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Dim Coumou becomes Professor of Climate Extremes & Societal Risk

27 September 2021
Climate scientist Dim Coumou has been appointed Professor of Climate Extremes and Societal Risk at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as of 1 October.

Professor Coumou has been hired jointly by the KNMI, at the Department of Weather and Climate Modelling, as well as by the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU Amsterdam, which brings together a great deal of expertise in the area of societal risk and climate change. 

Extreme weather events are happening more frequently in all areas of the world due to global warming, bringing huge risks for human societies and urgent challenges for climate science. With this chair, Coumou wants to devote his attention to a thorough analysis of how global warming is impacting the number and intensity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, heavy rainfall and persistent droughts. By combining state-of-the-art climate and season prediction models with new data-driven technologies, he wants to produce reliable and useable information about the risks of extreme weather. Coumou: “This will allow us to identify future risks even better and also predict extreme weather better so we can issue timely warnings.”

Dim Coumou is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, a number of which appeared in top journals, and various book chapters; he also co-authored the fifth evaluation report of the IPCC and three reports for the World Bank. Coumou is a Web of Science ‘highly cited scientist’, which means that he has published multiple highly cited papers that are ranked in the top 1 percent in their field. He coordinates research between IVM and KNMI with a focus on the area of Climate Data Science such as applying Artificial Intelligence methods.