Date of this Version
AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, July 2011
Drought is a part of the natural climatic cycle, albeit one of the costliest natural hazards. Its annual economic impact in the United States has been estimated at $6–$8 billion (U.S. dollars), with global estimates in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Drought is an insidious natural hazard and like all climate phenomena, it does not respect international borders. Recognizing the importance of international drought monitoring efforts, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) met in 2007 to determine steps necessary to implement a Global Drought Early Warning System (GDEWS) as part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). However, with the financial stresses and instability that soon followed, little was accomplished. In spring 2010, a series of workshops was held to increase international collaboration on drought issues and to begin laying the groundwork for global drought monitoring that would support a future GDEWS. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) hosted1 the events. The remainder of this article summarizes the workshop series. Detailed information about each workshop is available online (www.drought.gov/portal/server.pt/community/drought.gov/202/2010_nadm_workshop).