Online Archive

November 30, 2010 16:15 - 17:15

Empa, Dübendorf, Theodor-Erismann-Auditorium, VE102

Speakers

Prof. Dr Christoph Schaer, ETH Zürich

Leadership of diskussion

Prof. Dr Jan Carmeliet, Empa

Content

The water cycle is of paramount importance in climate change. On the one hand, climate change is expected to significantly affect all elements of the water cycle, with potentially serious implications for our environment and societies. Thus, we would like to understand the response of the water cycle to anthropogenic and natural climate variations. On the other hand, the water cycle and the climate system are intimately coupled. Indeed, most of the energy that is available at the Earth’s surface is used for phase changes (e.g. melting of snow, evaporation of water) rather than directly warming the atmosphere. Thus, we actually need to understand large-scale changes of the water cycle in order to project global warming.
In this presentation, a review will be provided of some of the pertinent issues. This will include an introduction to some of the basic climate feedback processes. In terms of the global climate sensitivity, the most important of these feedbacks is the water vapor greenhouse feedback, while the most uncertain one is the cloud feedback. In terms of the European summer climate, a key feedback relates to the interactions between soil-moisture and precipitation.
The presentation will also provide an overview of the representation of the water cycle in current climate models, and present current scenarios of the water cycle in a changing climate. This will also address potential implications for extreme events, such as droughts, heatwaves and heavy precipitation events.

 

The language of the presentation is English.
Free entrance, guests are welcome

Vortragssprache: Englisch