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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-255
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-255
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Global-scale drought risk assessment for agricultural systems

Isabel Meza1, Stefan Siebert2, Petra Döll3,6, Jürgen Kusche4, Claudia Herbert3, Ehsan Eyshi Rezaei2, Hamideh Nouri2, Helena Gerdener4, Eklavyya Popat3, Janna Frischen1, Gustavo Naumann5, Jürgen V. Vogt5, Yvonne Walz1, Zita Sebesvari1, and Michael Hagenlocher1 Isabel Meza et al.
  • 1United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
  • 2Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, Von-Siebold-Strasse 8, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, Altenhöferallee 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 4Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation (IGG), University of Bonn, Nussallee 17, 53115 Bonn, Germany
  • 5European Commission (EC), Joint Research Centre (JRC), Via Enrico Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, VA, Italy
  • 6Senckenberg Leibniz Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt (SBiK-F), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Abstract. Droughts continue to affect ecosystems, communities, and entire economies. Agriculture bears much of the impact, and in many countries it is the most heavily affected sector. Over the past decades, efforts have been made to assess drought risk at different spatial scales. Here, we present for the first time an integrated assessment of drought risk for both irrigated and rain-fed agricultural systems at the global scale. Composite hazard indicators were calculated for irrigated and rain-fed systems separately using different drought indices based on historical climate conditions (1980–2016). Exposure was analyzed for irrigated and non-irrigated crops. Vulnerability was assessed through a social-ecological systems perspective, using social-ecological susceptibility and lack of coping capacity indicators that were weighted by drought experts from around the world. The analysis shows that drought risk of rain-fed and irrigated agricultural systems displays heterogeneous pattern at the global level with higher risk for southeastern Europe, as well as northern and southern Africa. By providing information on the drivers and spatial patterns of drought risk in all dimensions of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability, the presented analysis can support the identification of tailored measures to reduce drought risk and increase the resilience of agricultural systems.

Isabel Meza et al.
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Short summary
The paper presents, for the first time, a global-scale drought risk assessment for both irrigated and rain-fed agricultural systems while considering drought hazard indicators, exposure, and expert-weighted vulnerability indicators. We identify global patterns of drought risk, and by disaggregating risk into its underlying components and factors provide entry points for risk reduction.
The paper presents, for the first time, a global-scale drought risk assessment for both...
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