Supporting the Global Activities of the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC)

In order to satisfy the needs of the ERCC, an operational unit working on a 24/7 basis for the coordination of EU responses to natural and technological disasters in the world, a drought monitoring system capable of providing both high- level alert information and detailed indicator information was developed. The creation of semiautomatic analysis reports to help duty officers quickly extract relevant information and provide electronic and printed documents during meetings of experts and decision makers was included as a specific feature. If more detailed information is required, the JRC drought team, together with the ERCC analytical team, produces targeted analytical reports for the case at hand.

As a first approach to a high-level alert indicator, the LDI targeted to food insecurity has been implemented (see Section 18.3). Besides the map, the system provides the duty officer with a hierarchical list of affected countries and quick links to further country information (e.g., population, GDP, area affected, and people affected by each LDI class). By simply clicking in an administrative unit (mostly units at subcountry level), the duty officer enables the system to generate an on-the-fly report providing the most important information for the selected unit. It includes, for example, statistics on the areal extent of different alert levels, the number of people affected, and the land use and land cover types in the different LDI classes (i.e., low, medium,

FIGURE 18.5

Global maps of drought exposure (a) and vulnerability (b).

(Continued)

(Continued)

FIGURE 18.5 (Continued)

Global maps of drought exposure (a) and vulnerability (b).

FIGURE 18.6

Global map of propensity to damage resulting from combining the discrete classes of exposure and vulnerability (a) and of LDI for October 8-15,2015 (b).

(Continued)

(Continued)

FIGURE 18.6 (Continued)

Global map of propensity to damage resulting from combining the discrete classes of exposure and vulnerability (a) and of LDI for October 8-15,2015 (b).

TABLE 18.1

Matrix Combining the Discrete Classes of Exposure and Vulnerability into Categories of Propensity to Damage

Exposure

Vulnerability

Exc.

LOW

Ext.

LOW

Very

LOW

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

Very

HIGH

Ext.

HIGH

Exc.

HIGH

Exc. LOW

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ext. LOW

VL

VL

VL

VL

VL

VL

L

L

L

Very LOW

VL

VL

VL

VL

VL

L

L

M

M

LOW

VL

VL

VL

VL

L

L

M

M

M

MEDIUM

VL

VL

VL

L

L

M

M

H

H

HIGH

VL

VL

L

L

M

M

H

H

H

Very HIGH

VL

L

L

L

M

H

H

H

VH

Ext. HIGH

L

L

L

M

M

H

H

VH

VH

Exc. HIGH

L

L

M

M

M

H

VH

VH

VH

TABLE 18.2

Matrix Combining the Discrete Classes of the CDI and "Propensity to Damage" into LDI Categories

CDI

Propensity to Damage

Zero

Very

LOW

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

Very

HIGH

Zero

0

0

0

0

0

0

Very LOW

0

L

L

L

L

L

LOW

0

L

L

L

L

M

MEDIUM

La

L

L

M

M

M

HIGH

La

L

L

M

M

H

Very HIGH

La

L

M

M

H

H

Note: L - low; M - medium; H - high likelihood of drought impact.

a Although the system identifies no “propensity" for these cases, we decided to release a warning to protect for potential impacts not identified due to an underestimation of input exposure layers.

and high likelihood of impact). Currently, the system information is updated at 8-day intervals.

A snapshot of the GDO system is shown in Figure 18.7, presenting the top- level map of the LDI, alongside the hierarchical list of all affected countries visible in the map. When the user zooms into the map, this list is automatically updated, showing only countries visible on the map. An example of part of an on-the-fly generated report is shown in Figure 18.8.

For the more experienced user, the system provides access to all underlying indicators through an expandable menu on the left-hand side of the map. It gives, for example, access to the meteorological, soil moisture, and vegetation indicators and allows customizing the geographical information shown

FIGURE 18.7

The Global Drought Observatory (GDO). Example of the Likelihood of Drought Impact (LDI) indicator for October 8-15, 2015.

FIGURE 18.8

Example of an on-the-fly generated report for Uganda for October 8-15, 2015. The online version allows interactive selection of different graphs and statistics.

on the map. In the future, forecasting information will be added. During the El Nino event of 2015-2016, the system proved its capability to capture most of the severe impacts noted throughout the globe and helped both the ERCC staff and the JRC drought team to provide useful reports and targeted information to decision makers and field officers alike. As the system is still under development, more specific indicators (e.g., on temperatures and heatwaves) will be added and the spatial and temporal resolution will be improved as new data become available. Finally, LDIs for different economic and environmental sectors will be added.

 
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