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


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  • 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)
  • Umweltsysteme I mit Nathalie Dubois and Sebastian Bonhoeffer (Herbstsemester)
  • Colloquium Atmosphere and Climate (fall and spring term)
  • Seminar in Hydrologie November 9, 2016, 08:45-16:00; Alumni-Pavillon (MM C78.1)


News and Highlights

Recent publications

Giorgi F., C. Torma, E. Coppola, N. Ban, C. Schär and S. Somot, 2016: Enhanced summer convective rainfall at Alpine high elevations in response to climate warming. Nature Geoscience. Abstract and download | Media: ETH News | NZZ

Schär, C., N. Ban, E. M. Fischer, J. Rajczak, J. Schmidli, C. Frei, F. Giorgi, T. R. Karl, E. J. Kendon, A. M. G. Klein Tank, P. A. O'Gorman, J. Sillmann, X. Zhang and F. W. Zwiers, 2016: Percentile indices for assessing changes in heavy precipitation events. Climatic Change. Abstract and download

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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