Regional Climate Research
Reloclim carries out research in regional to local scale climate modeling, the analysis of regional scale climate processes, and the interface with climate change impact research. We mainly study the climate of Europe and the European Alps, with specific case studies focusing on Austria and Styria. Our research is based on climate model simulations of the 21st century, climate model sensitivity studies, studies and simulations of individual events, the analysis of existing simulations, and the analysis of observational data. Our research activities cover the following three research themes.
Regional climate processes
The goal of this research theme is to better understand and model regional climate processes. We aim to
- understand regional climate processes in the Greater Alpine Region with a focus on precipitation extremes, orographic precipitation, orographically influenced regional atmospheric dynamics, and remote influences on these processes;
- understand the impact of past and future global climate change on regional climate, in particular extreme events;
- assess the ability of climate models to represent these processes, and to attribute model biases to the representation of particular processes;
- advance climate modeling techniques for small spatial scales.
Regional climate change
The goal of of this research theme is to distill robust information about future climate change at regional scales. We aim to
- understand the skill and uncertainties of climate projections at regional scales based on the insight from our research on regional processes. This involves exploring deep, i.e., so far unquantified, uncertainties (in particular for extreme events) and understanding contradictions between different sources of climate change information;
- understand the added value of higher-resolution climate modeling for simulating regional climate change;
- generate high-resolution climate projections for the Alpine region.
The goals of this research theme are better-designed interfaces and improved information flow between climate research and users of climate information. We aim to
- understand the information requirements of different types of users;
- develop and apply methods to truly tailor climate projections for users; one aim is to explicitly include physical understanding into these methods.
- understand the limitations of post-processing methods;
- develop approaches to distill and communicate climate information from regional-scale climate model ensembles, based on the insight from the other focus areas.
Reloclim collaborates with all WEGC research groups, in particular within the joint research focus “Hydrological extremes in a changing climate”. Collaborations comprise: ARCliSys: integration of modeled and observed datasets (in particular ARSCliSys' WegenerNet); ClimEMet: atmospheric modelling, analysis of extreme events; EconClim: impacts of climate change on society. Reloclim contributes to WEGC’s interdisciplinary research and links to UniGraz partners (e.g., GeoPartners) as well as external partners in the field of climate impact research. Reloclim actively contributes to two university-wide research core areas, Environment and Global Change (EGC) and Modeling and Simulation (ModSim), and collaborates with many renowned international partners.