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Atmospheric modelling of hydrological extremes

  • 1 September, 2015
  • VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
  • Prof. Bart van den Hurk
  • Dr Geert Lenderink

The PhD research is part of the EU project IMPREX, Improving predictions and management of hydrological extremes, and focusses on changes in hydrometeorological extremes in a changing climate.
At impact-relevant spatial scales (local, country to river-basin scales), multi-decadal natural variability introduces an irreducible source of uncertainty in climate change projections. In this research we first focus on the quantification of the relative magnitude of these irreducible uncertainties compared to the forced climate response, providing guidance in the correct interpretation of fine-scale climate information, both in model simulations and in observations. Next, within this context of the forced climate response and natural variations, we analyse specific extreme hydrometeorological events (compound flooding in the Netherlands, 2018 drought) and examine how these extremes would evolve in a warming climate. On the one hand, this allows the investigation of the mechanisms of changes in extremes, conditional on a specific realization of synoptic-scale natural variability. On the other hand it provides informative scenarios for the general public, as well as policy and decision makers, that can be used in the development and assessment of climate adaptation strategies.

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Emma Aalbers

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