Climate change is causing serious global problems that we are going to have to face in this century. One of these problems is the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Among these extreme phenomena is drought. In order to monitor the drought in our country, a drought viewer.
In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the drought viewer and the advantages it offers.
Table of Contents
Negative effects of drought
The first thing we should know is the definition of drought. The drought of an area is characterized by having a prolonged period of time whose rainfall is below average. Today there are droughts with greater intensity and duration than in the past. This increase in the frequency and intensity of this phenomenon shows the negative effects that climate change has on the dynamics of the atmosphere.
If we add to this problem the natural disaster that it entails, it implies a hydrological imbalance and the water supplies begin to present at levels below normal. All this triggers negative impacts that can be more serious than those exerted by strong storms since they are more difficult to define and to anticipate. It must be borne in mind that human beings have tools to predict torrential rains. However, droughts are much more difficult to control.
To do this, work has been done to get a drought viewer. The task of evaluating the severity and consequences of a drought in objective terms is usually more complicated since such droughts develop gradually and differently in each region that we are studying. It is usually produced mainly by the chronic lack of rainfall in a region. All this leads to a hydrological imbalance.
Types of drought
This extreme meteorological phenomenon is classified according to the measurement of temperature, evaporation, precipitation, transpiration, runoff and data collected from soil moisture in a specific area. If we want to quantify droughts, the standard precipitation index or the palmer drought severity index is used. Through these indices, the entire region that is negatively affected can be monitored.
Let's see what are the different types of droughts that exist:
- Meteorological: In this type, the average rainfall is lower than normal, but there does not have to be a lack of rainfall.
- Agricultural: the amount of moisture that is in the soil and that is necessary for the crops is less. Therefore, crops are affected.
- Hydrological: It is one that occurs when the water supplies on the earth's surface and underground are lower than normal.
- Socioeconomic: it is one that affects the activities of human beings.
There are other ways to classify the different types of drought according to location and seasonality. Here we find the following:
- Temporary: it is the one found in desert climates where rainfall is common. For example, we have deserts where the lack of rainfall is normal.
- Seasonal: occurs ahead of a specific seasonal period.
- Unpredictable: It stands out for having short and irregular periods. They are very difficult to predict due to the temporality.
- Invisible: It is one of the strangest since, although the rains fell normally, the water evaporates too quickly.
We know that droughts are caused by this chronic series of rains in a region. Air usually sinks and is led to high pressure areas. This reduces the humidity and forms less amount of clouds. As there is a smaller amount of clouds, rainfall decreases. As human populations increase, water needs also increase naturally. If we add to this the effects of global warming, the droughts will probably be more frequent and intense.
To do this, the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC), in collaboration with the Aragonese Foundation for Research (ARAID), and the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has developed a system to monitor drought in real time. It is known by the name of drought viewer and the objective is to carry out continuous monitoring in order to be able to quickly anticipate this phenomenon.
Since it is one of the main causes of agricultural, economic and environmental damage, its effects are evident after a long period in which there is little rainfall. It is quite difficult to define what its beginning, duration and end are. Therefore, creating the drought viewer can provide nationwide information that is updated on a weekly basis. What's more, allows you to consult historical information on the lack of rainfall rates since 1961.
The system is capable of processing all the information obtained in real time from the AEMET network of automatic meteorological stations and the SIAR (Agroclimatic Information System for Irrigation) network of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Thanks to this information, two indicators can be calculated that indicate the presence of this extreme phenomenon. In fact indicators are based exclusively on evapotranspiration precipitation data. They are indicators that are incorporated together with the information on atmospheric humidity demand.
Importance of the drought viewer
The importance of this drought display is that it fails to demonstrate the anomalies of the two indices with respect to the normal conditions at each point of the territory. In all places where conditions are conducive to drought, the monitor can reach extract information and indicate its duration and intensity. They are indicators that allow evaluating a large amount of data to show the possible potential impacts of this extreme meteorological phenomenon. All this makes it possible to improve preparedness and early warning against risk in Spain.
Allows you to select the information on the map by choosing an index that shows the meteorological drought, the time scale of the index and the date. It also allows the selection of a specific area and can be viewed to better study.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the drought viewer and its characteristics.