UM scientists want to reopen state climate office

MISSOULA COUNTY

POSTED: 1:54 PM Feb 17 2013
University of Montana Griz
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Scientists at the University of Montana say state officials should approve and provide money to reopen a state climate office because new technologies could help crop producers track global competition as well as offer other advantages.
    
A team of UM scientists led by Regents Professor of Ecology Steve Running has developed a satellite-sensed global drought severity index.
    
Running says satellite technology allows an examination of every square mile of the state to make it possible to accurately identify droughts. About 34 percent of Montana is experiencing drought conditions.
    
Running says the technology is a breakthrough that provides complete coverage rather than calculations made from weather stations.
    
He says the method also factors in information from past droughts over the last decade.