WMO Workshop Recommends Developing a Drought Index

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

19 February 2009: The International Workshop on Drought and Extreme Temperatures, organized jointly by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the China Meteorological Administration, took place from 16-17 February 2009, in Beijing, China. The workshop brought together over 40 scientists from climate and agricultural research institutes, universities and environmental monitoring organizations, and concluded with the adoption of several recommendations to cope with increasing droughts and extreme temperatures on agriculture, rangelands and forestry.

One of the main recommendations consists in developing a unified drought index applicable to a wide range of agricultural activities across the world. Workshop participants recommended that WMO make appropriate arrangements to identify the methods and to marshal resources for the development of standards for agricultural drought indices. Participants also underlined the need to develop precision models of impacts of future climate change on agricultural systems. [WMO Press Release]