Copernicus Observer: What impact does drought have on vegetation, and how does Copernicus help?

When thinking of extreme weather events, we generally have hurricanes and floods in mind. However, drought is an equally dangerous extreme weather event that affects millions of people around the world every year.

(c) Barnaud, Adeline, IRD - Univ. Montpellier

Zimbabwe, Zambia and south Mozambique have been facing a severe drought since the beginning of 2020.

According to a February 2020 report from Copernicus EMS’ Global Drought Observatory “Food insecurity is already widespread and the low yield expectations for the 2020 harvest loom over the next months. Food prices are increasing. In addition, water supply is intermittent and unsafe. Major damages to the economy of the involved countries are reported, also in relation to the low water level at the Kariba dam which is threatening power supply to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.”

This Copernicus Observer looks at how drought impacts vegetation and how the Copernicus services' products can be used to monitor, understand and mitigate against potential drought episodes.

More information

Other links
  • 8 GMES and Africa consortia deal with the monitoring and management of Land and Water resources. Discover them & their activities:  
  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on acute food insecurity. Created in 1985 by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) after devastating famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides objective, evidence-based analysis to help government decision-makers and relief agencies plan for and respond to humanitarian crises -