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Scienze dell’atmosfera e del Clima-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

The “Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima” (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate) has more than 200 staff members, and it conducts activities of research, promotion and technology transfer in the following disciplines: meteorology and its applications, climate change and predictability, atmospheric structure and composition, observations of the planet Earth.
The scientist-in-charge for this project is Dr. Antonello Provenzale, who has about one hundred publications in the international, peer-reviewed scientific literature on topics including geophysical fluid dynamics, climate dynamics, data analysis, hydrology, and ecosystem dynamics. Dr. Provenzale has been a node coordinator for several European projects and networks, and is the principal investigator in several national projects on topics such as rainfall variability and prediction, ecosystem modelling and climate impact studies.


Institute for Water Problems and Hydropower

The Institute for Water Problems and Hydropower of the Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences is one of the leading Kyrgyz research institutes on water issues. It covers all aspects of water resource study and management from glaciology and hydrology to trans-boudary water questions.

Gulnara Shalpykova will work as a PhD Student on these issues. She is currently visiting the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, in the UK.


CEA-LSCE Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement

The ``laboratoire des sciences du climat et l’environnement" (LSCE) is a research center sponsored by three French national research institutes: ``Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique" (CNRS), ``Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique" (CEA) and ``Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin".

Three main research topics are covered at LSCE:

(1) mechanisms to explain the natural climate variability at different time scales and the interactions among human activities, the climate and the environment,

(2) processes linked to the carbon cycle, greenhouse gases and aerosols that interact with the climate,

(3) geochronology and its associated techniques to study recent and old climates.

The LSCE research teams provide and study a variety of observations, proxies and coupled model outputs (IPSL-model). Its staff is about 250 persons.

For the last 10 years, Philippe Naveau and Pascal Yiou have been research scientists whose research interests are focused on theoretical and applied statistics, with an emphasis on applications related to environmental and climatic data sets.

First, the successful candidate will have to work with the theoretical statisticians in order to develop the mathematical properties of our proposed statistical downscaling scheme for extremes. The “Institute of Mathematics” at EPFL is an excellent place to undertake these theoretical developments. It is important to emphasize that strong interactions with applied math researchers is needed because the distribution of extreme events in a multivariate context varies greatly from the classical Gaussian distribution. Consequently, the uncertainties computed for multivariate extremes are very different from the ones obtained for the mean and the standard deviation. This is a very challenging statistical problem and a strong collaborative work with probability experts is required.

The second part of the post-doc time will focus on testing and implementing the proposed statistical procedures to geophysical data (high precipitation, etc). To promote the dissemination of our research results, statistical software about the downscaling of extremes will be posted electronically on the Worldwide Web as a package in the freely-available R statistical program at the end of this project. The post-doc will strongly contribute to the development of these algorithms. Overall, this interdisciplinary research project will allow a young researcher to gain a real expertise in both statistics and geosciences. To advice the post-doc, the permanent members of this package will also meet on a regular basis.

Attributed tasks include:

  1. Proposing and studying novel statistical methods to better assess the uncertainties when modelling the frequency and the amplitudes of extreme events in past records. This deliverable would be based on multivariate Extreme Value Theory that would be specially tailored for the analysis of heavy rainfalls and droughts in a spatio-temporal context (conditional on meaningful weather regimes).
  2. Development of extreme-value models and estimation methods that can take into account of covariate structures. Such covariates include time, spatial information or any other quantitative measure. Such methods will be validated in three steps: theoretical study of the asymptotic properties, numerical experiments on simulated data and numerical experiments on real data.
  3. Development of new statistical downscaling schemes for heavy rainfall. This deliverable would be based on Bayesian hierarchical models and/or state-space modeling techniques in compliance with Extreme Value Theory.



MonteRosaStar S.r.l. is the company managing the Belvedere and Monte Moro ski resorts on the Monte Rosa area. It is in charge of the maintenance of the lifting systems and of the ski runs. In particular the company is involved in the artificial snow production all over the skiing domain.

Luigi Corsi is working as the responsible of the lifting system and of the ski runs since 1994. He is in charge either of the administrative and of the technical activities. He also gained technical competence (obtained after taking part to AINEVA training courses since 1994) and the experiences in the safety measures for snow avalanche risk mitigation and management (artificial controlled triggering in 2002). In this frame he is the responsible of the safety for snow avalanche for the whole skiing domain.


Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) was founded as an institute dedicated to fundamental climate research. The overall mission of MPI-M is to understand how chemical, physical, and biological processes, as well as human behaviour contribute to the dynamics of the Earth system, and specifically how they relate to global climate changes. The objectives of the institute are to undertake an analysis of the Earth’s composition and dynamics, focusing on the interactive biological, chemical and physical processes that define Earth System dynamics, and more specifically to develop and use the appropriate tools to investigate the complexity of the Earth system, explain its natural variability, assess how the system is affected by changes in land-use, industrial development, urbanization, and other human-induced perturbations. Among these tools are advanced numerical models that simulate the behavior of the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere and the biosphere, and the interactions between these different components of the Earth’s system.

MPI-M develops state-of-the-art global climate models, including the different model components dealing with the atmosphere (ECHAM), ocean and sea ice (MPI-OM1), land surface, biosphere. These models account for biogeochemical proceses (MOZART, HAMOCC). Regional models (REMO) are used to provide high resolution climate predictions in geographically limited areas. Finally, MPI-M is managing an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Earth System Modelling, which hosts approximately 30 PhD students.

The main task of MPI-M in the framework of the proposed project is to carry out and to analyse regional climate model simulations in order to project future climatic changes in the Alpine area on a regional scale. For this purpose, the regional climate model REMO is applied using different horizontal resolutions. Further tasks are the assessment of the influence of future glacier mass changes on runoff conditions and the investigation of climate-vegetation feedback mechanisms.

MPI-M acts as the focal point of climate research in Germany since 25 years. It is contributing to integrated assessment studies and socio-economic/climate interactions. It has made major contributions to the analysis of a human influence on climate in detection and attribution studies. MPI-M is committed to develop a comprehensive Earth system model (ESM) in which the physical aspects of the climate system are coupled with biogeochemical cycles and make it available to the scientific community in Europe and elsewhere and to inform decision-makers and the public on questions related to Climate Change and Global Change. The regional climate model REMO has been widely used in national and international research projects and has been applied to various regions all over the world. With the development of a subgrid glacier parameterization for REMO (Kotlarski, 2007), the model is now specifically well suited to study the full hydrological cycle of the alpine region on long time scales.

Dr. Daniela Jacob was educated at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany where she studied meteorology. She obtained her PhD degree at the University of Hamburg in 1991 and spent the year 1992 at NCAR, Boulder, Colorado, as a visiting scientist. Her main interests are in the applicability of different physical parameterizations for scale dependent mesoscale phenomena and the investigations of flow simulations on the scale of a few kilometers up to a few thousand kilometers. She is leading the regional climate modelling activities at MPI-M in Hamburg, Germany, which encompass model development, coupling of different modelling systems, validation and applications.

Dr. Sven Kotlarski Hydrologist, main research areas: climate-glacier interactions, coupling of climate models to hydrological models.

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