Droughts and floods are water-related natural disasters which distress a broad range of ecological factors and activities related to agriculture, vegetation, human and wild life and local economies. Drought is the solo imperative weather-related natural disaster often aggravated by human action, since it distresses very large areas for months and years and thus has a thoughtful impact on regional food production, life expectancy for entire populations and economic performance of large regions or several countries. Traditional methods of drought assessment and monitoring rely on rainfall data, which are limited in the region, often inaccurate and, most importantly, difficult to obtain in near-real time. In contrast, the satellite-sensor data are consistently available and can be used to detect the onset of drought, its duration and magnitude. Even crop yields can be predicted 5 to 13 weeks prior to harvests using remote-sensing techniques. The need for proper quantification of drought impacts and monitoring and reporting of drought development is of critical importance in politically, economically and environmentally sensitive countries.
Remote Sensing of Drought presents cutting-edge remote sensing tools and techniques that can be applied worldwide in order to the relevance of drought to natural hazards and climate change. To assess historical droughts and to provide drought monitoring, various indices have been proposed for different purposes and using different datasets. Despite the display of these indices, when one focuses on the processes that caused droughts, a set of consistent indices may adequately describe the different aspects of the droughts. Remote sensing techniques make it possible to obtain and distribute information rapidly over large areas by means of sensors operating in several spectral bands, mounted on aircraft or satellites. Several users such as top level policy makers at the national and international organizations, researchers, middle level policy makers at the state, province and local levels consultants, relief agencies and local producers including farmers, suppliers, traders and water managers are interested in reliable and accurate drought and flood information for effective management. This novel edition is packed with innovative remote sensing approaches to provide you with new perspectives on large-area drought monitoring and early warning.