Sonia Seneviratne

portrait Prof. Sonia Seneviratne

Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima (IAC)
ETH Zürich
ETH Zentrum, CHN N 11
Universitätstr. 16
CH-8092 Zürich

Phone: +41 (0) 44 632 80 76
Phone2: +41 (0) 44 633 27 55
Fax: +41 (0) 44 633 10 58
E-mail: sonia.seneviratne(at)
URL Institution:
Phone: +41 (0) 44 632 80 76
Phone2: +41 (0) 44 633 27 55
Fax: +41 (0) 44 633 10 58
E-mail: sonia.seneviratne(at)
URL Institution:

Additional functions:
Coordinating Lead Author: IPCC Special Report "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)", Chapter 3 - Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment

Scientific Steering Group, EU-FP6 project CECILIA (2006-2009)
Associate Editor, J. Hydrometeorology (2009-)
Scientific Advisory Committee, ECMWF (2011-)

Key Publications of Sonia Seneviratne (up to ten) :
Seneviratne, S.I., D. Lüthi, M. Litschi, and C. Schär, 2006: Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe. Nature, 443, 205-209.

Seneviratne, S.I., R.D. Koster, Z. Guo, P.A. Dirmeyer, E. Kowalczyk, D. Lawrence, P. Liu, C.-H. Lu, D. Mocko, K.W. Oleson, and D. Verseghy, 2006: Soil moisture memory in AGCM simulations: Analysis of Global Land-Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) data. J. Hydrometeor., 7, 1090-1112.

Teuling, A.J., S.I. Seneviratne, R. Stöckli, M. Reichstein, E. Moors, P. Ciais, S. Luyssaert, B. van den Hurk, C. Ammann, C. Bernhofer, E. Dellwik, D. Gianelle, B. Gielen, T. Grünwald, K. Klumpp, L. Montagnani, C. Moureaux, M. Sottocornola, and G. Wohlfahrt, 2010: Contrasting response of European forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves. Nature Geoscience, 3, 722-727, doi:10.1038/ngeo950

Seneviratne, S.I., T. Corti, E.L. Davin, M. Hirschi, E.B. Jaeger, I. Lehner, B. Orlowsky, and A.J. Teuling, 2010: Investigating soil moisture-climate interactions in a changing climate: A review. Earth-Science Reviews, 99, 3-4, 125-161, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2010.02.004.

Hirschi, M., S.I. Seneviratne, V. Alexandrov, F. Boberg, C. Boroneant, O.B. Christensen, H. Formayer, B. Orlowsky, and P. Stepanek, 2011: Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe. Nature Geoscience, 4, 17-21, doi:10.1038/ngeo1032

Expertise of Sonia Seneviratne:
Expertise CategorySpecific Expertise
Expert TypeExpert Type
Scientific / Fundamental Research
ScopeProcess Studies
Causes of Change
Impact of Change
Vulnerability to Change
Topic AtmosphereAtmosphere
Global Warming
Topic HydrosphereHydrosphere
Precipitation / Runoff
Topic BiosphereBiosphere
Topic Integrated SystemsIntegrated Systems and Ecology
Hydrogeochemical Cycle
Topic EcosystemsEcosystems
Terrestrial Ecosystems
Spatial ZonesSpatial Zones
Mountain / Highland
Spatial ScaleSpatial Scale
Global / Hemispheric
Time FrameTime Frame
Recent / Today
Statistical FocusStatistical Focus
Extreme Events
Mean Change / Trends
Data Collection - Measurement
Data Analysis

Specialties of Sonia Seneviratne:
Winner of a Swiss Global Change Day Poster Award 2001 (WCRP)
Recipient of NCCR-Climate Postdoctoral Fellowship 2003-2004

Role of land-atmosphere interactions for climate variability, extreme events, and climate change

Our group investigates the role of land-atmosphere interactions for climate variability, extreme events, and climate change, based on numerical experiments and the analysis of model and observational data. We are mostly dedicated to fundamental research, but also address climate applications linked with these research questions.

Land-atmosphere interactions play a major role for extreme events such as drought, heat waves and heavy precipitation. We investigate the underlying feedbacks in climate models and observations. Some of our research is concerned with concrete applications, for instance related to the development of seasonal forecasting and early warning capabilities for droughts in Switzerland and Central Europe.

Last update: 5/23/18
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)

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