The adverse effects of droughts are felt all over the globe, especially in recent years. Droughts often lead to direct and indirect impacts on different sectors from local to global scales. The likelihood of such impacts, understood as drought risk, is caused by the combination of drought hazards, exposure and systems’ vulnerabilities. To support the identification and planning of drought risk reduction and adaptation options, information is needed on the root causes, patterns and dynamics of drought risk and its related impacts. Even though the effects of drought are widespread and well known, research focusing on the different drought risk dimensions lags behind other natural hazard research. Common standards for risk analysis and its components, as well as for impact assessment, are missing. Furthermore, there are no common criteria for assessing the impacts of past and potential future droughts. Whether this is due to the difficulty to grasp the hazard, the lack of standards for vulnerability, exposure and risk assessment, the myriad of different sectors involved, or the complex web of direct and indirect impacts remains unknown so far.
This session addresses drought research beyond the hazard. This includes techniques to collect drought impact information, methods to assess exposure, vulnerability and drought risk for different sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry, energy production, public water supply, commercial shipping, tourism, wildfires, human health), at different spatial (local to global) and temporal (past trends, current patterns, future scenarios) scales. The session aims to gather examples from around the globe at different scales, discussing best practices, existing challenges and potential ways forward. We welcome the full variety of thematic foci (hazard, exposure, vulnerability, risk, and impact assessment) based on qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches. The session aims to bring together scientists and practitioners to evaluate the current state-of-the-art, foster drought risk research, establish a community of researchers and practitioners, and shape the future of drought vulnerability and risk research.
The session is closely linked to the NHESS special issue “Drought vulnerability, risk, and impact assessments: bridging the science-policy gap” https://nhess.copernicus.org/articles/special_issue1113.html of which we strongly encourage all session contributors to be part.
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