Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - International Research Training Group 1740


Project C1: Drought extremes and their effects on Brazil

Research Team: L. Alves (INPE), J. Kurths (HUB/PIK), J. Marengo (INPE)

Outline: During the first period of the IRTG we have developed the method of directed event synchronization for univariate spatio-temporal observations. This way we have uncovered a mechanism causing extreme precipitation in the Eastern Central Andes and have developed an efficient framework to predict extreme floods there. Based on these techniques we intend now to study drought extremes that affects in various manners different regions in Brazil and have a substantial economic and strategic importance, in particular in i) Northeast Brazil a social impact, ii) South-Eastern Brazil an agricultural-population-energy impact and iii) Amazonian biodiversity-population impacts. The main intention is to generalize the data analysis techniques and investigate causes and consequences of drought extremes in particular for Brazil.

Research Topic: In this project we will extend the event synchronization technique to multivariate data where the components are from structurally different origin (e.g. precipitation, temperature, vegetation), generalize divergence for directed networks of networks and to develop statistical tests for the corresponding parameter estimations. This methodology has to be tested for various model examples. Next, these techniques will be applied to climatological, hydrological and vegetation data for different regions in Brazil and case studies for the three problems mentioned in the outline will be performed to uncover the causes of drought extremes. Finally, these data-based results will be critically compared with model simulations to evaluate the prognostic power of the models.