The laboratory on Numerical Modeling of Planetary Processes at the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources deals with the study of some of the main geological, geomorphological, fluid dynamical and climatic processes of the Earth System and of other planets or satellites.

The aim of the laboratory is to understand, through computer simulations and the analysis and interpretation of both observational data and modelling results, some of the processes that determine the dynamics at the surface (ocean, atmosphere, continental surfaces) and in the interior of rocky planets, their climate and paleoclimate. Particular attention is devoted to the interactions between geosphere and biosphere in the Earth System and to the analysis of the conditions that can allow the presence of life on rocky planets (or satellites).

The approach is based on the use of deterministic conceptual models, empirical data-driven models and global climate models. The sustainability of the laboratory is based on funding from national and international research projects.

Tools

Laboratory activities are based on the development, implementation and use of deterministic numerical models, both conceptual and complex, and on the use of community models. Currently, we use ESTM models (evolutions of EBM), box models for soil-vegetation-atmosphere interaction, simplified models of ecosystems, models for turbulent rotating convection, quasi-geostrophic turbulence models, the JULES model, the EMIC PLASIM model and the coastal Delft3D model. Data-based, empirical models are developed and used to estimate and predict the response of specific systems (fires, glaciers, ecosystems) to climate variability.

For numerical simulation using conceptual models, we use the workstations and the multi-processor servers available at CNR. The heaviest simulations are currently carried out at CINECA.

Contacts

Antonello Provenzale
CNR IGG, Via Moruzzi 1, Pisa
Antonello.provenzale(at)cnr(dot)it

Staff

Maria Silvia Giamberini (CNR Technician)
Sara Lenzi (Fellowship)
Marta Magnani
Ljuba Novi (Research Fellow)
Antonello Provenzale (Head Laboratory)

Main external collaborations

Alberto Adriani, INAF, Roma
Carlo Baroni, Università di Pisa
Carl Beierkuhnlein, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Palma Blonda, CNR IIA, Bari
Annalisa Bracco, Georgiatech, USA
Fasma Diele, CNR IAC, Bari
Tomaso Esposti Ongaro, INGV, Pisa
Klaus Fraedrich, Max-Planck-Institute, Hamburg, Germany
Jost von Hardenberg, CNR ISAC, Torino
Luciano Iess, Università La Sapienza, Roma
Arnon Karnieli, Ben Gurion University, Israel
Carmela Marangi, CNR IAC, Bari
Giuseppe Mitri, Università “G. D’Annunzio”, Chieti
Giuseppe Murante, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste
Elisa Palazzi, CNR ISAC, Torino
Maria Cristina Salvatore, Università di Pisa
Laura Silva, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste
Edward A Spiegel, Columbia University, New York, USA
Marco Turco, University of Barcelona, Spain
Giovanni Vladilo, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste
Hezi Yizhaq, BGU, Sede Boker Campus, Israel
Jeffrey B. Weiss, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

The laboratory is based on the development, implementation and use of deterministic numerical models, both conceptual and complex. Currently, ESTM models (evolution of an EBM), box models for soil-vegetation-atmosphere interaction, simplified models of lake ecosystems, the JULES model and the EMIC PLASIM model are used.

Data-based, empirical models are also developed and used to estimate and predict the response of specific systems (fires, glaciers, ecosystems) to climate variability.

Main activities

Currently, the activities of the laboratory are devoted to the following research topics:

Planetary fluid dynamics

  • Turbulent rotating convection, in water and in fluids with high Prandtl number, as a conceptual basis for the simulation of the convective dynamics in planetary atmospheres and oceans, in oceans covered by a thick ice layer (Ganymede, Europa) and in the mantle of rocky planets.
  • Vortex dynamics in planetary atmospheres and oceans, with particular reference to the dynamics of the atmospheres of gaseous planets (Jupiter).
  • Estimates of the habitability of rocky planets using simplified climate models (EBM, ESTM, EMIC).

Geomophological processes

  • Dynamics of aeolian ripples and megaripples in sandy desert regions of Earth and Mars.
  • Empirical and deterministic modeling of the response of Alpine glaciers to climate change.
  • Coastal processes and modelling of coastal erosion.

Geosphere-biosphere-climate interactions in the Earth System

  • Dynamics of soil-vegetation-atmosphere interactions in the "Critical Zone" in extreme environments, with special focus on mountain regions and the Arctic tundra.
  • Dynamics of mountain lake ecosystems and interactions between lake ecosystems, environment and climate.
  • Empirical modeling of the relationships between climate, vegetation and fires through "data-based" models for the estimation and prediction of the burned area.

Main ongoing projects

EU H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL (2015-2019), grant number 641762

EU ERA4CS (special project Serv_for_Fire)

ASI JUICE fase C/D – Attività scientifiche

PON OT4CLIMA

 

PUBBLICATIONS

  • H. Yizhaq, G. Bel, S. Silvestro, T. Elperin, J. F. Kok, M. Cardinale, A. Provenzale, I. Katra, The origin of the transverse instability of aeolian megaripples. Earth Plan. Sci. Letters, in press.
  • M. Turco, J.J. Rosa-Cánovas, J. Bedia, S. Jerez, J.P. Montávez, M.C. Llasat, A. Provenzale, Exacerbated fires in Mediterranean Europe due to anthropogenic warming projected with nonstationary climate-fire models. Nature Communications, 9:3821 | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06358-z (2018)
  • M. Turco, S. Jerez, F.J. Doblas-Reyes, A. AghaKouchak, M.C. Llasat, A. Provenzale, Skilful forecasting of global fire activity using seasonal climate predictions. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05250-0 (2018)
  • M. Turco, J. von Hardenberg, A. AghaKouchak, M.C. Llasat, A. Provenzale, R.M. Trigo, On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe. Scientific Reports, 7, 81, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-00116-9 (2017).
  • S. Terzago, J. von Hardenberg, E. Palazzi, A. Provenzale, Snow water equivalent in the Alps as seen by gridded data sets, CMIP5 and CORDEX climate models. The Cryosphere, 11, 1625-1645 (2017)
  • L. Silva, G. Vladilo, G. Murante, A. Provenzale, Quantitative estimates of the surface habitability of Kepler-452b. MNRAS,  https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx1396 (2017)
  • M. Turco, J. von Hardenberg, A. AghaKouchak, M.-C. Llasat, A.  Provenzale,  R.M. Trigo, On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe. Scientific Reports 7: 81 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-00116-9 (2017)
  • L. Silva, G. Vladilo, P.M. Schulte, G. Murante, A. Provenzale. From climate models to planetary habitability: temperature constraints for complex life. International Journal of Astrobiology, doi:10.1017/S1473550416000215 (2016)
  • D. Lacitignola, F. Diele, C. Marangi, A. Provenzale. On the dynamics of a generalized predator-prey system with Z-type control. Mathematical Biosciences, in press (2016)
  • A.B. Pieri, F. Falasca, J. von Hardenberg, A. Provenzale. Plume dynamics in rotating Rayleigh–Bénard convection. Physics Letters A, 380, 1363-1367 (2016)
  • F. Viterbo, J. von Hardenberg, A. Provenzale, L. Molini, A. Parodi, O.O. Sy, S. Tanelli. High-Resolution Simulations of the 2010 Pakistan Flood Event: Sensitivity to Parameterizations and Initialization Time. J. Hydrometeorology, 17, DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-15-0098.1 (2016)
  • M. Turco, J. Bedia, F. Di Liberto, P. Fiorucci, J. von Hardenberg, N. Koutsias, M.C. Llasat, F. Xystrakis, A. Provenzale. Decreasing Fires in Mediterranean Europe. PLOS ONE 11, e0150663. doi:10.1371/journalpone.0150663 (2016)
  • J. von Hardenberg, D. Goluskin, A. Provenzale, E.A Spiegel. Generation of Large-Scale Winds in Horizontally Anisotropic Convection. Physical Review Letters, 115, 134501 (2015)
  • A. Pieri, J. von Hardenberg, A. Parodi, A. Provenzale. Sensitivity of Precipitation Statistics to Resolution, Microphysics, and Convective Parameterization: A Case Study with the High-Resolution WRF Climate Model over Europe. J. Hydrometeorology, 16, doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-14-0221.1 (2015)
  • A. Provenzale, E. Palazzi, K. Fraedrich, Editors, The Fluid Dynamics of Climate, CISM series (Springer, 2015).