The main goal of IMPECAF is to enhance the knowledge on Hot and Dry meteorological Extremes (HDE, heat waves, droughts, and flash-droughts) which affect the agricultural and forests ecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula. Despite the different temporal scales of these HDE, the concurrent or lagged effect of more than one of these phenomena may intensify the observed impacts. Moreover, their impacts can extend over large regions, differently affecting varied ecosystems. HDE's will be treated from a multidisciplinary perspective considering past, present and future states of climate. IMPECAF plans different actions to assess the risk of the impact of HDE on crop and wood losses, making use of currently available meteorological, hydrological and remote sensing data. Hence, IMPECAF will obtain drought indices which are useful for drought monitoring and early warning and will integrate short and medium term meteorological predictions and numerical simulations for better drought prediction. Moreover, IMPECAF will also assess the role of vegetation communities and carbon storage by ecosystems on drought and heat wave impacts. These tasks will allow designing efficient risk models and produce information which will help in risk mitigation and insurance planning.
IMPECAF is organized into three work packages encompassing seven tasks, and it uses a trans-disciplinary approach that includes innovative in-depth studies that combine drought and heat wave analyses at Iberian scale. The project will rely on the accumulated experience of the project team on multivariable impact analysis of extreme events such as the recent mega-European heat waves of 2003 and 2010 or the outstanding droughts of 2005 and 2012 in Iberia. The team will additionally make use of the skills developed on the quantification of carbon cycle and on crop and tree growth behavior and modelling.
Finally, the outcomes of the project are expected to be available to the scientific community and general public, helping farmers, producers and insurance companies on the process of decision-making. This will be achieved through the development of appropriate measures for HDE mitigation in the forestry and agriculture sectors, both prior and during HDE occurrence. A bottom-up approach will be followed to guarantee stakeholder involvement from the start of the project and also after its completion, which will be ensured by the connection between the IPBeja and two Alentejo’s agriculture associations. This project will benefit from an information tool grounded on server-side technologies that are essential for the sound management of HDE risks. This will be done in close collaboration with the stakeholders and end-users to ensure an adequate acceptance of the new products developed.