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The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy


  • Dr.Filippo Giorgi: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
  • Dr.Erika Coppola: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics

Founded in 1964 by Abdus Salam (Nobel Laureate), the ICTP operates under the aegis of two United Nations Agencies: UNESCO (United Nations organization for Education, Science and Culture) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), and is regularised by a seat agreement with the Government of Italy, which provides the major part of the Centre’s funding. The main aim of the ICTP is to foster the growth of advanced studies and research in physical and mathematical sciences, especially in developing countries.

ICTP acts as an international forum for scientific contacts between scientists from all countries. It provides facilities to conduct original research to its visitors, associates and fellows. On average, ICTP welcomes 3600 scientists a year. Over 50% of the scientists who have attended the ICTP activities since 1964 came from developing countries; until now, 150 nations and 45 international organizations have been represented. The main research fields of interest at ICTP are: Mathematics, Physics of Condensed Matter, Physics of High and Intermediate Energies, Earth System Physics, Physics of the Living State, Digital Communications and Computer Networking. The Earth System Physics section (ESP) was established in 2005 and conducts research on regional climate modelling, anthropogenic climate change, natural climate variability, chemistry-climate interactions, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, seismology, physics of the lithosphere, earthquake prediction.

The ESP maintains and develops a state-of-the-art regional climate model (RegCM). This model was developed during the last decade and has been used for a wide variety of applications, from paleo-climate to possible future climate simulations at the regional scale. The RegCM has been applied to a wide range of regions in the globe (Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central, East and South Asia, South America) and has been run at horizontal grid intervals of 20-100 km. It has capability of interactive coupling to an aerosol model and to a one dimensional lake model. The RegCM is currently used by a wide range of users, including many from developing countries. The ESP is currently participating in European projects (ENSEMBLES, CECILIA, WATCH) and is involved in a number of projects proposed for the Italian National Climate Research Program. The ESP has access to the supercomputing facilities of CINECA.

Filippo Giorgi is currently a senior scientist in ICTP and head of ESP, which he joined in May 1998. He obtained a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology in June of 1986, and worked as a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Co, USA, from 1986 to 1998. He co-authored over 140 refereed publications and was an investigator in over 20 research grants in the U.S. and Europe. He pioneered the field of regional climate modelling, for which he has over 20 years of working experience. Other research experience and interests include global climate, mesoscale and aerosol modelling, biosphere atmosphere and chemistry-climate interactions, climate change and variability (focus on the regional scale).

Erika Coppola received the Laurea degree in Physics (1998) from the University of L’Aquila, and the Ph.D degree (2004) in Meteorology from the University of Reading, UK. From 2002 to 2006 she joined the CETEMPS centre of excellence of the University of L’Aquila as a post-doc. She is currently young scientist in ICTP, ESP section, which she joined in September 2006. Her Ph.D research involved passive remote sensing of the atmosphere from space-borne platforms, with a particular focus on precipitation using microwave and infrared data, development of inversion methods neural network based. She is involved in the hydrological model research activity and development of CHyM hydrological model and in particular her current research involves the coupling of the hydrological model with regional climate model (RegCM) for land-use impact studies and climate change studies. Her interests include also AGCM and RCM model simulation analysis for climate change and variability study.