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- Associate Professor
My prime research interest is understanding how global warming affects the number and intensity of extreme weather events like heat waves, heavy rainfall and persistent droughts. I use a variety of methods, including advanced statistical analyses, climate models and novel machine learning techniques, to gain new insights. Working with high-level stakeholders (e.g. the World Bank) ensures that my research focusses on the most relevant extremes, i.e. those with the highest risks for society. I have authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, with several in top-ranking journals, the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, 3 World Bank reports and several book chapters.
Extreme weather, climate change, atmosphere dynamics, climate model development, complex system analyses, predictability.
||PhD in Natural Sciences, ETH-Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
|1995-2001||MSc in Geophysics, University of Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands
Professional employment history
|2017-present||Associate Professor, Department of Water and Climate Risk, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands (0.8 FTE)|
|2017-present||Research Group Leader, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Department of Earth System Dynamics, Germany (0.2 FTE)|
|2014-2017||Research Group Leader, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany|
|2012-2017||Senior Scientist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany|
|2008-2012||Post-doc, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany|
|2003-2008||PhD-candidate (Natural Sciences), ETH, Zurich, Switzerland|
- Globally Observed Teleconnections and their role and representation in Hierarchies of Atmospheric Models (GOTHAM). With an international consortium consisting of seven leading climate institutes, including University of Oxford, IPSL (France) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, GOTHAM represents an ambitious research program to gain robust and relevant knowledge of past, present and future climate extremes and variability in vulnerable areas as identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- Atmospheric circulation and its relation to extreme weather (Sacre-X). Shifts in large-scale circulation patterns can strongly alter the frequency and/or intensity of extremes and can thus have severe humanitarian impacts. Climate change over the last century has already altered some large-scale circulation patterns but the uncertainties are large. This project aims to reduce these uncertainties by providing fundamental insights in atmospheric circulation, its modes of variability, and the link to weather extremes.
2015 Research grant from Belmont-JPI Climate: co-PI in large international consortium
2015 Best paper award Geofluids
2014 Best paper award Environmental Research Letters
2013 Personal research grant from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
2012 Personal research grant from German Research Foundation
2011 Grant for public outreach project from Climate-KIC
2011 Grant for public outreach project from Volkswagen Foundation
2009 Our Common Future Fellow, Volkswagen Foundation
2008 ETH-medal for outstanding PhD-thesis (top 5% only)
Kretschmer, M., Coumou, D., Donges, J.F. & Runge, J. (2016). Using Causal Effect Networks to Analyze Different Arctic Drivers of Midlatitude Winter Circulation. Journal of Climate, 29, 4691–4081.
Stadtherr, L., Coumou, D., Petoukhov, V., Petri, S. & Rahmstorf, S. (2016). Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance. Science Advances, 2, 4.
Coumou, D., Lehmann, J. & Beckmann, J. (2015). The Weakening Summer Circulation in the Northern Hemisphere Midlatitudes. Science, 348(6232), 324–327.
Coumou, D., Petoukhov, V., Rahmstorf, S., Petri, S. & Schellnhuber, H.J. (2014). Quasi-resonant circulation regimes and hemispheric synchronization of extreme weather in boreal summer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 111(34), 12331–12336.
Coumou, D. & Rahmstorf, S. (2012). A Decade of Weather Extremes. Nature Climate Change, 2, 491–496.
Rahmstorf, S. & Coumou, D. (2011). Increase of extreme events in a warming world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(44), 17905–17909.
Coumou, D., Driesner, T. & Heinrich, C.A. (2008). The Structure and Dynamics of Mid-Ocean Ridge Hydrothermal Systems. Science, 321, 1825–1828.