Markus Donat

Markus Donat

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

I am a Meteorologist by training, and obtained my PhD in Meteorology and Climatology at the Freie Universität Berlin in June 2010. Between 2011 and 2018 I held postdoctoral positions and fellowships at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where I focused my research on developing a robust understanding of how different types of climatic extremes are changing in observations and climate model simulations. In 2018 I moved to the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, where I am co-leading the Climate Prediction Group and have been a Ramón y Cajal Fellow since 2019. I have been appointed as ICREA Research Professor in February 2022. Recognitions of my scientific achievements include being awarded the World Climate Research Program and Global Climate Observing System International Data Prize in 2017, and the AXA Climate Award in 2021.

Research interests

My research aims to understand and predict how different types of climate extremes, such as heatwaves, intense precipitation or storms, are changing in the context of climate variability and long-term climate change related to global warming. This involves studying weather and climate processes that cause or amplify such extreme events, and how they respond to different climate drivers. My work involves the development and analysis of high-quality observational datasets of climate extremes, and different types of climate model simulations aiming to predict climate in the near-term (e.g. next years and decade) and more distant future. A key focus is to reduce the uncertainty related to climate variability in these climate predictions. I also explore the efficacy of land-based approaches to mitigate climate change by removing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and how these mitigation approaches may be put at risk through exposure to extreme weather and climate events.

Selected publications

Donat MG 2022, ‘Marine heatwaves are reliably forecast by climate models‘, Nature, 604, 7906, 432 – 433.

– Mahmood R, Donat MG, Ortega P, Doblas-Reyes FJ, Delgado-Torres C, Samsó M, Bretonnière P-A 2022, ‘Constraining low-frequency variability in climate projections to predict climate on decadal to multi-decadal timescales – a poor man’s initialized prediction system‘, Earth System Dynamics, 13, 1437–1450.

– Du H, Donat MG, Zong S, Alexander LV, Manzanas R, Kruger A et al. 2022, ‘Extreme Precipitation on Consecutive Days Occurs More Often in a Warming Climate‘, Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society, 103, 4, E1130 – E1145.

– Delgado-Torres C, Donat MG, Gonzalez-Reviriego N, Caron LP, Athanasiadis PJ, Bretonnière PA, Dunstone NJ, Ho AC, Pankatz K, Paxian A, Pérez-Zanón N, Cabré MS, Solaraju-Murali B, Soret A & Doblas-Reyes FJ 2022, ‘Multi-model forecast quality assessment of CMIP6 decadal predictions‘, Journal of Climate35 (13), 4363-4382.

Selected research activities

– Listed as “Highly Cited Researcher” 2022 by Clarivate (cross-field).
– American Geophysical Union (AGU) Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for the journal Earth’s Future.