Climate science and ecohydrology

Interaction between weather, climate and the land surface is one of the key components in our Earth system. Better understanding of the feedbacks of, for instance, vegetation on the atmosphere improves weather forecasting and climate models, while the impact of the atmosphere, say rainfall, temperature on vegetation distribution and functioning is critical in developing realistic assessments of future ecosystem functioning.

Understanding and assessing
Understanding the complex feedback mechanisms in our Earth System is critical for improvement of our understanding of past, current and future climate. In particular those feedbacks that involve vegetation are difficult to parametrize in large scale models, but are essential for improving our predictability of weather and climate. Being able to develop assessments of future functioning of ecosystems under various forms of global change involves determining their resilience and the value of their services.

Key research foci 
• Improved understanding of the coupling of the hydrological and carbon cycle; 
• Novel approaches to model vegetation atmosphere feedbacks, also in permafrost areas; 
• Impact of climate warming on hydrological processes such as runoff, groundwater depletion and recharge. 

Core Faculty Members
Prof Han Dolman
Dr Hans Renssen
Prof Rien Aerts
Dr Gerald Ganssen