Zscheischler, Jakob, Dr.

Dr.  Jakob Zscheischler

Dr. Jakob Zscheischler

Professur für Land-Klima Dynamik 

CHN  N 17.1 

Universitätstrasse 16

8092 Zürich


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  • Tel: +41 44 633 36 24
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Additional information

Research area

  • compound events, multivariate climate extremes and impacts
  • climate extremes and their impacts on vegetation and the carbon cycle
  • interannual variability of carbon and energy fluxes

Additional information

Workshops and Conferences

Workshop on Addressing the challenge of compound events, 19.-21.4.2017 at ETH, Workshop summary in the GEWEX newsletter of May 2017

Convener of the session Addressing the challenge of compound events, multi-risk modelling and cross-risk assessment methods at EGU 2017

Workshop session lead in the Future Earth project Extreme Events and Environments - from climate to Society (E3S): How to project climate extremes that really matter? A transdisciplinary approach for new narratives of climate extreme impacts in the future earth context. February 14-16 2016, Berlin, Germany

In Discussion

Mahecha, M. D., F. Gans, S. Sippel, J. F. Donges, T. Kaminski, S. Metzger, M. Migliavacca, D. Papale, A. Rammig, and J. Zscheischler (2017). Detecting impacts of extreme events with ecological in-situ monitoring networks. Biogeosciences Discussions, doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-130.

Journal Publications

Zscheischler, J. and S. I. Seneviratne (2017). Dependence of drivers affects risk associated with compound events. Science Advances 3(6), e1700263. ETH news, Interview with Deutschlandfunk, Interview with NDR Info, Walliser Bote

Zscheischler, J., M. D. Mahecha, V. Avitabile, L. Calle, N. Carvalhais, P. Ciais, F. Gans, N. Gruber, J. Hartmann, M. Herold, K. Ichii, M. Jung, P. Landschützer, G. G. Laruelle, R. Lauerwald, D. Papale, P. Peylin, B. Poulter, D. Ray, P. Regnier, C. Rödenbeck, R. M. Roman-Cuesta, C. Schwalm, G. Tramontana, A. T. Tyukavina, R. Valentini, G. van der Werf, T. O. West, J. E. Wolf, and M. Reichstein (2017). An empirical spatiotemporal description of the global surface-atmosphere carbon fluxes: opportunities and data limitations. Biogeosciences, in press.

Zscheischler, J., R. Orth, and S. I. Seneviratne (2017). Bivariate return periods of temperature and precipitation explain a large fraction of European crop yields. Biogeosciences14, 3309-3320, doi:10.5194/bg-14-3309-2017.

Nicolai-Shaw, N., J. Zscheischler, M. Hirschi, L. Gudmundsson, and S. I. Seneviratne (2017). A drought event composite analysis using satellite remote-sensing based soil moisture. Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.014.

Sippel, S., J. Zscheischler, M. D. Mahecha, R. Orth, M. Reichstein, M. Vogel, and S. I. Seneviratne (2017). Refining multi-model projections of temperature extremes by evaluation against land-atmosphere coupling diagnostics. Earth System Dynamics 8, 387-403, doi:10.5194/esd-8-387-2017.

Bastos, A., P. Ciais, T. Park, J. Zscheischler, C. Yue, J. Barichivich, R. B. Myneni, S. Peng, S. Piao and S. Zhu (2017). Was the extreme Northern Hemisphere greening in 2015 predictable? Environmental Research Letters 12, 044016, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa67b5.

Sippel, S., J. Zscheischler, M. Heimann, H. Lange, M. D. Mahecha, G. J. Van Oldenborgh, F. E. L. Otto, and M. Reichstein (2017). Have precipitation extremes and annual totals been increasing in the world's dry regions over the last 60 years? Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 21, 441-458, doi:10.5194/hess-21-441-2017.

Zscheischler, J., S. Fatichi, S. Wolf, P. D. Blanken, G. Bohrer, K. Clark, A. R. Desai, D. Hollinger, T. Keenan, K. Novick and S. I. Seneviratne (2016). Short-term favorable weather conditions are an important control of interannual variability in carbon and water fluxes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 121, 2186–2198, doi:10.1002/2016JG003503.

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

Sippel, S., J. Zscheischler, and M. Reichstein (2016). Ecosystem impacts of climate extremes crucially depend on the timing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 13(21), 5768–5770, doi:10.1073/pnas.1605667113.

Mooij, J. M., J. Peters, D. Janzing, J. Zscheischler, and B. Schölkopf (2016). Distinguishing Cause from Effect Using Observational Data: Methods and Benchmarks. Journal of Machine Learning Research 17(32), 1-102.

Zscheischler, J., R. Orth, and S. I. Seneviratne (2015). A sub-monthly database for detecting changes in vegetation-atmosphere coupling. Geophysical Research Letters 42, 9816-9824, doi: 10.1002/2015GL066563.

Sippel, S., J. Zscheischler, M. Heimann, F. E. L. Otto, J. Peters, and M. D. Mahecha (2015). Quantifying changes in climate variability and extremes: pitfalls and their overcoming. Geophysical Research Letters 42, 9990-9998, doi: 10.1002/2015GL066307.

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.

Frank, D., M. Reichstein, M. Bahn, K. Thonike, D. Frank, M. D. Mahecha, P. Smith, M. van der Velde, S. Vicca, F. Babst, C. Beer, N. Buchmann, J.G. Canadell, P. Ciais, W. Cramer, A. Ibrom, F. Miglietta, B. Poulter, A. Rammig, S. I. Seneviratne, A. Walz, M. Wattenbach, M. A. Zavala, and J. Zscheischler (2015). Effects of climate extremes on the terrestrial carbon cycle: concepts, processes and potential future impacts. Global Change Biology 8, 2861–2880, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12916.

Zscheischler, J., M. Reichstein, J. v. Buttlar, M. Mu, J. T. Randerson, and M. D. Mahecha (2014). Carbon-cycle extremes during the 21st century in CMIP5 models: future evolution and attribution to climatic drivers. Geophysical Research Letters 41, 8853-8861, doi: 10.1002/2014GL062409.

Zscheischler, J., A. M. Michalak, C. Schwalm, M. D. Mahecha, D. N. Huntzinger, M. Reichstein, G. Berthier, P. Ciais, R. B. Cook, B. El-Masri, M. Huang, A. Ito, A. Jain, A. King, H. Lei, C. Lu, J. Mao, S. Peng, B. Poulter, D. Ricciuto, X. Shi, B. Tao, H. Tian, N. Viovy, W. Wang, Y. Wei, J. Yang, and N. Zeng (2014). Impact of Large-Scale Climate Extremes on Biospheric Carbon Fluxes: An Intercomparison Based on MsTMIP Data. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 28, 585-600. doi: 10.1002/2014GB004826.

Zscheischler, J., M. Reichstein, S. Harmeling, A. Rammig, E. Tomelleri, and M. D. Mahecha (2014). Extreme events in gross primary production: a characterization across continents. Biogeosciences 11, 2909-2924. doi:10.5194/bg-11-2909-2014.

Solly, E.F., I. Schöning, S. Boch, E. Kandeler, S. Marhan, B. Michalzik, J. Müller, J. Zscheischler, S. E. Trumbore, and M. Schrumpf (2014). Factors controlling decomposition rates of fine root litter in temperate forests and grasslands. Plant and Soil 382, 203-218, doi:10.1007/s11104-014-2151-4.

Zscheischler, J., M. D. Mahecha, J. v. Buttlar, S. Harmeling, M. Jung, A. Rammig, J. T. Randerson, B. Schölkopf, S. I. Seneviratne, E. Tomelleri, S. Zaehle, and M. Reichstein (2014). A few extreme events dominate global interannual variability in gross primary production. Environmental Research Letters 9, 035001, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/3/035001.

von Buttlar, J., J. Zscheischler, and M. D. Mahecha (2014). An extended approach for spatiotemporal gapfilling: dealing with large and systematic gaps in geoscientific datasets. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 21, 203-215, doi:10.5194/npg-21-203-2014.

Reichstein, M., M. Bahn, P. Ciais, D. Frank, M. D. Mahecha, S. I., Seneviratne, J. Zscheischler, C. Beer, N. Buchmann, D. C. Frank, D. Papale, A. Rammig, P. Smith, K. Thonicke, M. van der Velde, S. Vicca, A. Walz, and M. Wattenbach (2013) Climate extremes and the carbon cycle. Nature 500, 287-295, doi:10.1038/nature12350.

Zscheischler, J., M. D. Mahecha, S. Harmeling, and M. Reichstein (2013). Detection and attribution of large spatiotemporal extreme events in Earth observation data. Ecological Informatics 15, 66–73, doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2013.03.004.

Janzing, D., J. Mooij, K. Zhang, J. Lemeire, J. Zscheischler, P. Daniušis, B. Steudel, and B. Schölkopf (2012). Information-geometric approach to inferring causal directions. Artificial Intelligence 182-183, 1-31.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications

Camps-Valls, G., M. Jung, K. Ichii, D. Papale, G. Tramontana, P. Bodesheim, C. Schwalm, J. Zscheischler, M. D. Mahecha, and M. Reichstein (2015). Ranking drivers of global carbon and energy fluxes over land. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2015 IEEE International, 4416 - 4419.

Jung, M. and J. Zscheischler (2013). A Guided Hybrid Genetic Algorithm for Feature Selection with Expensive Cost Functions. Procedia Computer Science 18, 2337-2346.

Zscheischler, J., M.D. Mahecha, and S. Harmeling (2012). Climate classifications: the value of unsupervised clustering. Procedia Computer Science 9, 897–906.

Zscheischler, J., D. Janzing, and K. Zhang (2011). Testing whether linear equations are causal: A free probability theory approach. Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), 839-846.

Daniusis, P., D. Janzing, J. Mooij, J. Zscheischler, B. Steudel, K. Zhang, and B. Schölkopf (2010). Inferring deterministic causal relations. Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), 143-150.



2015: Wladimir Peter Köppen Award

2014: Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society

2006-2010: Fellow of the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst


Short CV

February 2015 – present Postdoc in the Land-Climate Dynamics group (Prof. Sonia Seneviratne), Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC), ETH Zürich, Switzerland


June 2014 – December 2014 Postdoc at Department for Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany


June 2013 – September 2013 Visiting researcher at Anna Michalak's lab in the Department for Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, USA


March 2011 – June 2014 Member of the International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS-GBGC), Jena, Germany


October 2010 – June 2014 PhD Thesis, Department for Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany, and Department for Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany


October 2010

Diploma in Mathematics, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany


On the side

Founding member of the award-winning vocal ensemble Bolongaro Sextett

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