climate extremes

Climate change is affecting extreme weather worldwide

we study how and how-fast to identify risks for society
In 1988 in a congressional hearing, Jim Hansen famously stated that “it is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here”

Now, exactly 30 years later, unprecedented climate extremes including severe heat waves and extreme rainfall, are here — and are causing intense human suffering.

Our team of climate scientists studies the causes and consequences behind these extremes in order to identify present-day and future risks for society. We are based at leading European institutes (Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)) and actively collaborate with other institutes worldwide including Oxford University, Harvard University and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. This enables us to study a wide variety of extremes: From persistent hot-dry extremes, to intense and short-lived rainfall events, stalling cyclones, freezing cold spells, droughts and extreme monsoons.




Extreme Weather Research

We use many different types of methods to come to robust scientific conclusions:

  • Comprehensive statistical analyses to quantify where which type of extremes are changing
  • High resolution climate models to study the physical processes
  • Machine learning methods to extract dynamical features like Jetstreams or Hadley circulation as well as circulation patterns that favor extreme weather
  • Causal effect networks to understand causal teleconnection pathways in the atmosphere

Get in touch with us



Dr. Dim Coumou

Department of Water & Climate Risk
Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
VU Amsterdam
W&N-building, Room C-515
De Boelelaan 1087
1081 HV Amsterdam

Department of Earth System Analysis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Telegraphenberg A62, room S16
D-14473, Potsdam, Germany

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