigated croplands). In this project, we focus on the period 2011 to 2015, with 2012 being a year in which droughts had major impacts on various regions and sectors. The study investigates drought propagation from meteorological drought, extending to rainfed agriculture due to soil moisture deficiency, over streamflow, and eventually reaching irrigated agriculture. In doing so, region-specific features and the dependency of drought propagation on the magnitude of the drought are highlighted. Finally, as monitoring and projecting drought characteristics are important for comprehending drought-related issues, our multi-sectoral drought hazard forecasting system enables us to evaluate the state of drought propagation at a global scale. 

How to cite: Abbasi, N., Siebert, S., Weller, M., Trautmann, T., Weber, J., Vu, T., Eyshi Rezaei, E., Kunstmann, H., Koethe, H., Lorenz, C., and Döll, P.: From development of multi-sectoral drought hazard indicators to global drought hazard propagation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3770,, 2024.