James P. Verdin is a physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Resources Observation and Science Center. He is currently assigned to work in the National Integrated Drought Information System program office at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado. He is leading USGS ET remote sensing efforts for the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program. He also leads USGS activities, since 1995, in support of the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

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By 2080 the effects of climate change—on heat waves, floods, sea level rise, and drought—could push an additional 600 million people into malnutrition and increase the number of people facing water scarcity by 1.8 billion.1 The precise impacts will, however, strongly depend on socioeconomic conditions such as local markets and food import …

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