Schär, Christoph, Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr.  Christoph Schär

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schär

Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima 

CHN  L 12.1 

Universitätstrasse 16

8092 Zürich


  • phone +41 44 632 81 99 
  • fax +41 44 632 13 11 
  • phone (Sec.) +41 44 632 81 85 
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Lectures | Vorlesungen

  • Numerical modelling of weather and climate with Ulrike Lohmann (spring term)
  •  (Herbstsemester)
  • Erd- und Produktionssysteme mit E. Frossard, C. Garcia, M. Sonneveldt, B. Wehrli, S. Willett (Herbstsemester)
  • Colloquium Atmosphere and Climate (fall and spring term)
  • Seminar in Hydrologie November 4, 2015, 08:45-16:00; Alumni-Pavillon (MM C78.1)


News and Highlights

Persische Hitzwelle, Sommer 2015

Die Kombination hoher Temperaturen und Feuchte hat es in sich: Denn sie macht das Klima für den Menschen bis 2100 in gewissen Regionen fast unerträglich – falls der Klimawandel nicht gebremst wird. Ein Beispiel war der Sommer 2015 im Persischen Golf, wie in einem News&Views Artikel in Nature Climate Change beschrieben. Dieser Artikel diskutiert eine Studie von Jeremy Pal and Elfatih Eltahir. Medien Artikel: Guardian | New York Times | Tages Anzeiger

Computing for Climate | Rechnen fürs Klima

ETH Zukunfts-Blog: English | Deutsch

Europäische Hitzewelle Sommer 2015

Hitzeblog (von Sven Kotlarski) | Interview Tages-Anzeiger

Convection-resolving climate modeling

Our group is leading a major modeling project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, entitled "convection-resolving climate modeling on future supercomputing platforms (crCLIM)". This project started on May 1, 2015.

In a recent paper we present the first convection-resolving climate scenarios for the Alpine region, conducted at a horizontal resolution of 2km. Analyses of results address changes in heavy precipitation events and investigate precipitation scaling. The study finds that even on hourly time scales the Clausius-Clapeyron scaling applies. Further Details:

Ban, N., J. Schmidli and C. Schär, 2015: Heavy precipitation in a changing climate: Does short-term summer precipitation increase faster? Geophys. Res. Letters., 42, 7889–7907, Abstract and download

Other selected publications

  • Ban, N., J. Schmidli and C. Schär, 2014: Evaluation of the convection-resolving regional climate modelling approach in decade-long simulations. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, 7889–7907, Abstract and download
  • Froidevaux, P., L. Schlemmer, J. Schmidli, W. Langhans, and C. Schär, 2014: Influence of background wind on the local spatial soil moisture-precipitation feedback. J. Atmos. Sci., 71, 782-799, Abstract and download
  • Langhans, W., J. Schmidli and C. Schär, 2012: Bulk convergence of kilometer-scale simulations of moist convection over complex terrain, J. Atmos. Sci., 69 (7), 2207-2228, DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0252.1, Abstract and download
  • Schlemmer, L., C. Hohenegger, J. Schmidli, C.S. Bretherton and C. Schär, 2011: An idealized cloud-resolving framework for the study of midlatitude diurnal convection over land. J. Atmos. Sci., 68, 1041-1057, Abstract and download
  • Hohenegger, C., P. Brockhaus, C.S. Bretherton and C. Schär, 2009: The soil moisture-precipitation feedback in simulations with explicit and parameterized convection. J. Clim., J. Clim., 22 (19), 5003–5020, Abstract and download

Recent papers on climate change scenarios

  • Kotlarski, S., et al., 2014: Regional climate modeling on European scales: A joint standard evaluation of the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble. Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 7, 217-293, Abstract and download
  • Rajczak, J., P. Pall, C. Schär, 2013: Projections of extreme precipitation events in regional climate simulations for Europe and the Alpine region. J. Geophys. Res, Vol 118 (9), 3610–3626, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50297, Abstract and download
  • Bellprat O., S. Kotlarski, D. Lüthi and C. Schär C., 2013: Physical constraints for temperature biases in climate models. Geophys. Res. Letters, 40 (15), 4042-4047, Abstract and download
  • Bosshard, T., Carambia, M., Görgen, K., Kotlarski, S., Krahe, P., Zappa, M., Schär, C., 2013: Quantifying uncertainty sources in an ensemble of hydrological climate-impact projections. Water Resource Research, 49, 1–14, Abstract and download
  • Steger, C., S. Kotlarski, T. Jonas and C. Schär, 2013: Alpine snow cover in a changing climate: a regional climate model perspective. Clim. Dyn., 41, 735–754, Abstract and download
  • CH2011 (2011), Swiss Climate Change Scenarios CH2011, published by C2SM, MeteoSwiss, ETH, NCCR Climate, and OcCC. Zurich, Switzerland. 88 pp. ISBN: 978-3-033-03065-7, Download summary and report

Selected publication on European heat waves: Climate-change projections suggest that European summer heatwaves will become more frequent and severe during this century. An analysis of a set of high-resolution regional climate simulations reveals consistent geographical patterns in these changes, with the most severe health impacts in southern European river basins and along the Mediterranean coasts

  • Fischer, E.M. and C. Schär, 2010: Consistent geographical patterns of changes in high-impact European heatwaves. Nature Geoscience, Advance online publication, May 16, 2010 | doi:10.1038/ngeo866 | Abstract and download | Nature news | ETH Life (Deutsch) | Klimablog Reto Knutti (Deutsch)contact | order pdf-file
  • Seneviratne, S.I., D. Lüthi, M. Litschi, and C. Schär, 2006: Land-atmosphere coupling and climate change in Europe. Nature443, 205-209. | Download: Article | Supplementary information | Nature Website: AbstractEditor's summary
  • Schär, C. and G. Jendritzky, 2004: Hot news from summer 2003. Nature,432, 559-560 | 
  • Schär, C., P.L. Vidale, D. Lüthi, C. Frei, C. Häberli, M. Liniger and C. Appenzeller, 2004: The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heat waves. Nature,427, 332-336 |  | download PowerPoint-file | ranked by

Research interests

  • Climate dynamics, climate change and the water cycle
  • Atmospheric dynamics, flow past topography
  • Numerical methods in atmospheric and climate models

Major Projects

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