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Projects Climate extremes, attribution and forecasting

In our climate extremes research, we use state-of-the-art climate models and innovative data-driven methods to develop customised tools (‘climate services’) to assess extreme weather risks.

 We focus on how climate variability and change affect the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like heat waves, extreme rainfall and persistent drought.

Below an overview


  • TiPES – Tipping Points in the Earth System (2019-2022)

    The main aim of the TiPES project at IVM is to quantify tipping points, early warning signals and (compound) meteorological extremes over the Mediterranean basin. In addition, physical mechanisms driving such changes will be explored, by providing insights into both thermodynamic (e.g. temperature increase) and dynamic (e.g. changes in weather patterns, Hadley-cell expansion, northward shift of storm tracks) processes.

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  • LAnd MAnagement for CLImate Mitigation and Adaptation – LAMACLIMA (2019-2022)

    The project LAMACLIMA – LAnd MAnagement for CLImate Mitigation and Adaptation – investigates how changes in land cover and land management can help to meet the mitigation and adaptation objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. The findings will be disseminated through a number of tools, events and products. By closely involving stakeholders and policy-makers, we aim to support sustainable land use decision-making. We will quantify the impacts of large-scale land management (e.g global reforestation, deforestation, irrigation and wood harvest) on climate, agriculture, biodiversity and economic productivity. At IVM we focus on the changes on the large-scale atmospheric circulation using state of the art global climate models. We will explore the impacts of land management on both climatic mean states and extremes and teleconnections patterns that might affect geographically distant key regions including the world’s breadbaskets.

    Contact information: Dr Dim Coumou and Dr Iris Manola.

    For more information please visit the following websites: and

  • COASTRISK (2018-2022)

    We study sea levels and sea level extremes during warm climates: in the Last Interglacial (125,000 years ago) and in the future. We want to exploit the knowledge of the past to understand what the future can bring, in terms of changes in relative sea level, storm surges and tides. Then, with this knowledge, we calculate the implications of high-end changes in these climate variables for coastal flood risk and adaptation and disaster risk reduction. For this, we employ a multidisciplinary set of modelling tools: climate modelling, solid earth modelling, sea level modelling, hydrodynamic modelling, coastal inundation modelling and risk modelling.

    Contact information: Dr Paolo Scussolini

  • Persistent Summer Extremes – PERSIST (2018-2022)

    Summer extremes are particularly devastating when they persist for several days: Many consecutive hot-and-dry days causing harvest failure, or stagnating wet extremes causing flooding. Despite this importance, persistence of extreme summer weather has largely been neglected by the climate science community. 

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  • Improvement of sub-seasonal probabilistic forecasts of European high-impact weather events using machine learning techniques – IMPRINT (2018-2022)

    Each year Europe is subject to drought, heatwaves and periods of persistent rainfall that could lead to the flooding of rivers. Although short-range weather forecasts have improved substantially over the last decennia, long-range weather forecasts have improved less. The goal of this project is to improve these long-term probabilistic forecasts of extreme weather. Warnings can then be given earlier and more reliably. Long meteorological datasets and newly developed statistical post-processing methods enable us to better integrate the relevant information, and correct shortcomings of operational ensemble prediction systems.

    Contact information: Chiem van Straaten, Dr Dim Coumou, Prof. Bart van den Hurk.

    For more information, please visit the following websites: and

    van Straaten, C., Whan, K., Coumou, D., van den Hurk, B., Schmeits, M. (2020). The influence of aggregation and statistical post-processing on the sub-seasonal predictability of European temperatures. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 46, 731, 2654–2670. doi: 10.1002/qj.3810

  • REmote Climate Effects and their Impact on European sustainability, Policy and Trade – RECEIPT (2019-2021)

    In an interconnected world, Europe’s economy will be increasingly affected by climate change impacts that occur beyond its border. The movement of goods and services, people and capital occurs at ever increasing rates and volumes. This complex network reveals Europe’s globalized climate exposure, vulnerability and risk structure, through which both gradual and sudden impacts of climatic features at any location on the world (hurricanes, droughts, melting ice sheets) propagate, ultimately impacting Europe’s socio-economic welfare.

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  • Last Interglacial Floods (2017-2020)

    This is the first focus dedicated to global hydroclimate, hydrology and flooding of the Last Interglacial period, a past climate with partial analogy to possible warmer futures. For this period, we use models and geological proxies to study its patterns of precipitation, (peak) river discharge, and flooding. This serves both to test the performance of climate models and to offer an global picture of hydroclimate and hydrology in a regionally warmer world.

    This study was conducted in collaboration with Earth and Climate Cluster, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Contact information: Dr Paolo Scussolini, Prof. Jeroen Aerts, Prof. Philip Ward and Dr Dim Coumou.

    For more information, please visit the site