Tag: Drought

caricof-dry-2015-banner

Voices from CariCOF: Dry Season 2015-16

The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum, also known as CariCOF, brings together climate scientists and meteorologists with decision-makers who may be able to use climate information. During the meeting, now held twice a year — once at the beginning of the dry season and once at the beginning of the wet season — the scientists present […]

Farmers in Honduras. Photo: IRI/Elisabeth Gawthrop

VIDEO: What tools do Honduran farmers want for climate risk?

Text by Sofía Martínez Video by Elisabeth Gawthrop, Sofía Martínez and Courtney St. John Answers from insurance research La version en español esta disponible aquí.  During the first of the two growing seasons of 2015, grain farmers in El Paraíso, Honduras faced one of the worst droughts in history, with losses ranging from 60 to 100% […]

El Niño Drives Drought in the Philippines

A strong El Niño event is in place in the tropical Pacific. IRI’s seasonal forecast for the October-December 2015 period, based on the most recent sea surface temperature projections, predicts a strong likelihood of below-average precipitation for regions in the western equatorial Pacific, including much of the Philippines. The strong likelihood of reduced rainfall during […]

California Drought: Happy New Year?

Using the IRI Data Library to Predict and Track the 2016 Water Year This post is an excerpt from a story published by IRI on Medium.com, where we are updating the post each month with the latest forecasts. View the full story and forecast maps here.  October 1st marks the first day of the new “Water Year” for […]

The Atlantic Ocean holds the key to western Amazon rainfall

By Samuel McGlennon This post is an excerpt of a piece on the website for the Center for International Forestry Research. View the full article here.  In 2010, catastrophic fires ravaged huge tracts of the western Amazon, a region of rainforest that until just a few years earlier was considered beyond the reach of serious drought. Those […]

Climate Change is Greening the Sahel? Not so Fast…

The Sahel is a semiarid region south of the Sahara Desert that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. In the 1970s and 1980s it was hit by a series of persistent droughts and recurring famines that killed more than 100,000 people. The region remains one of the poorest and least developed in […]

Seeds of Hope: IRI in Uruguay

This story was written by David Craig and originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Columbia Magazine. Photography and additional reporting by Francesco Fiondella. As climate change creates agricultural instability around the world, Columbia scientists are testing a seasonal forecasting system in Uruguay to give farmers a fighting chance. Daniel Lalinde doesn’t need a […]

Innovative Weather Model Helps Caribbean Prepare for Drought

This story was originally published in FrontLines, a news publication of the U.S. Agency for International Development. When it comes to climate risks in the Caribbean, the bluster and rage of hurricanes and tropical storms steal the stage. These events flare up quickly, can cause enormous damage and loss of life, and dissipate within days. Drought is […]

One Size Fits None: Drought forecasting in the Caribbean

This post contains excerpts from the full version on our Medium account.  Most extreme climate and weather events involve an unwanted surplus — too much rain, too much wind or too much snow and ice. Drought is a little different: it’s the absence of something. It takes time for a drought to build, making it fundamentally different to monitor […]

Video: Managing Water in a Dry Land

The Elqui River valley lies in Chile’s northern, mountainous Coquimbo region, which is extremely dry. The region receives only about 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain each year, and most of it during one short rainy season. The rainfall is also highly variable and driven in large part on El Niño and La Niña fluctuations. In some years, […]

Looking back: A year of forecasts, partnerships and climate information

by Manon Verchot In 2013, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society teamed up with the University of Arizona to help regions of the world that are most vulnerable to climate variability and change. Here’s a look at what has been accomplished so far. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather. They need […]

Live from Kingston: It’s CariCOF

By Elisabeth Gawthrop and Mea Halperin The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) took place yesterday in Kingston, Jamaica. It is one of a number of Climate Outlook Forums (COFs) around the world during which scientists present a forecast to decision makers who work in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water management, disaster planning and health. The forecast […]

Climate prediction tools show role of oceans in Amazon drought and fire season

In the last decade, warmer sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic have corresponded with below-average precipitation in Peru and western Brazil. The relationship is due to the effect of sea surface temperatures on the location of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) – a band of clouds and rain stretching around the globe where trade winds […]

Insuring 37,000 Rwandan Farmers Against Drought

Index insurance can lower the cost of insurance, allowing smallholder farmers to buy insurance that can help them withstand the impacts of bad years and risk making productive investments in good years. A key component of index insurance is historical data – often temperature or rainfall data – to use as a basis for creating an index that determines when insurance payouts […]

An Index Insurance Primer

IRI has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the US Agency for International Development about index insurance and how it is being used in development and adaptation projects around the world. Download the FAQ or click on the image. If you’re looking for even more resources on index insurance, head over to our Financial […]

A Wetter Sahel, But Will It Last?

The Sahel is a semiarid region south of the Sahara Desert that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. In the 1970s and 1980s it was hit by a series of persistent droughts and recurring famines, epitomized by the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. The Sahel remains one of the poorest and least developed […]

Singing the Blues About Water Scarcity

A version of this post originally appeared on the Climate and Society Hot Topics blog. Otis Redding wraps up his acclaimed 1965 album Otis Blue with “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” The refrain “you don’t miss your water ’til your well runs dry” was originally written by William Bell and inspired by his feelings of homesickness for his native Memphis […]

From Birmingham to Bamako: How Farmers Deal with Drought

by Vanessa Meadu, Francesco Fiondella and Brian Kahn The massive and wide-scale drought that has left American farmers shaking their fists at barren clouds is the fifth-worst on record for the U.S. Eight out of every 10 acres of agricultural land has been affected. As a result, farmers will pull in the lowest corn yield […]

Photo Essay: Into the Heart of Dryness

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Life expectancy there is 54 years, and it has an infant mortality rate higher than any other country except Afghanistan. It is also a country that is extremely vulnerable to climate variability and change. The livelihoods of four out of five people in Niger depend […]

Is Drought In East Africa The New Normal?

Earlier this month, we wrote about a report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) that warns the Horn of Africa may once again face food shortages because of a poorly performing rainy season. In January, climate scientists Bradfield Lyon and David Dewitt from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society […]

Climate and Food Security in the Horn of Africa

The latest report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warns that the March-to-May rainy season for the Horn of Africa, also known as the “long rains”, is likely to perform poorly again this year. The agency has called for humanitarian organizations to “immediately implement programs to protect livelihoods […]

Climate Services: Science = Credibility

This is the fourth of ten interviews with climate and development experts conducted at the International Conference on Climate Services, held at Columbia University in October 2011. John Zillman is the former president of the World Meteorological Organization and is currently a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia. “The really big challenge these […]

East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

In this video interview, IRI’s chief climate scientist, Simon Mason, explains how truly intense the drought in East Africa has been compared to other droughts. In many parts of Kenya…the amount of rain that has been received is less 25% of normal, in some areas it’s less than 5%. To put those figures in context…much […]

Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

In a video interview about the East Africa famine, IRI’s Madeleine Thomson, an expert in climate and public health, says the health consequences of the famine will be felt not only in the short term, but for years and decades to come: We know from the 1984 Ethiopia famine that the impacts are intergenerational. They […]

Welcome Back, La Niña

Well it’s nearly official: La Niña is making her second appearance this year. After a few months’ hiatus this summer, ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific have dipped back below normal. Does that mean we’ll also see a return of the extreme global weather of this past winter blamed on La Niña? It’s possible but not […]

The Role of Drought in the Horn of Africa Famine

Let’s get this out of the way. The current famine in the Horn of Africa isn’t caused by drought. Rather, a complex mix of societal and political factors created a dangerous situation.The worst drought in 60 years is what pushed that situation over the edge into a humanitarian crisis. However, just as these social factors were […]

Informing Farmers and Combating Drought in Mali

In countries where an overwhelming majority of the population relies on rain-fed agriculture, drought can have serious consequences. Mali found this out during a crippling decade-long drought during the 1970s and 1980s. As part of drought response efforts, the Malian government collaborated with a range of humanitarian actors starting in 1982 to provide farmers with […]

Climate and Coconuts

Millions of people in the tropics depend on coconuts for food, raw materials and livelihood. Coconuts are also a high value commercial crop. But like any crop, coconuts are at risk of drought and other prolonged events. By using climate science and better agricultural forecast models, the IRI has helped increase the resilience of coconut […]

Managing Ethiopia’s Water Resources

IRI’s Paul Block describes his recent trip to Koraro, Ethiopia, where there is a cluster of 11 Millennium Villages. Block is working to improve agricultural water management in the area, which is one of the most impoverished in the country and suffers from very poor infrastructure and severe drought. This project has been made possible […]