Photo credit: EARS Earth Environment Monitoring
El Nino drought hits Southern Africa
The map presents evapotranspiration in the southern Africa region during the last two months of 2015, relative to the previous 5 year average. It is derived from Meteosat by EARS Earth Environment Monitoring in the Netherlands, a company specialized in satellite data for climate, water and food.
Evapotranspiration is closely related to plant available water and crop growth and is therefore the best possible indicator of agricultural drought. In the map red and black colors point to crop water shortages of 50-100 mm. This may lead to crop production losses of 30% and more. According to the World Food Program 14 million people in the region are facing hunger. Maize prices already hit record highs.
Based on 33 years of Meteosat data, EARS is developing drought index insurance solutions. In this way drought disasters can better be resisted and overcome. The new satellite based technology is therefore considered a major step towards food and financial security.