Using Drought Forecasts to Improve Natural Resource Management
· Presenter: Richard Palmer, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Northeast Climate Science Center
· Presentation Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017
· Presentation Time: 3:00pm EDT (12:00pm PST)
· Summary: Natural resource managers face increasing challenges in dealing with drought. As competition for water increases between its various uses, our ability to forecast the onset and termination of drought becomes ever more important. This is particularly true given forecasts of the increasing frequency and intensity of drought suggested by climate change models. This talk with present a brief history of drought forecasting and its application in resource management. Drought indicators currently in practice will be explored as well as emerging indicators. Additionally, the fundamentals of drought planning will be reviewed, particularly the challenges of developing robust policies that work well when future conditions are difficult to predict. The challenges in applying these forecasts associated with the forecast accuracy will be discussed, as will other limitations. Finally, the potential for improving our ability to predict regional drought in the near future will be explored.