Max Planck Society
Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemistry

Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate Interactions
(DFG Emmy Noether Research Group)

Dr. René Orth
Research Group Leader

Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 - 6250
group webpage

Understanding the exchange of energy, water and carbon between land and atmosphere

The understanding of the exchange of energy, water and carbon between land and atmosphere is the keystone to many of the fundamental challenges humanity is facing.

The HydroBioClim group’s research focuses on the interface of soils, vegetation, and atmosphere. The exchange and feedback processes acting there can affect food production, water availability, and hence economy and society.
In particular, our research aims to contribute to
1. better management of extremes such as droughts and heat waves
2. improved hydro-meteorological forecasts
3. more reliable climate change projections

We strive to improve the physical understanding of the Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate system through land surface and climate modelling in combination with observation-based data analysis.

If you are interested in our research topics and would like to join our team, please send an email to René Orth. See also our Master thesis & Internship topics.

Selected publications

Orth, R., J. Zscheischler, and S.I. Seneviratne (2016)
Record dry summer in 2015 challenges precipitation projections in Central Europe
Sci. Rep., 6, 28334, doi: 10.1038/srep28334

Orth, R., M.M. Vogel, J. Luterbacher, C. Pfister, and S.I. Seneviratne (2016)
Did European temperatures in 1540 exceed present-day records?
Env. Res. Lett., 11, 114021, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/11/114021

Orth, R., E. Dutra, and F. Pappenberger (2016)
Improving weather predictability by including land-surface model parameter uncertainty
Mon. Weather Rev., 144(4), 1551-1569, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-15-0283.1

Orth, R., M. Staudinger, S.I. Seneviratne, J. Seibert, and M. Zappa (2015)
Does model performance improve with complexity? A case study with three hydrological models
J. Hydrol., 523, 147-159, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.01.044

Vogel, M.M., R. Orth, F. Cheruy, S. Hagemann, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk, R. Lorenz, and S.I. Seneviratne (2017)
Regional amplification of extreme temperatures strongly controlled by soil moisture-temperature feedbacks
Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(3), 1511-1519, doi: 10.1002/2016GL071235

Whan, K., J. Zscheischler, R. Orth, M. Shongwe, M. Rahimi, E. Asare, and S.I. Seneviratne (2015)
Impact of soil moisture on extreme maximum temperatures in Europe
Weather and Climate Extremes, 9, 57-67, doi: 10.1016/j.wace.2015.05.001

Strong winter weather in March 2018 (photo: Susanne Héjja) Saale river flooding in 2011 (photo: Field Experiment Group) Dehesa, Spain, the summer is dry with less than 6% of the annual precipitation  (photo: Field Experiment Group) Agricultural landscape in the middle of Germany (photo: István Héjja) Dry corn field; corn production needs a lot of water and in many regions this is provided by regular irrigation. (photo: Field Experiment Group)
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