Land-water-climate interactions

This theme its focus is on dynamic feedbacks and interactions between water, carbon and climate change, modelled and observed at mostly regional scales. We study the effects of climate on natural vegetation and crops, but also the reverse - the effects of large scale land use (change) on climate. Thus, we aim to contribute to better exploit the potential of climate while respecting its constraints.

We use crop-, vegetation- water models like WOFOST and LPJ to study the effects of climate change and climate variability on the productivity of crops and the resilience of carbon stored in natural vegetation. We assess and improve the predictability of seasonal crop forecasts and long term vegetation projections.

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We use coupled land-atmosphere models like RAMS/WRF to study the effects of large scale irrigation and urbanization on rainfall recycling mechanisms.

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Both require good knowledge on coupled evaporation - carbon exchange mechanisms in vegetation. Measurements at regional scales –airborne flux measurements and remote sensing- help us to improve parameterizations and scaling issues.

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