United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of our goals and mission, especially UN SDGs 2, 4, 6,13, 15, 17.

Influence of groundwater table on heat wave frequency: a global perspective

Past climate extreme events (e.g. European Heatwave 2023) have shown to have severe consequences on built and natural environments, posing a threat to human wellbeing and economic resilience. Land-atmosphere interactions have been identified as key drivers for heat waves, relying significantly on groundwater interactions through its effect on soil moisture, evaporation and thus surface heat fluxes (1). [Click here for more information]

Groundwater – climate interactions: the role of soil properties

Climate–groundwater interactions form a complex, coupled system that affects land-atmosphere feedback processes and thus local climatic parameters. This climate–groundwater interaction might be uni-or bidirectional (two-way) depending on climate and soil characteristics. In areas with bidirectional coupling, groundwater is not only influenced by climatic factors (e.g. precipitation) but can also contribute to the climate by various feedback from groundwater-subsurface interactions, including impacts on evaporation, soil moisture, and vegetation. [Click here for more information]

Analytical prediction of extreme land surface temperatures

The increase in land surface temperature (LST) in a warming world affects climatological, hydrological, and ecological processes ranging from ecosystem and biome vulnerability to occurrence and extent of extreme climate events such as heatwaves and wildfires. Unprecedently high LSTs exceeding 80 oC have been recorded in some regions of the world in recent years limiting habitability of these regions in certain conditions. We aim to develop physically-based analytical models capable of predicting the location and magnitude of extreme temperatures on a global scale under different climate scenarios. [Click here for more information]   

Anthropogenic and climate impacts on endorheic lake storage changes

Endorheic lakes are at the core of terrestrial hydrological processes and ecosystem functioning in closed drainage basins. The storage capacity of these vital water bodies has been influenced by the climate variability and human activities. We aim to investigate the role of these factors on the storage capacity of endorheic lakes in water-stressed regions worldwide. [Click here for more information]

AI-driven modeling of soil degradation in the face of climate and anthropogenic pressures

A healthy soil supports life on Earth through maintaining ecosystems that provide food, feed and fibre whilst supporting Earth system functions such as waste recycling, climate, flood, and water regulation. The intensification of anthropogenic activities and climate challenges pose serious threats to soil health (Hassani et al., 2021), exacerbating the processes of soil degradation that are putting at risk soil management, biodiversity, and food security. [Click here for more information].

Saltwater intrusion: A growing threat to soil health

With ongoing climate change, the global mean sea level is projected to rise and accelerate. This exposes coastal areas to hazards ranging from enhanced flooding and erosion to salinization of soils, groundwater and surface waters. In estuaries such as the Elbe estuary, the effects of climate change driven sea level rise (SLR) can propagate several dozens of kilometres upstream. Due to its higher density in comparison to freshwater, saline water along coasts and estuaries flows landward under the less dense freshwater until reaching equilibrium. With increasing sea level, this saltwater interface can shift landwards reducing the thickness of the freshwater layer on top. One of the less understood effects of such phenomenon is the transport of saline through the unsaturated zone and to the surface adversely affecting soil health. [Click here for more information]

Soil Salinization on a Global Scale

Soil salinization refers to the excessive accumulation of soluble salts in soil to a degree that adversely influences vegetation and environmental health. Soil salinization poses an existential threat to ecosystem functioning, socioeconomic structure and food security. The excess accumulation of salt in soil is a global problem and is one of the main land-degrading threats influencing soil fertility and biodiversity. High salinity in the root zone severely impedes plant growth resulting in reduced crop productivity. Moreover, salt stress in salt-affected soils may cause a drastic reduction of plant transpiration influencing soil water budget and hydrologic cycle. [Click here for more information]

Evaporation from agricultural water reservoirs in a warming climate: A global perspective

Recent estimates suggest that there are over 16.5 million small water reservoirs (less than 0.1 km²) worldwide. The number of water reservoirs larger than 0.1 km² has exceeded 76,000. These reservoirs are designed for local water storage with storage capacity exceeding 7,200 km³. They play pivotal roles, especially in water-stressed regions of the world, in meeting local water demands, maintaining food security, supporting business owners, and contributing to social stability, labor market, local climate, and ecosystem health. However, evaporative losses from these reservoirs are often overlooked in water budgeting influencing their storage efficiency and may exacerbate conflicts over shared water resources. [Click here for more information]

Soil Water Evaporation Dynamics

Evaporation from porous media is of significant importance in many fields ranging from hydrology and agriculture, to food sciences and engineering applications. In particular, we are interested in the analysis of water evaporation from soil under a given boundary condition. Soil water evaporation involves coupled heat and mass flow and depends on the transport properties of soil and the external atmospheric conditions. We are interested in the investigation of water evaporation dynamics from porous media taking into account the complex interaction between transport properties of porous media and external boundary conditions. [Click here for more information]

Solute Transport in Porous Media

Understanding solute transport in drying porous media plays an important role in a variety of processes including soil salinization, durability of building materials, and preservation of arts and monuments. During drying of porous media filled with saline solution, solutes are transported to the vaporization plane via capillary-induced liquid flow, while diffusion tends to homogenize the concentration laterally throughout the pore space. The interaction between the two determines the dynamics of solute distribution in porous media. [Click here for more information]

Fundamentals of Multiphase Flow in Porous Media

In the process of immiscible displacement of a receding fluid by an invading fluid in a porous medium, one or more pores may be bypassed by the invading fluid as it advances into the medium, leaving behind some disconnected or isolated fluid clusters trapped in the porous medium. Knowledge of the morphology, distribution and mobilization of the trapped fluid under a given boundary condition is required in many applications such as enhanced oil recovery or designing efficient remediation schemes for contaminated soils. [Click here for more information]