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PhD Defense - Denis Mariano

Drought impacts assessment in Brazil – a remote sensing approach

Date: Time: 9:00 am–10:00 am
Hardin Hall Room: Room 901
Additional Info: HARH
Contact: Brian Wardlow, (402) 472-6729, bwardlow2@unl.edu
Climate extremes are expected to increase in frequency and intensity globally, according to the
scientific community. In Brazil, one of the main concerns is the increased incidence of drought,
bringing unprecedented scenarios, which requires understanding, adaptation, and mitigation. Remote
sensing data, once scientifically interpreted, is capable of providing information for the policymakers to
better deal with the apparent lack of preparedness to deal with drought impacts.

Drought has many facets depending on where, how, when, and for how long it happens. A series of
studies were conducted to assess the impacts of drought on different regions in Brazil in the 2000s,
thus providing a better understanding of the phenomenon and, in some cases, proposing solutions to
deal with them. One study covers agriculture in southern Brazil, designing a methodology to anticipate
drought impacts on crop yield. The second research aimed at assessing the effects of an extended
drought period in the drylands of the northeastern region of Brazil, which possibly caused land
degradation. The last study is based on the southern Amazon, which includes the Indigenous Park of
Xingú — in this research, we assessed the complex degradation cycle encompassing land use changes,
fire occurrences, forest resilience loss, crop productivity and, alterations in the carbon balance. The
results bring new insights on the impacts assessment of the 2000s droughts and, therefore, set the
stage for the development of a framework adapted to the new scenario, at where climate extremes will
be a common threat to human wellbeing.

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