Max Planck Society
Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

Maik Renner

Picture taken by Susanne Hejja

Contact Information

Moved to new position:
Flood warning and forecasting center
Federal State of Brandenburg
Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

phone: +49 335 560 3425
ORCID: 0000-0002-2992-8414
Google Scholar

Research Interests

I am a hydrologist (TU Dresden) with research interests in hydrological forecasting 1,2,10 , hydro-climatology and the role of topography, soils and vegetation. During my PhD I investigated the response of evaporation and catchment water balance to transient changes in climate and land cover 4,5,8. I also looked at changes in the timing of seasonal runoff and how this corresponds to changes in the annual cycle of temperature 3,14.
In the group of Axel Kleidon I aimed to identify organizing principles of energy, water and matter fluxes from the point 15 to the catchment scale. Particularly, we use fundamental constraints of energy conversions to understand and to predict earth system processes under global change 7,9,11,12,13,17,18. An important focus is set on understanding the heat exchange processes at the sub-daily time scale 18,19,22,23. To quantify these processes I developed a novel signature which can serve as observational constraint for land-surface model evaluation20.


Just published:

Renner, M., M. Wild, M. Schwarz, and A. Kleidon. Estimating Shortwave Clear-Sky Fluxes from Hourly Global Radiation Records by Quantile Regression. Earth and Space Science, 2019.


New R package cleaRskyQuantileRegression to estimate the clear sky solar radiation from hourly global radiation records. Release at zenodo 10.5281/zenodo.3380327

R package phaselag to estimate the lag in time (phase lag) between two variables with an harmonic periodicity. Release at zenodo 10.5281/zenodo.2540534 


2020 - Leading the Flood warning center of the Federal State of Brandenburg
2012 - 2020: PostDoc working on Energetic constraints of Land-Atmosphere interaction
DFG Research Group Catchments As Organized Systems CAOS in subproject 'Understanding and characterizing land surface-atmosphere exchange and feedbacks'
2008 - 2013 : PhD
TU Dresden, at the Chair of meteorology as scholar of the HIGRADE graduate school of the UFZ
Research topic: Land use effects and climate impacts on evapotranspiration and catchment water balance pdf
supervised by Prof. Christian Bernhofer

2007 - 2008 : Internship on (ensemble) flow forecasting at Deltares

2002 - 2008 : TU Dresden - Diplom Hydrologe


[25] Renner, M., M. Wild, M. Schwarz, and A. Kleidon. Estimating Shortwave Clear-Sky Fluxes from Hourly Global Radiation Records by Quantile Regression. Earth and Space Science, 2019.

[24] Blöschl, Günter, Marc F. P. Bierkens, Antonio Chambel, Christophe Cudennec, Georgia Destouni, Aldo Fiori, James W. Kirchner, et al.  Twenty-Three Unsolved Problems in Hydrology (UPH) – a Community Perspective. Hydrological Sciences Journal 64, no. 10, 2019: 1141–58.

[23] Conte, L., Renner, M., Brando, P., Santos, C. O., Silverio, D., Kolle, O., Trumbore, S. E. and Kleidon A. ( 2019). Effects of tropical deforestation on surface energy balance partitioning in southeastern Amazonia estimated from maximum convective power. Geophysical Research Letters, 46.

[22] Panwar, A., Kleidon, A., Renner, M. (2019) Do surface and air temperatures contain similar imprints of evaporative conditions? Geophysical Research Letters. doi:10.1029/2019GL082248.

[21] Westhoff, M., Kleidon, A., Schymanski, S., Dewals, B., Nijsse, F., Renner, M., Dijkstra, H., Ozawa, H., Savenije, H., Dolman, H., Meesters, A., and Zehe, E.: ESD Reviews: Thermodynamic optimality in Earth sciences. The missing constraints in modeling Earth system dynamics?, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.,, in review, 2019.

[20] Renner, M., Brenner, C., Mallick, K., Wizemann, H.-D., Conte, L., Trebs, I., Wei, J., Wulfmeyer, V., Schulz, K., and Kleidon, A.: Using phase lags to evaluate model biases in simulating the diurnal cycle of evapotranspiration: a case study in Luxembourg, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 515-535,, 2019.

[19] Kleidon, A., Renner, M. (2018). Diurnal land surface energy balance partitioning estimated from the thermodynamic limit of a cold heat engine, Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 1127-1140, , 2018.

[18] Kleidon, A., Renner, M. (2017). An explanation for the different climate sensitivities of land and ocean surfaces based on the diurnal cycle. Earth System Dynamics, 8(3), 849-864. doi:10.5194/esd-8-849-2017.

[17] Dhara, C., Renner, M., Kleidon, A. (2016). Broad climatological variation of surface energy balance partitioning across land and ocean predicted from the maximum power limit. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(14), 7686-7693. doi:10.1002/2016GL070323 epdf.

[16] Renner, M., Hassler, S. K., Blume, T., Weiler, M., Hildebrandt, A., Guderle, M., Schymanski, S. J., and Kleidon, A.: Dominant controls of transpiration along a hillslope transect inferred from ecohydrological measurements and thermodynamic limits, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2063-2083, doi:10.5194/hess-20-2063-2016, 2016 pdf.

[15] Renner, M., Forkel, M., Brust, K., Schwärzel, K., Volk, M., Bernhofer, C., 2015. Ein hydrometeorologisches Verfahren zur Unterscheidung der langjährigen Auswirkungen von Landnutzung und Klima auf den Wasserhaushalt, in: Aktuelle Herausforderungen Im Flussgebiets- Und Hochwassermanagement, Forum Für Hydrologie Und Wasserbewirtschaftung. 35-15, pp. 227–234.

[14] C Kormann, T Francke, M Renner, A Bronstert, Attribution of high resolution streamflow trends in Western Austria – an approach based on climate and discharge station data, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1225-1245, doi:10.5194/hess-19-1225-2015, 2015.

[13] A Kleidon, M Renner, Geoengineering ist keine Lösung -- Der globale Wasserkreislauf im Klimasystem, Physik in unserer Zeit, 46, 27-31, 2015. (supplementary online material).

[12] A Kleidon, B Kravitz, M Renner, The hydrological sensitivity to global warming and solar geoengineering derived from thermodynamic constraints, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 138-144, 2015. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062589 (supplementary online material).

[11] Kleidon, A., Renner, M., and Porada, P.: Estimates of the climatological land surface energy and water balance derived from maximum convective power, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2201-2218, doi:10.5194/hess-18-2201-2014, 2014.

[10] Renner, M. and M. Werner. 2013. How to use new information technologies for prediction: Ensemble flow forecasting, verification and post-processing. In: Putting Prediction in Ungauged Basins into Practice. eds. J.W. Pomeroy, P.H. Whitfield, and C. Spence. Canadian Water Resources Association. 101-116.

[9] A Kleidon, M Renner, A simple explanation for the sensitivity of the hydrologic cycle to surface temperature and solar radiation and its implications for global climate change, Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 455-465, 2013.

[8] Renner, M., Brust, K., Schwärzel, K., Volk, M., and Bernhofer, C.: Separating the effects of changes in land cover and climate: a hydro-meteorological analysis of the past 60 yr in Saxony, Germany, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 389-405, doi:10.5194/hess-18-389-2014, 2014.

[7] A Kleidon, M Renner, Thermodynamic limits of hydrologic cycling within the Earth system: concepts, estimates and implications, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.,17, 2873-2892, 2013.

[6] Spank, U., Schwärzel, K., Renner, M., Moderow, U., and Bernhofer, C.: Effects of measurement uncertainties of meteorological data on estimates of site water balance components, Journal of Hydrology, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.03.047, 2013.

[5] Renner, M. and Bernhofer, C.: Applying simple water-energy balance frameworks to predict the climate sensitivity of streamflow over the continental United States, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 2531–2546, doi:10.5194/hess-16-2531-2012, 2012.

[4] Renner, M., Seppelt, R., and Bernhofer, C.: Evaluation of water-energy balance frameworks to predict the sensitivity of streamflow to climate change, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, 1419–1433, doi:10.5194/hess-16-1419-2012, 2012.

[3] Renner, M. and Bernhofer, C.: Long term variability of the annual hydrological regime and sensitivity to temperature phase shifts in Saxony/Germany, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15, 1819–1833, doi:10.5194/hess-15-1819-2011, 2011.

[2] Renner, M., Werner, M., Rademacher, S., and Sprokkereef, E.: Verification of ensemble flow forecasts for the River Rhine, Journal of Hydrology, 376, 463–475, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.07.059, 2009.

[1] Reggiani, P., Renner, M., Weerts, A., and van Gelder, P.: Uncertainty assessment via Bayesian revision of ensemble streamflow predictions in the operational river Rhine forecasting system, Water Resources Research, 45, W02428, doi:10.1029/2007WR006758, 2009.

Recent presentations

2020-09-02 Energie und Wasser: die Kopplung von Meteorologen und Hydrologen zum Festkolloquium zu Ehren von Prof. Dr. Christian Bernhofer, TU Dresden, Tharandt

2019-10-16 How well can we model the diurnal cycle of turbulent heat fluxes? at the EGU-Leonardo Conferenz 'Global change, landscape ageing and the pulse of catchments' 16-18th October in Belval, Luxembourg.

2019-05-17 Maik Renner: Diurnal constraints of Land-Atmosphere Interaction (invited), Research Seminar, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

2019-04-10 Maik Renner, Bart Nijssen, Axel Kleidon, and Martyn Clark (2019) Using diurnal phase lags of turbulent heat fluxes to benchmark land surface models: revisiting the PLUMBER analysis EGU2019-13980 in Land-Atmosphere Interactions: Implications from Past to Future Climate at EGU2019 Vienna

2019-03-22 Maik Renner, Claire Brenner, Kaniska Mallick, Hans-Dieter Wizemann, Luigi Conte, Ivonne Trebs, Jianhui Wei, Karsten Schulz, Volker Wulfmeyer, and Axel Kleidon Wie gut können wir den Tagesgang der Verdunstung modellieren?, DACH2019, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

2019-03-21 Maik Renner, Axel Kleidon, Chirag Dhara, and Hisashi Ozawa Bestimmung der Sensitivität der Temperatur zur langwelligen und kurzwelligen Einstrahlung aus räumlichen Unterschieden DACH2019, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

2018-10-15: M. Renner Using spatial variations of surface radiation observations to evaluate climate models, Seminar at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich

2018-10-11: M. Renner et al., Estimating and understanding model bias in simulating the diurnal cycle of evapotranspiration TERENO International Conference 2018, Berlin

2018-10-05: M. Renner: Klima- und Landnutzungseffekte auf den Wasserhaushalt, Symposium 50 Jahre Messungen im Einzugsgebiet Wernersbach, TU Dresden, Tharandt

2018-09-06: M. Renner et al., : Using spatial variations of surface radiation to constrain the global temperature sensitivity European Meteorological Soceity EMS Annual Meeting 2018, Budapest, Hungary (session OSA3.2)

2018-09-04: M. Renner et al.,: Estimation of diurnal turbulent heat exchange by the thermodynamic limit of a cold heat engine over contrasting land-cover types European Meteorological Soceity EMS Annual Meeting 2018, Budapest, Hungary (session UP1.2)

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