Assessing drought conditions in Australia: A self-report measure based on spike and slab lasso

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Dr Bakar will be presenting collaborative work being undertaken with fellow ANU researchers Professor Matthew Gray, Dr Ben Edwards and Dr Boyd Hunter. 

The object is to better understand the perception of drought using a self-report measure from a survey conducted in 2007. The study establishes a relationship between climatic variables and survey data using a novel Bayesian spatial spike & slab lasso method. The proposed method identifies key climatic factors and their lagged influences on the self-reported drought measurement at postcode levels. 

The authors find that the sensitivity of drought differs for farmers with the non-farmers, which is the reflection of influences of different climatic variables made by the models. They also compare the model based results with existing drought indices like Hutchinson Drought Index, Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI).