Drought impact in the Bolivian Altiplano agriculture associated with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation using satellite imagery data

Canedo-Rosso, Claudia; Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan; Pflug, Georg; Condori, Bruno; Berndtsson, Ronny

Drought is a major natural hazard in the Bolivian Altiplano that causes large agricultural losses. However, the drought effect on agriculture varies largely on a local scale due to diverse factors such as climatological and hydrological conditions, sensitivity of crop yield to water stress, and crop phenological stage among others. To improve the knowledge of drought impact on agriculture, this study aims to classify drought severity using vegetation and land surface temperature data, analyse the relationship between drought and climate anomalies, and examine the spatio-temporal variability of drought using vegetation and climate data. Empirical data for drought assessment purposes in this area are scarce and spatially unevenly distributed. Due to these limitations we used vegetation, land surface temperature (LST), precipitation derived from satellite imagery, and gridded air temperature data products. Initially, we tested the performance of satellite precipitation and gridded air temperature data on a local level. Then, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and LST were used to classify drought events associated with past El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases. It was found that the most severe drought events generally occur during a positive ENSO phase (El Niño years). In addition, we found that a decrease in vegetation is mainly driven by low precipitation and high temperature, and we identified areas where agricultural losses will be most pronounced under such conditions. The results show that droughts can be monitored using satellite imagery data when ground data are scarce or of poor data quality. The results can be especially beneficial for emergency response operations and for enabling a proactive approach to disaster risk management against droughts.

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Canedo-Rosso, Claudia / Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan / Pflug, Georg / et al: Drought impact in the Bolivian Altiplano agriculture associated with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation using satellite imagery data. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Claudia Canedo-Rosso et al.

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