Meeting on Managing Drought and Water Scarcity in Vulnerable Environments

September 5, 2006

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory researcher Martin Hoerling will present an invited talk at the Geological Society of America's meeting on "Managing Drought and Water Scarcity in Vulnerable Environments," to be held 18-20 September 2006 in Longmont, CO. In his talk entitled, "Is Climate Drying or is Drought Increasing," Hoerling will discuss the possible character of future climate as it concerns decreases in water availability, and the threat of increasingly severe chronic droughts. A climate system undergoing gradual drying would be more desirable than one experiencing more drastic variations. Using the new suite of 21st Century computer simulations from the IPCC's Fourth Assessment, this talk diagnoses the statistics of 21st Century U.S. drought, and addresses the separate effects of human-caused changes in temperature and precipitation. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Forestry)

Most regions of the United States experience at some time variations in climate that have extreme societal consequences. Changes in climate may be increasing the vulnerability of some areas to drought-induced water shortages. This meeting is designed to promote collaboration between the policy and science communities, and create an integrated, interactive, future-oriented forum for understanding and improving management of drought and water scarcity in the United States and to stimulate national debate through the publication and wide distribution of a science- and policy-based discussion document.

Drought-related impacts may intensify in the twenty-first century due to increases in population and changes in land use. Evaluation of current drought-related problems can help decision-makers anticipate future issues. This meeting will focus on identifying successful strategies for drought and water scarcity management and on developing a clear and decisive action plan. Dr. Hoerling's research and participation in related meetings supports NOAA's mission goals of understanding climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and respond, and serving society's needs for weather and water information.

Contact: Martin Hoerling More Information:
- Meeting Website