Available learning blocks

Course image GlobeDrought Course

Based on the GlobeDrought project and its series of webinars and online lectures, this course provides an understanding of drought and drought risk assessment, introducing state-of-the-art tools to analyse drought risk through indicators, data, and models.

Course image GlobeDrought – Characterizing and Assessing Drought Risk and Drought Impacts at the Global and Regional Level

The first introductory webinar & lecture provide a general overview of the objectives of GlobeDrought. It will discuss the relevance of understanding and assessing drought risk and its sectoral impacts in order to create more resilience

The leading questions are: What is a drought, how can it be characterized, why does it matter globally (past events & impacts, future outlook), what is drought risk, what are key components, why do we need to understand and assess drought risk?

Course image Drought Impacts I: Migration

Land degradation and drought are challenges that are intimately linked to food insecurity and migration. In just 15 years, the number of international migrants worldwide has risen, some of which are a result of environmental challenges. Recent trends appear to support the position that drought conditions increase population movements due to land degradation, and the loss of arable land.

The webinar investigates the interlinkage between drought and migration, exploring how drought affects vulnerability and the ability of communities to cope with the impacts of drought.

Course image Drought Impacts II: Gender/Women

Drought can have economic, social, and environmental effects on women in developing countries. Unequal power relations, gender inequalities, and discrimination mean that women and girls are often hardest hit during a crisis and will take longer to recover. Women and girls experience vulnerability differently than men. During times of crisis women’s access to, or control over, critical resources worsens and can lead to exclusion from claiming basic services and rights. As a result women’s and girl’s vulnerability can increase and undermine their ability to cope with the impacts of droughts and other disasters.

The webinar explores how women are affected by drought impacts and how they can develop coping strategies to tackle drought.

Course image Drought Hazards I: Meteorological Droughts​

Drought is a complex phenomenon which is difficult to define and measure. Drought hazards develop slowly, with no clear beginning or end, and operate on many different time scales. The impacts stretch over large areas and many sectors of the economy. As a result, the climatological community has defined four types of drought: meteorological drought, hydrological drought, agricultural drought, and socioeconomic drought.

Just as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ definition of drought, there is no single index or indicator that can account for and be applied to all types of droughts, climate regimes, and sectors affected by droughts.

This webinar will provide an overview of different indicators and tools for characterizing, assessing, and monitoring meteorological droughts, which occur when a region is dominated by abnormally dry weather patterns.

Course image Drought Hazards II: Hydrological Droughts

Drought is a complex phenomenon which is difficult to define, measure and quantify. Drought hazard refers to long physical events during which there is less water than normal. Just as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ definition of drought, there is no single index or indicator that can account for and be applied to all types of droughts, climate regimes, and sectors affected by droughts.

This webinar and online lecture will examine indicators and models used for characterizing and monitoring hydrological droughts, which are generally defined as occurring when there is less water than normal in rivers or groundwater. Drought in these compartments of the water cycle is directly responsible for restrictions of water supply for households, industry and irrigated agriculture, and it endangers fish and other biota living in rivers.

Course image Innovation: Total Water Storage Change Analysis from GRACE and Hydrological Modeling

The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission and its successor GRACE Follow-On perform precise measurements of the Earth’s gravity field and its variations over time, providing global and highly accurate gravity anomalies data, which are used by a range of scientists to study natural processes and global change.

This webinar will explore the use of data from the GRACE satellite mission, including potentials and limitations, for hydrological modeling and hydrological drought monitoring.

Course image Detecting Drought and Vegetation Health with Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about the Earth’s surface without being in physical contact with it. Satellites cover large areas on the ground with relatively high detail, providing information about vegetation and water content. As a result, remote sensing is a valuable tool for large-scale studies of vegetation health and drought.

This webinar and online lecture will provide an overview of remote sensing based indices and derived metrics that can be used for characterizing, assessing and monitoring vegetation conditions and drought (impacts) at both regional and global scales.

(Image credit: ESA)

Course image Understanding and Assessing Risk of Drought Impacts

After learning about impacts of droughts, different types of drought hazards, and ways to detect and monitor them, this webinar introduces the concept of drought risk and shows why it is important and how to assess risk. After a theoretical explanation, the topic is illustrated by two examples drawing on the work of the speakers. Drawing on those examples, and a systematic review of existing drought risk assessments, the webinar will also provide insights on progress that has been made as well as persisting challenges in understanding and assessing drought risk, and give an outlook on potential ways forward.

Course image Drought Impacts III: Agricultural Systems

Drought is the most important abiotic stressor, influencing cropping systems and consequently, food security. In this webinar, we explain the characteristics and importance of agricultural drought compared to other droughts (e.g. meteorological, hydrological, etc.).

Course image Drought Impacts IV: Food Security
Drought risk modeling is complex. Identifying impacts of drought on food security requires basic knowledge of food security concepts and understanding of pathways that link drought events to hunger and malnutrition. A regional analysis is context specific. Perspectives from local stakeholders are crucial in understanding challenges and proposing sustainable solutions. After explaining basic concepts related to food security, we will present the context and challenges related to drought in Zimbabwe, illustrated by concrete actions in addressing drought impacts on food security.
Course image Droughts and the Post-2015 Agenda

The Post-2015 Agenda of the United Nations saw the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The common ground of all three international agreements is the reduction of vulnerabilities and enhancing resilience to the impacts of slow-onset and extreme weather and climate events. Since the adoption of these agreements, considerable amount of progress has been made towards the integration of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). At the same time, there is growing evidence that the frequency and extent of weather and climate related hazards such as drought has increased as a result of global warming.