Assessment and Monitoring of Droughts in Southeastern Europe: A Review
Keywords:drought, Southeast Europe, drought indices, drought monitoring, remote sensing
Drought in Southeastern Europe is a hazard with a wide range of transboundary, environmental and socio-economic impacts on various sectors such as agriculture, energy production, public water supply and water quality. Although there are numerous definitions of drought due to the complexity of the phenomenon, it is common to classify droughts into four categories: hydrological, agricultural, meteorological and socio-economic droughts. The importance of drought related studies grows with recent studies on climate change that indicate that the frequency and intensity of droughts in Southeastern Europe is expected to increase over the next decades. Several drought indices are commonly in use in the region, including some which were specifically created to meet regional demands of data availability and drought monitoring capabilities. The growing availability of satellite-based remote sensing data provides options for facilitated calculation of drought indices, further contributing to monitoring and assessment of droughts beyond national borders. This paper provides a review of drought-related information applicable to Southeastern Europe, concentrating on basic drought concepts, drought impacts, as well as an outlook on drought monitoring and the application of remote sensing products for drought monitoring and assessment.