The Climate Hazards Center: Predicting the Factors that Influence Food Security in Vulnerable Regions
The Climate Hazards Center (CHC) employs a variety of tools and data sets to make advance predictions of rainfall and other factors that influence food security in vulnerable regions of the world. How does CHC early warning research help to warn of water extremes that affect the lives and livelihoods of at-risk communities? How do these tools and data sets work? What predictions can we make for food-insecure regions in 2019? Join us as we walk through our research methodology and share information about 2019 climate conditions.
Greg Husak has worked with the Climate Hazards Center since its inception in 2003, first as a graduate student, and now as a Researcher and Principal Investigator. Greg’s Ph.D. work focused on developing statistical tools for leveraging existing products to provide improved rainfall monitoring and forecasting. Notably, Greg implemented the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) using satellite rainfall estimates (RFE) combined with disparate historical records, as well as the Forecast Interpretation Tool (FIT) to combine probabilistic forecasts with historical records. His current work focuses on cropped area estimation, developing rainfall monitoring tools to better capture crop conditions, and the synthesis of a variety of indicators to estimate crop production conditions for a finite area.
Shraddhanand Shukla is an Associate Researcher at the Department of Geography at UCSB. He is a large-scale hydrologist with expertise in drought monitoring and seasonal scale climate and drought forecasting. His research focuses on improving drought monitoring and early warning capabilities using advanced earth observations, models, and remote sensing data sets through capacity building. Shrad is currently an editor for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Hydrometeorology, and an Associate Editor of the Climate Services journal. He is also currently (through June 2019) a member of the NASA and USAID's SERVIR's Applied Sciences Team (AST).
Laura Harrison has worked with the Climate Hazards Center since 2007, first as a graduate student, and as a Specialist since 2015. Her research involves a wide range of topics related to physical mechanisms of climate extremes and identifying populations at risk of adverse climate impacts. Such topics include rainfall and temperature trends in Sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural and hydrological impacts of these changes, and potential regional and global climate drivers. Laura’s research has also evaluated climate model projections, projected population growth, and physical mechanisms of droughts related to land surface and atmosphere interactions. Her operational support for Climate Hazards Center and FEWS NET includes monitoring agroclimatic conditions and assessing weekly to seasonal rainfall forecasts. She also supports CHIRPS rainfall data through monthly, pre-release data quality assessments.