David Griggs, RMetS President, past vice-chair of the World Climate Research Programme:
"Why the use of weather and climate information is essential for SDG implementation"

Monique Kuglitsch, Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunication, speaking on:
"Nature can be disruptive, so can technology: ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management"

Prof. Lena M Tallaksen, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo :
"Drought in a changing climate – a pan-European view "

For details on the speakers see:

Convener: Sylvain M. Joffre
| Fri, 03 Sep, 10:00–12:00 (CEST)

Session assets

Session materials

Presentations: Fri, 03 Sep

Chairperson: Bert Holtslag
Strategic Lectures on Sustainable Development Goals
David Griggs

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious plan for “people, “planet and prosperity”. At its core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the achievement of which is critically affected by weather and a changing climate. To that end emphasis has been given to delivering weather and climate services, with information packaged in ways that support timely decision making.

Yet often these approaches tend not to address which decision-making processes need what information, why they need it, or what form they need it in. They have also tended to be focussed on specific situations and SDGs (such as SDG 14, 15) where the need for weather and climate information is clear and obvious.

In this presentation, we will look at how weather and climate information impinges on different decision making contexts, requiring that information to be tailored in new ways. In doing so we will identify key action areas that need to be addressed to improve integration of weather and climate information into SDG decision making. 

How to cite: Griggs, D.: Why the use of weather and climate information is essential for SDG implementation, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-482,, 2021.

Monique Kuglitsch

To enhance the preparedness for (and response to) natural disasters, the ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM) explores the potential of AI to support data collection, handling, and monitoring; to improve modeling across spatiotemporal scales (reconstructions and forecasts) through extracting complex patterns (and gaining insights) from a growing volume of geospatial data, and to provide effective communication. To achieve these objectives, FG-AI4NDM converges stakeholders and experts from across the globe with special effort made to support participation from low- and mid-income countries and those countries shown to be particularly impacted by these types of events.

How to cite: Kuglitsch, M.: Nature can be disruptive, so can technology: ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on AI for Natural Disaster Management, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-8,, 2021.

Chairperson: Sylvain M. Joffre
Strategic Lecture on Europe and droughts: Hydrometeorological processes, forecasting and preparedness
Lena M. Tallaksen

Hydro-climatic extremes occur on different spatial and temporal scales, ranging from local, short term events, such as heavy storms and flash floods, to large-scale (regional to continental scale), long duration (weeks to years) events, such as drought and heat waves. Extremes affect every aspect of our society and to meet the societal need for preparedness and hazard management, the research community is challenged by underlying, critical science questions, including the need for improved knowledge on governing processes in a changing climate. In 2018, northern and parts of central Europe experienced a severe summer drought and record-breaking, persistent high temperatures led to severe impacts across a wide range of sectors. Wild fires destroyed vast areas in northern Europe, and the drought led to significant impacts on agricultural production and terrestrial ecosystems. Record low river levels disrupted inland waterways and low groundwater levels led to regional water restrictions. As illustrated by the 2018 event, drought effects all components of the hydrological cycle as it propagates from its origin as a meteorological anomaly, to a deficit in soil moisture and finally - if sustained - to below normal streamflow and groundwater levels (hydrological drought). Furthermore, a drying soil affects the partitioning of latent and sensible heat at the land surface, leading to higher air temperatures and thus, a reinforcement of the warming signal (positive feedback). Due to the diverse nature of drought, a large number of drought indicators exists, representing different time scales and type of drought. Simple indices may not be sufficient when applied to the complex and cumulative nature of drought. Often it is a combination of variables or events that leads to extreme drought impacts (compound event). A better understanding of the links between physical drought indicators and key drivers of drought is vital for drought prediction, whereas a better understanding of the links between physical indicators and drought impacts is critical to improve drought preparedness and support drought mitigation. This presentation highlights key achievements in drought research with a special emphasis on the identification of drought events, detection of recent changes, and our ability to model drought, including their spatial and temporal footprint. Focus is on Europe, and it will start introducing some recent extreme drought events – their main drivers, key characteristics, and wider environmental and societal impacts, and will close with an assessment of what the future may bring.

How to cite: Tallaksen, L. M.: Drought in a changing climate – a pan-European view, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-485,, 2021.

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