Nov. 6, 2019
The CLIMERS group was initiated with the TU Wien Science Award 2015 awarded to Wouter Dorigo
Global warming is expected to amplify the global water cycle, which will lead to an increase the frequency and intensity of storms, floods, and droughts. The negative impact of droughts on vegetation will impact future food security and reduce the efficiency of vegetation as a sink of atmospheric carbon-dioxide, thus further exacerbating global warming. However, climate model predictions are uncertain as the long-term effects of drought on vegetation are only poorly understood due to lack of suited observational data. But the recent release of various long-term satellite-based datasets of soil moisture (produced by CLIMERS) and vegetation has created new avenues. The CLIMERS groups will use these datasets to unravel the role of water availability in driving vegetation growth and to assess how climate change has affected this relationship. The results will be used to improve state-of-the-art climate models that support the IPCC climate assessments.