Current IPCC’s climate change projections suggest an increase in frequency and extent of climate extremes. In Mediterranean Basin, and therefore in Italy, one of the primary challenges is related to minimizing drought impacts while increasing environmental resilience (from agricultural production to natural resources conservation, water in particular).
One of the main issues to cope with drought is the temporal gap existing between the onset and development of a dry period and the response in managing drought-related emergencies. In this context, it is crucial providing scientifically based technical support able to deliver timely, ready-to-use and reliable information in order to increase readiness, response and recovery capabilities.
IBIMET-CNR has developed a Drought Climate Service (DCS) in order to turn scientific advances in drought monitoring and forecasting, into operational information and services useful to decision makers with different needs.
The DCS is a process-based, multipurpose and multi-user operational service that does not necessarily need strong technical capacities to retrieve and use data and information. It is based on interoperable services and open-data concepts and on the integration of different climate-based and satellite-derived data sources. In fact, it includes several climate-related products and tools such as monitoring indices, seasonal forecasts, WebGIS, RESTful Web Services and monthly bulletins. The system is expandable and customizable, thanks both to the involvement of local users to identify their priorities, and to the availability of targeted information specifically produced for agriculture and environmental monitoring.
The DCS is an open source web platform that guarantees a continuous and on-demand service to several local users, from decision makers or water authorities, who can ask at any time updated information related to a specific index or periods more useful for their assessments, to researchers, that need data for their further investigations, and even in other geographical areas covered by the available datasets.
Magno R.*, De Filippis T.*, Di Giuseppe E.*, Pasqui M.*, Rapisardi E.*, Rocchi L.*
*IBIMET – CNR (Institute of Biometeorology of the National Research Council).