6th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface Processes – from Earth System Modelling to Catchment Scale 

September 14 – 16, 2021, Lillehammer, Norway

Models allow gazing into a hypothetical future, let us experiment with future scenarios, and understand physical processes better. Many decisions rely on models being right – and for the right reason. Therefore, a better observational basis, improved understanding of processes and a better description of those processes are key to providing a relevant knowledge base for decision-makers who develop strategies for a reality that is not yet present.

This conference aims to address topics related to modelling the climate system and the interface with the land surface processes and hydrological impacts of climate change. It will also focus on recent developments of observation systems and data analysis including experiences with non-conventional observations, new methods to investigate the soil water dynamics, and climate services for decision making. A special focus is given to terrestrial ecosystem-climate interactions and their representation in Earth System Models (ESMs). The conference is organized in four sessions.

Session 1: Terrestrial ecology with links to climate and the hydrological cycle

Terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in regulating the climate through their effects on biogeophysical (water, energy, and momentum) and biogeochemical (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous) fluxes. At the same time, changes in the climate system can have profound and diverse impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Thereby, our ability to accurately predict the evolution of the Earth system is tightly connected to understanding terrestrial ecosystem-climate interactions. In this session, we aim to bring together multidisciplinary studies on the links between terrestrial ecology, hydrology, and climatology that could help to cross the apparent boundaries separating the perspectives of these fields. We welcome submissions focusing on feedbacks between land-based ecosystems and the climate system, terrestrial ecosystem processes across scales, impacts of climate change on terrestrial vegetation, interaction of the water cycle with biota (i.e. terrestrial ecohydrology), land cover and land use change (e.g. vegetation shifts, forestry, grazing, wetland management, irrigation), and improving the representation of terrestrial ecosystem processes in ESMs. We encourage a diverse range of methods which could include the use of in-situ observations, field and laboratory experiments, mechanistic and statistical modeling, reanalysis, or remote sensing.

Session 2: Modelling soil water dynamics: from observations to prediction

Soil moisture is an important but often undervalued element of the water cycle. Compared to other components, the volume of soil moisture is small; nonetheless, it is of fundamental importance to many hydrological, biological and biogeochemical processes. The capacity of soil to retain water effects, among others, surface and subsurface runoff, soil erosion, the buffer capacity of the soil, greenhouse gas emission and soil biota. Measurements and prediction of soil water regime face several constraints due to the high spatio-temporal variability of soil properties. This session invites contributions related to traditional and non-traditional observation methods, analyses and prediction of soil water regime and soil water balance elements. We put special focus on: recently developed air-borne methods of identifying topsoil water content, using modelling approaches at various – from plot to catchment – scales, evaluation of the spatio-temporal variability of soil hydraulic properties, ensemble modelling approaches, and coupling profile- and catchment level hydrological models. 

Session 3: Improved knowledge-base for decision-making

Climate services aim to provide a knowledge base for climate adaptation decisions. Whereas climate services and research institutions provide a plethora of information based on past, present, and future climate, user communities also need tailoring and guidance for their purposes in order to develop efficient and relevant strategies. To fulfill user communities’ need for higher detail, improved methods to downscale, bias-correct and tailor climate projections are required. The session welcomes contributions on different aspects of the modelling-to-decision chain, including downscaling, bias correction approaches, model sensitivity to the choice of input data, quantification of uncertainties, impact modelling, user-specific indices, and communicating model results for decision-making.

Session 4: Integrating observations into earth system modelling, including non-conventional observations

ESMs integrate the interactions of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere to estimate the state of regional and global climate under a wide variety of conditions. This makes them invaluable tools to study the climate system and its response to different greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Their projections are marred by uncertainties, which partly originate in processes that need to be parameterized in models, such as clouds and turbulent fluxes. Over the last decades, earth observations have improved substantially through satellite remote sensing as well as non-conventional (e.g., citizen-generated  data) observations. Promising tools (e.g., data assimilation and machine learning) make it possible to integrate global observations into an ESM systematically. In this session, we aim to showcase diverse efforts to integrate observations (e.g., satellite remote sensing, ground stations, isotope, airborne sensors, drones and citizen-based observatories) into ESMs for advancing our understanding of the processes driving the variability and trajectory of the climate system at global, regional and local scale. We especially welcome investigations focusing on model evaluation, model uncertainty reduction, new algorithms for data assimilation or data analyses.


Organizing and scientific committee:

Irene Brox Nilsen, Researcher, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, NVE (chair)
Ole Einar Tveito, Senior scientist, Norwegian Hydrological Council/Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Lu Li, Researcher, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre
Yeliz A. Yılmaz, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Oslo
Csilla Farkas, Senior research scientist, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Ståle Haaland, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Oddbjørn Bruland, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Hans Christian Udnæs, Chief hydrologist, Hafslund ECO
Hanne Heiberg, Senior scientist, Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Anne Haugum, Senior advisor,  NVE and executive secretary, Norwegian Hydrological Council

Photo: Open-top chambers warm up some of the alpine vegetation plots in Låvisdalen, Vestland, 2019 (photo credit: Eva Lieungh)