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Early recognition of critical drought conditions in Switzerland - coping with shortages in soil moisture, groundwater and runoff (DROUGHT-CH)

Applicant Seneviratne Sonia
Number 125925
Funding scheme NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management
Research institution Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.01.2010 - 31.12.2013
Approved amount 1'067'251.00
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All Disciplines (6)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Environmental Research
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (12)

remote sensing; drought; seasonal forecasting; monitoring; Switzerland; isotope hydrology; modeling; streamflow; water resources; low-flow; groundwater; soil moisture

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Sind wir auf Trockenperioden vorbereitet?Als Folge des Klimawandels kann in der Schweiz eine Zunahme von Trockenperioden und Hitzewellen erwartet werden. Trockenperioden haben gravierende Auswirkungen auf Wasservorräte, auf das Gesundheitswesen, auf Ökosysteme und, als Folge davon, auch auf die Wirtschaft. Trotzdem fehlen immer noch relevante Grundlageninformationen als Basis für angemessene Bewältigungsstrategien.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Gemäss den Klimawandelsszenarien wird in der Schweiz das Risiko von Trockenperioden in den kommenden Jahrzehnten signifikant zunehmen. Die Trockenperiode und Hitzewelle des Jahres 2003 hat die schwerwiegenden Konsequenzen solcher Ereignisse und die mangelnde Vorbereitung der Schweiz aufgezeigt. Zu den Konsequenzen für Natur und Gesellschaft gehören Auswirkungen auf den Vorrat und die Verfügbarkeit von Wasser, auf die Landwirtschaft, die Energieproduktion, die Gebäudeinfrastruktur und auf Ökosysteme. Trockenperioden können die Schwere von Hitzewellen verstärken und wirken sich somit auch auf die menschliche Gesundheit aus.

Ziel
Ziel des Projektes ist ein besseres Verständnis und die Bewertung der Risiken von Trockenperioden in der Schweiz. Das Projekt beinhaltet natur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Elemente: Mittels Beobachtungen und auch durch Modellierung von Hydrologie und Klima werden wir Auswirkungen von Trockenperioden auf Ökosysteme, Böden und Flusssyteme charakterisieren. Andererseits werden wir sowohl Kosten und Auswirkungen von Trockenperioden, als auch potentielle Vorteile der Voraussage von Trockenperioden bewerten. Diese Analyse wird es uns erlauben, geeignete Ansätze zur Vorhersage und Frühwarnung von Trockenperioden zu untersuchen. Zusammen mit interessierten Kreisen werden wir einen ersten Prototyp einer virtuellen Plattform für Trockenperioden entwickeln.

Bedeutung
In der Vergangenheit stellten Trockenperioden kein bedeutendes Risiko dar und die Schweiz ist deshalb auch kaum auf diese Bedrohung vorbereitet. Die Vorhersage von Trockenperioden ist wegen der Komplexität der beteiligten Systeme sehr anspruchsvoll. Dieses Projekt bewertet zum ersten Mal in umfassender Weise die Risiken von Trockenperioden in der Schweiz und schafft damit eine Grundlage, die es erlaubt, sich an die Auswirkungen der Klimaveränderung anzupassen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.02.2013

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Sommes-nous préparés aux périodes de sécheresse? En raison du changement climatique, on peut s’attendre à ce que les périodes de sécheresse et les vagues de chaleur deviennent plus fréquentes en Suisse. Les périodes de sécheresse ont des répercussions majeures sur les ressources hydrologiques, la santé publique, les écosystèmes, et de ce fait aussi sur l’économie.
Lay summary

Contexte
Selon les scénarios de changement climatique, le risque de sécheresse en Suisse s’accroîtra significativement dans les décennies à venir. La période de sécheresse et la vague de chaleur de l’été 2003 illustrent les graves conséquences de tels événements et le manque de préparation de la Suisse. Les conséquences pour la nature et la société sont, entre autres, des répercussions sur les ressources en eau, l’approvisionnement en eau, l’agriculture, la production d’énergie, les infrastructures et les écosystèmes. Etant donné que les périodes de sécheresse peuvent accroître la gravité des vagues de chaleur, elles ont également un impact sur la santé humaine.

But
Ce projet vise à mieux comprendre et à évaluer les risques de sécheresse en Suisse. Le projet incorpore des éléments des sciences naturelles et sociales. Nous allons d’une part caractériser les répercussions des sécheresses sur les écosystèmes, les sols et les rivières au moyen d’observations et de modèles hydrologiques et climatiques. D’autre part, nous allons évaluer l’impact et le coût des périodes de sécheresse, ainsi que les bénéfices potentiels associés à leur prévision. Cette analyse nous permettra d’examiner comment prévoir au mieux les périodes de sécheresse et comment lancer l’alerte suffisamment tôt. En collaboration avec les milieux intéressés, nous développerons un premier prototype de plateforme d’information virtuelle sur les sécheresses.

Portée
Par le passé, les sécheresses ne constituaient pas un risque majeur. De ce fait la Suisse est mal préparée à ce danger. La prévision des périodes de sécheresse représente un grand défi de par la complexité des systèmes impliqués. Le projet évalue pour la première fois de manière détaillée les risques de sécheresse en Suisse. Ceci servira de base d’adaptation aux répercussions du changement climatique.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.02.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Are we prepared for drought?Droughts and heat waves are expected to become more frequent in Switzerland due to climate change. Droughts have major impacts on water resources, public health, ecosystems and consequently the economy. However, relevant information as a basis for adequate coping strategies is still lacking.
Lay summary
Background
According to climate change scenarios, drought risk will significantly increase in Switzerland in the coming decades. The drought and heat wave of 2003 demonstrated the severe consequences of such events and the lack of preparation of Switzerland. Consequences for nature and society include impacts on water resources, water supply, agriculture, energy production, building infrastructure and ecosystems. As droughts can enhance the severity of heat waves, they also impact human health.

Aims and methods
The project aims at a better understanding and evaluation of drought risks in Switzerland. The project integrates natural and social science components: On the one hand, we will characterize drought effects on ecosystems, soils and river systems by means of observations as well as hydrological and climate models. On the other hand, we will evaluate costs and impacts associated with droughts and the potential benefits associated with their prediction. This analysis will enable us to investigate appropriate approaches for the prediction and early warning of droughts. Together with different stakeholders, we will develop a first prototype of a virtual information platform for droughts.

Significance
Droughts did not constitute a major risk in the past, and consequently Switzerland is ill-prepared for this hazard. Prediction of drought is highly challenging due to the complexity of the affected systems. The project evaluates drought risks in Switzerland in a comprehensive way for the first time. This will provide a basis to adapt to the impact of climate change.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
A prototype platform for water resources monitoring and early recognition of critical droughts in Switzerland
Zappa Massimiliano, Bernard Luzi, Spirig Christoph, Pfaundler Martin, Stahl Kerstin, Kruse Sylvia, Seidl Irmi, Staehli Manfred (2014), A prototype platform for water resources monitoring and early recognition of critical droughts in Switzerland, in Evolving Water Resources Systems: Understanding, Predicting and Managing Water–Society Interactions , Bologna.
drought.ch – auf dem Weg zu einer Trockenheits-Informationsplattform für die Schweiz
Staehli Manfred, Kruse Sylvia, Fundel Felix, Zappa Massimiliano, Bernhard Luzi, Stahl Kerstin, Seidl Irmi (2013), drought.ch – auf dem Weg zu einer Trockenheits-Informationsplattform für die Schweiz, in Wasser, Energie, Luft, 2, 117-121.
Elusive drought: Uncertainty in observed trends and short- and long-term CMIP5 projections
Orlowsky Boris, Seneviratne Sonia (2013), Elusive drought: Uncertainty in observed trends and short- and long-term CMIP5 projections, in Hydr. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1765-1781.
Evapotranspiration amplifies European summer drought
Teuling Adriaan, van Loon Anne, Seneviratne Sonia, Lehner Irene, Aubinet Marc, Heinesch Bernard, Bernhofer Christian, Gruenwald Thomas, Prasse Heiko, Spank Uwe (2013), Evapotranspiration amplifies European summer drought, in Geophysical Research Letters, 40(10), 2071-2075.
How important is vegetation phenology for European climate and heatwaves?
Lorenz Ruth, Davin Edouard, Lawrence Dave, Stoeckli Reto, Seneviratne Sonia (2013), How important is vegetation phenology for European climate and heatwaves?, in Journal of Climate, 26, 10077-10100.
Inferring soil moisture memory from streamflow observations
Orth Rene, Koster R.D., Seneviratne Sonia I. (2013), Inferring soil moisture memory from streamflow observations, in J. Hydrometeorology, 14 (6), 1773-1790.
Monthly hydrometeorological ensemble prediction of streamflow droughts and corresponding drought indices
Fundel Felix, Joerg-Hess Stefanie, Zappa Massimiliano (2013), Monthly hydrometeorological ensemble prediction of streamflow droughts and corresponding drought indices, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 395-407.
Predictability of soil moisture and streamflow on sub-seasonal timescales: A case study
Orth Rene, Seneviratne Sonia I. (2013), Predictability of soil moisture and streamflow on sub-seasonal timescales: A case study, in J. Geophysical Res. - Atmospheres, 118, 10963-10979.
Propagation of soil moisture memory to streamflow and evapotranspiration
Orth Rene, Seneviratne Sonia I. (2013), Propagation of soil moisture memory to streamflow and evapotranspiration, in Hydr. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3895-3911.
Trockenheit in der Schweiz
Seneviratne Sonia, Orth Rene, Joerg-Hess Stefanie, Kruse Sylvia, Seidl Irmi, Staehli Manfred, Zappa Massimiliano, Seibert Jan, Staudinger Maria, Stahl Kerstin, Weiler Markus (2013), Trockenheit in der Schweiz, in Aqua & Gas, 9, 38-47.
A revised framework for analyzing soil moisture memory in climate data: Derivation and interpretation
Seneviratne Sonia, Koster Randal (2012), A revised framework for analyzing soil moisture memory in climate data: Derivation and interpretation, in Journal of Hydrometeorology, 13, 404-412.
Analysis of soil moisture memory from observations in Europe
Orth Rene, Seneviratne Sonia (2012), Analysis of soil moisture memory from observations in Europe, in J. Geophysical Research, 117(D15115), 1-19.
Historical drought trends revisited
Seneviratne Sonia (2012), Historical drought trends revisited, in Nature, 491, 338-339.
Modeling land-climate coupling in Europe: Impact of land surface representation on climate variability and extremes
Lorenz Ruth, Davin Edouard, Seneviratne Sonia (2012), Modeling land-climate coupling in Europe: Impact of land surface representation on climate variability and extremes, in Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D20109.
Swiss pre-alpine Rietholzbach research catchment and lysimeter: Analysis of 32-­year hydroclimatological time series and 2003 drought
Seneviratne Sonia, Lehner Irene, Gurtz J., Teuling A.J., Lang H., Moser U., Grebner D., Menzel L., Schroff Karl, Vitvar T., Zappa Massimiliano (2012), Swiss pre-alpine Rietholzbach research catchment and lysimeter: Analysis of 32-­year hydroclimatological time series and 2003 drought, in Water Resources Research, 48(W06526), 1-20.
Swiss pre-alpine Rietholzbach research catchment and lysimeter: Analysis of 32-­year hydroclimatological time series and 2003 drought
Seneviratne Sonia, Lehner Irene, Gurtz Joachim, Teuling Adriaan Josephus, Lang Herbert, Moser Ulrich, Grebner Dietmar, Menzel Lucas, Schroff Karl, Vitvar Tomas, Zappa Massimiliano (2012), Swiss pre-alpine Rietholzbach research catchment and lysimeter: Analysis of 32-­year hydroclimatological time series and 2003 drought, in Water Resources Research, 48, W06526.
Vorhersage und Szenarien von Schnee- und Wasserressourcen im Alpenraum
Zappa Massimiliano, Bernard Luzi, Fundel Felix, Joerg-Hess Stefanie (2012), Vorhersage und Szenarien von Schnee- und Wasserressourcen im Alpenraum, in Forum fuer Wissen, 19-27.
Aussergewöhnliche Trockenheit im 2011 - Neue Vorhersagesysteme für Wasserressourcen
Zappa Massimiliano (2011), Aussergewöhnliche Trockenheit im 2011 - Neue Vorhersagesysteme für Wasserressourcen, in Newsletter Naturgefahren SLF, 3-4.
Comparison of hydrological model structures based on recession and low flow simulations
Staudinger Maria, Stahl Kerstin, Seibert Jan, Clark M.P., Tallaksen L.M. (2011), Comparison of hydrological model structures based on recession and low flow simulations, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 8, 6833-6866.
Hydrological Ensemble Forecasting in Mesoscale Catchments: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions and Value of Reforecasts
Fundel F. Zappa M. (2011), Hydrological Ensemble Forecasting in Mesoscale Catchments: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions and Value of Reforecasts, in Water Resour. Res, 47, 1-15.
Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe
Hirschi Martin, Seneviratne Sonia, Alexandrov Vesselin, Boberg Fredrik, Boroneant Constanta, Christensen Ole, Formayer Herbert, Orlowsky Boris, Stepanek Peter (2011), Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe, in Nature Geoscience, 4, 17-21.
Contrasting response of European forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves.
Teuling Adriaan, Seneviratne Sonia, Stöckli Reto, Reichstein Markus, Moors Eddy, Ciais Philippe, Luyssaert Sebastiaan, van den Hurk Bart, Ammann Christof, Bernhofer Christian, Dellwik Ebba, Gianelle Damiano, Gielen Bert, Grünwald Thomas, Klumpp Katja, Montagnani Leonardo, Moureaux Christine, Sottocornola Matteo, Wohlfahrt Georg (2010), Contrasting response of European forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves., in Nature Geoscience, 3, 722-727.
Informationsbedarf für die Früherkennung von Trockenheit in der Schweiz. Die Sicht potentiell betroffener Nutzergruppen
Kruse Sylvia, Seidl Irmi, Stähli Manfred (2010), Informationsbedarf für die Früherkennung von Trockenheit in der Schweiz. Die Sicht potentiell betroffener Nutzergruppen, in Wasser, Energie, Luft, 102(4), 301-304.
Social capacities for drought risk management in Switzerland
Kruse Sylvia, Seidl Irmi, Social capacities for drought risk management in Switzerland, in Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci..

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
MeteoSchweiz Seminar 2013 Individual talk 03.12.2013 Zuerich, Switzerland Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
Environmental Engineering Seminar Series - EESS, EPF Lausanne 2013 Individual talk 26.11.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Zappa Massimiliano;
ZHydro Seminar 2013 Poster 13.11.2013 Zuerich, Switzerland Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
NFP61 progress meeting 2013 Poster 14.10.2013 Thun, Switzerland Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
13th EMS Annual Meeting & 11th European Conference on Applications of Meteorology (ECAM) 2013 Talk given at a conference 09.09.2013 Reading, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Zappa Massimiliano;
C2SM Water Cycle Symposium 2014 Poster 01.07.2013 Zuerich, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
The Catchment Science: Interactions of Hydrology, Biology & Geochemistry Gordon Research Conference 2013 Individual talk 16.06.2013 Andover, United States of America Weiler Markus;
European Geoscience Union General Assembly 2013 Poster 08.04.2013 Wien, Austria Weiler Markus; Gundel Anita;
European Geosciences Union 2013 Talk given at a conference 08.04.2013 Wien, Austria Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
European Geoscience Union General Assembly 2013 Poster 08.04.2013 Wien, Austria Weiler Markus; Gundel Anita;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2013 Poster 07.04.2013 Wien, Austria Fundel Felix; Zappa Massimiliano; Joerg-Hess Stefanie;
WSL Forum für Wissen 2012 Individual talk 23.11.2012 Davos, Switzerland Fundel Felix; Joerg-Hess Stefanie;
WSL Forum für Wissen 2012 Poster 23.11.2012 Davos, Switzerland Joerg-Hess Stefanie;
WSL Forum fuer Wissen 2012 Poster 23.11.2012 Davos, Switzerland Seidl Irmi; Kruse Sylvia;
10th Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2012 Individual talk 17.11.2012 Bern, Switzerland Zappa Massimiliano; Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Fundel Felix;
ZHydro Seminar 2012 Talk given at a conference 15.11.2012 Zuerich, Switzerland Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
Mid-term meeting of the UNESCO FRIEND Low flow group 2012 Individual talk 03.10.2012 Payerbach, Austria Stahl Kerstin;
Workshop on attribution of climate and weather extremes 2012 Talk given at a conference 12.09.2012 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Seneviratne Sonia;
11th International NCCR Climate Summer School 2012 Poster 09.09.2012 Monte Verità, Switzerland Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECWMF) annual seminar 2012 Talk given at a conference 05.09.2012 Reading, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Seneviratne Sonia;
3rd International FEFLOW UserConference 2012 Individual talk 03.09.2012 Berlin, Germany Gundel Anita;
International Geographical Congress 2012 Poster 27.08.2012 Köln, Germany Kruse Sylvia; Seidl Irmi;
Workshop on Probabilistic Forecasting of High-Impact Weather Events 2012 Poster 25.04.2012 Heidelberg, Germany Fundel Felix;
European Geosciences Union 2012 Poster 23.04.2012 Wien, Austria Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
Managing Alpine Future Workshop 2012: Transdisziplinäre Wissensproduktion in der Wasserforschung Talk given at a conference 19.04.2012 Innsbruck, Austria Kruse Sylvia;
Managing Alpine Future Workshop 2012 Talk given at a conference 19.04.2012 Innsbruck, Austria Kruse Sylvia;
WCRP Global Drought Information System Workshop 2012 Talk given at a conference 11.04.2012 Frascati, Italy Seneviratne Sonia;
Seminar NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 2012 Individual talk 27.03.2012 Greenbelt/Maryland, United States of America Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
Tag der Hydrologie 2012 Poster 22.03.2012 Freiburg, Switzerland Gundel Anita; Stahl Kerstin; Weiler Markus;
NFP61 project meeting 2012 Poster 13.03.2012 Vitznau, Switzerland Seibert Jan; Staudinger Maria; Weiler Markus; Stahl Kerstin; Gundel Anita;
NFP61 Project meeting 2012 Poster 13.03.2012 Vitznau, Switzerland Joerg-Hess Stefanie;
International Symposium on Climate Impacts on Low Flows and Droughts 2012 Talk given at a conference 01.03.2012 Wien, Austria Stahl Kerstin;
KOHS-Tagung 2012 Individual talk 20.01.2012 Olten, Switzerland Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Fundel Felix; Zappa Massimiliano;
COSMO User Workshop 2012 Talk given at a conference 17.01.2012 Zürich, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia; Lorenz Ruth;
9th Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2011 Talk given at a conference 12.11.2011 Zürich, Switzerland Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Fundel Felix;
WCRP Open Science Conference 2011 Talk given at a conference 24.10.2011 Denver, United States of America Seneviratne Sonia;
3rd I-LEAPS Science Conference 2011 Poster 20.09.2011 Garmisch-Patenkirchen, Austria Lorenz Ruth; Seneviratne Sonia;
10th European Conference on Applications of Meteorology 2011 Talk given at a conference 12.09.2011 Berlin, Germany Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Fundel Felix; Zappa Massimiliano;
NCCR Climate Summer School 2011 Poster 07.09.2011 Grindelwald, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
NCCR Climate Summer School 2011 Poster 05.09.2011 Grindelwald, Switzerland Lorenz Ruth; Seneviratne Sonia;
NCCR Summer School 2011 Talk given at a conference 05.09.2011 Grindelwald, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia;
CLM-Community Assembly 2011 Talk given at a conference 01.09.2011 Cava de Tirreni, Italy Seneviratne Sonia; Lorenz Ruth;
HydroEco 2011 Poster 02.05.2011 Wien, Austria Weiler Markus; Gundel Anita; Stahl Kerstin;
Swiss Global Change Day 2011 Poster 19.04.2011 Bern, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia; Orth René;
European Geosciences Union 2011 Poster 05.04.2011 Wien, Austria Lorenz Ruth; Seneviratne Sonia;
WCRP workshop Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 05.04.2011 Barcelona, Spain Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
NFP61 Project Meeting 2011 Poster 31.03.2011 Murten, Switzerland Seidl Irmi; Staehli Manfred; Kruse Sylvia;
WCRP workshop Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Staudinger Maria; Seibert Jan;
WCRP Workshop on Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Joerg-Hess Stefanie; Fundel Felix; Zappa Massimiliano;
European Geoscience Union 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Wien, Austria Orth René; Seneviratne Sonia;
WCRP workshop Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Talk given at a conference 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Seneviratne Sonia;
WCRP Workshop on Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Kruse Sylvia; Seidl Irmi; Staehli Manfred;
WCRP workshop Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Seneviratne Sonia; Lorenz Ruth;
WCRP Workshop on Drought Predictability and Prediction in a Changing Climate: Assessing Current Knowledge and Capabilities, User Requirements and Research Priorities 2011 Poster 02.03.2011 Barcelona, Spain Zappa Massimiliano; Fundel Felix; Joerg-Hess Stefanie;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Konferenz der Landwirtschaftsämter der Schweiz 2014 10.01.2014 Bern, Switzerland Seneviratne Sonia;
Seminar, Bundesamt für Umwelt 2013 17.06.2013 Ittingen, Switzerland Zappa Massimiliano;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Die Crux mit den Extremen NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Droughts steady since 1950 The Telegraph International 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Forscher sagen neue klimatologische Ära voraus NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media On ne peut définir la sécheresse indépendamment du mileu impacté Aqua & Gas Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Talks/events/exhibitions Science City Talk, ETH Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Ab drei Grad wird's kritisch - Trockenheit und Landwirtschaft ETH Globe German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Media relations: radio, television Ein Frühling wie Sommer SF / Einstein German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Ein Frühwarnsystem für magere Jahre ETH Connect German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Mieux prédire les canicules SNF Horizons Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Mieux prédire les grandes canicules Le Temps Western Switzerland 2011
Video/Film Sommes-nous préparés aux périodes de sécheresse? German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Vivre au sec, mode d'emploi Le Temps Western Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media Wenn die Atmosphäre zum Backofen wird SNF Journal Horizonte German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Media relations: print media, online media La Suisse doit adopter un système d'alertes sécheresse Le Temps Western Switzerland 2010

Awards

Title Year
ERC Consolidator Grant ("DROUGHT-HEAT") 2014
James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
131995 Hydrological modelling for climate-change impact assessment based on Regional Climate Model results 01.06.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
153544 FORHYCS: FORest and HYdrology Change in Switzerland - a simulation study 01.06.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
136273 CarboCount CH: Quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes and their sensitivity to climate variations: A case study in Central Europe and Switzerland 01.01.2012 Sinergia
152506 Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams 01.09.2014 SCOPES

Abstract

Droughts have severe consequences for nature and society. This includes impacts on agriculture, water supply, energy production, building infrastructure, and ecosystems. As droughts can enhance the severity of heat waves, they also impact human health. Climate models project that events such as the 2003 drought and heatwave will become more frequent in the coming decades in Switzerland. The early recognition of critical drought conditions has large economic and social benefits and is hence essential for drought risk management. The potential of such applications in Switzerland needs to be investigated.The prediction and characterization of drought events is challenging for several reasons: 1) Droughts are complex phenomena involving numerous interacting climate processes; 2) The sensitivity of regions to droughts depends on several factors, from storage properties and natural resilience to water use and social systems’ vulnerability; 3) Monitoring of relevant variables such as soil moisture - in particular at regional scale - are lacking in many countries, including Switzerland.The proposed project aims at the characterization and early recognition of critical drought and low-flow conditions in Switzerland, and will provide the scientific basis for the development of an information and early warning platform for drought and low flow (similar to the upcoming National platform for Natural Hazards, GIN). The project integrates a nature system component (WP2-WP5), dedicated to the improvement of the modelling, observation, forecast, and analysis of drought and low-flow characteristics in Switzerland, with a use and social system component, dedicated to the identification of the needs of end users, stakeholders and decision makers. Both components will interact and jointly provide the basis for the development of the information and early warning platform, which will be available as a prototype by the end of the project.
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