Assessing and monitoring drought events using vegetation and drought indices

Competency Framework

Celia Gouveia evaluates drought events with help of vegetation and drought indices.

Length: 32 minutes.


Currently the determination of the ecological, agricultural and environmental impacts of climatic change is considered to be a scientific priority. In the present context of climate change and increasing land degradation and desertification, the evaluation of drought impacts is crucial in determining the environmental consequences of a hypothetical change in climatic conditions.

In the last decade special attention was devoted to the development of new indices particularly suited for drought analyses, quantification and monitoring, namely the ones that are using evapotranspiration data.

On the other hand remote sensing data allows to analyse vegetation activity and to estimate different biophysical parameters such as the area index, the vegetation biomass, the net primary production and photosynthetic activity. Given the spectral properties of vegetation, vegetation indices can be calculated and used to analyse vegetation dynamics and climate impacts, namely to determine the impact of droughts.

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