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Environment

The environment research area

The environment research area is part of the MODEST Challenge. It lies at the crossroads of transverse axes “Data assimilation and optimization” and “Uncertainties“.

Within this axis, CERFACS teams conduct scientific studies in various fields of geosciences. Researchers and engineers develop modeling tools,  implement data assimilation methods, run coupled models (multi-physical and / or multi-dimensional) and study the sources of uncertainty on systems. One goal is to apply this research in operational systems in a national and international context.

The methods of applied mathematics used here,  such as coupling or data assimilation,  are at the center of research works in the fields of oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, hydrology and forest fires.

Hydrology and hydraulics

Flood forecasting is a major natural hazard for the safety of goods and people. Actors in risk management and stakeholders in water resource management feature modeling tools and in situ observation network to simulate the flow dynamics. The capabilities of hydrological and hydrodynamic models are limited by several factors of uncertainty related to the description of the bathymetry / topography, hydraulic and hydrological parameters, or the terms of forcings such as hydrological flows and rainfall. These uncertainties can be reduced through data assimilation (in-situ and satellite), as implemented in the DAMP platform (Data Assimilation with MASCARET Platform).

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Forest fires

Predicting the behavior of a large-scale fire depends on a semi-empirical modeling of the propagation of a front (i.e. the interface between burned and unburned areas) involving the vegetation data description, geomorphology and meteorology, however tainted by various sources of error. CERFACS develops the ensemble data assimilation system  FIREFLY to sequentially correct the fire front parameters and position, and thus improve the predictive ability of the propagation models over the acquisition of observations on the front position.

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NEWS

Continuity of activity of the Cerfacs during the Covid-19 pandemic

superadmin |  20 March 2020

On Monday 16 March 2020, in the context of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 epidemic, Cerfacs decided to reorganize its activities by implementing a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and deploying teleworking facilities for all its employees. All staff members thus continue to carry out their full mission.Read more


A fiery wakeup call for climate science

superadmin |  26 February 2020

The extent of the recent wildfires in Australia significantly exceeded the projections of any member of the multi-model CMIP archive.  This highlights how current multi-model ensembles may be under-representing the risks of natural disasters under climate change.  Limited coupled system process representation in most models coupled with a lack of parameter uncertainty exploration means that some risks are not explored by the existing international multi-model framework.  This calls for a reassessment of how to focus climate model development on providing robust risk quantification for those impacts which most directly affect society. Sanderson, B.M., Fisher, R.A. A fiery wake-up call for climate science. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020) nature.com Media coverage BBC Sydney Morning Herald The Guardian Wired The Daily Express YahooRead more

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