Wim Thiery

Associate Professor @ Vrije Universiteit Brussel

27 September 2021

Our new study 'Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes' was published in Science. A PDF of the paper is available here, the accompanying report by the NGO Save the Children is available here. The story was covered, among others, by The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC World, The Economist, The Independent, The Times, Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, CarbonBrief, De Morgen and De Standaard.

A Research Highlight covering our study appeared in Nature, you may find the piece here.

18 July 2022

In an interview on Terzake (Belgium national TV) I provide context on the role of climate change in explaining recent extreme heat in Europe. The full interview can be viewed here (registration required) or here (open link). More background information is also available on this press article.

1 July 2022

Today, Inne Vanderkelen succesfully defended her PhD. Inne was the first PhD student to start in our BCLIMATE group at VUB. Importantly, she received 'congratulations of the jury' for her PhD, an award highlighting the top 3% of PhD theses in the Faculty of Engineering at VUB. A thread on Inne's achievements can be found here.

15 December 2021

Seppe Lampe is joining the BCLIMATE group to perform a PhD on wildfires using the ISIMIP wildfire models. Welcome Seppe!

1 November 2021

Sabin Taranu is joining the BCLIMATE group to perform a PhD on implementing water management in global climate models. Welcome Sabin!

19 October 2021

Today, Sebastian Sterl succesfully defended his PhD. Sebastian is the first PhD student to obtain his PhD in our BCLIMATE group at VUB. Importantly, he received 'congratulations of the jury' for her PhD, an award highlighting the top 3% of PhD theses in the Faculty of Engineering at VUB. A thread on Sebastian's achievements can be found here.

10 September 2020

Following our efforts to develop the burning embers figure for the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (link), we worked on a review of the history of this iconic diagram, the evolution of the risk assessments, and the methodological advances applied in the two most recent special reports. The review came out today; a digital copy is available here and a summary of the study here.

25 May 2020

New study out in Nature Sustainability: using the newly-developed REVUB model, researcher Sebastian Sterl of the BCLIMATE group at VUB computed optimal renewable energy strategies for all West African Countries. Here's the link to the paper.

15 January 2020

In our new study in Nature Communications, we provide observational and model evidence that expanding irrigation has dampened historical anthropogenic warming during hot days, with particularly strong effects over South Asia. Here's the link to the paper.

29 January 2020

Today my public lecture for the 'Universiteit van Vlaanderen' was released. You can watch the movie here.

1 November 2019

Luke Grant and Yi Yao joined the BCLIMATE group at VUB for a PhD. Luke will work on land use and land cover change impacts on climate and Yi on irrigation representation in Earth system models. Welcome Luke and Yi!

1 October 2019

Steven De Hertog has joined the BCLIMATE group at VUB for a PhD on the develoment of sustainable land management scenarios for climate mitigation and adaptation. Welcome Steven!

5 July 2019

Vacancy: the BCLIMATE group at VUB is hiring a postdoc (2-year position) to perform research on the potential future role of land management for climate mitigation and adaptation. The position is part of a larger European project and includes running CESM under various land use futures. More info can be found here.

19 June 2019

Luke Grant and Yi Yao will be joining the BCLIMATE group at VUB this summer to perform their PhD research on land-climate interactions. Welcome both!

16 January 2017

Absolutely thrilled to be part of the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe class of 2017!!! A big thanks to ETH Zurich and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel for all their support...

9 November 2017

Many thanks to the VOCATIO foundation for supporting my plans to install a weather station on Lake Victoria, we will have the campaign from 15 January to 7 February.

22 February 2017

The slides of my inaugural lecture at the VUB can now be accessed here.

4 January 2017

Today I started my Tenure track at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering. Many thanks to all the colleagues at HYDR for the trust!

13 October 2016

In a new study, Niels Souverijns attributes future changes in precipitation over East Africa to changes in moisture content, local/mesoscale feedbacks and moisture influx, and not to large-scale atmospheric circulation changes.

13 October 2016

Today a figure from my most recent paper was highlighted by NASA as 'Image of the day' (see also 'data is beautiful' on Reddit).

23 September 2016

Lake Victoria in East Africa is known to be stormy at night, with thousands of fishermen dying each year. In a new paper published today in Nature Communications, I investigate the controls on extreme thunderstorms over the lake and project their future change. Together with colleagues from ETH, KU Leuven and NASA, we show that extreme precipitation increases twice as fast over Lake Victoria compared to surrounding land by the end of the century under RCP8.5. Our findings also open up the potential for developing satellite-based early warning systems for the region. Our paper was highlighted by a number of media, (e.g. ETH Zukunfstblog, KU Leuven news, Deredactie.be, DeMorgen, see here for a full overview)

25 April 2016

Looking back to another great session on land-climate interactions at EGU2016. Thanks to all the speakers and motivated poster presenters for contributing to its success! We already look forward to next year's edition...

01 October 2015

Only two weeks after the big day, the time has arrived for a new challenge. Today I started my first postdoc at ETH Zurich. Supported by an ETH postdoctoral fellowship, I will investigate the historical and future impact of land irrigation on climate extremes. Whether it's about lakes or irrigation, please don't hesitate to contact me in case of questions or suggestions!

18 May 2015

Our study on the climatic influence of the African Great Lakes was reported in the clm-community newsletter, the complete newsletter can be found here. In the meantime, the study is also published in Journal of Climate, you may find the paper here.

29 August 2014:

My research visit at ETH Zürich has come to an end. After four months of intense collaboration with dr. Davin and prof. Seneviratne, we can look back and be happy about the progress made during this period. The collaboration will continue as I deepen the analysis in the coming months. But first, I will attend the Swiss Climate Summer School in Grindelwald.

15 April 2014:

Our study on the climatic impact of a realistic future deforestation scenario for the Congo Basin was published on 1 April in Journal of Climate. By 2050, deforestation could cause temperatures in the Congo Basin to increase by 0.7 °C. This increase would intensify warming caused by greenhouse gases by half. On the occasion of this publication, we issued a press release that was adopted by many news agencies dealing with science and climate changes related topics (e.g. Science Daily, Phys.org, IPS, RTCC, 11.be, mo.be, Nature World News, Science Codex, Science Newsline, seableue.fr, Africa Science News).

21 March 2014:

From 5 May to 31 August, I will work as a visiting research scientist at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science of ETH Zürich. Looking forward to an interesting collaboration with dr. Edouard Davin and prof. Sonia Seneviratne of the land-climate dynamics group!

7 November 2013

The CORDEX 2013 Internatinoal Conference on Regional Climate, has come to an end. The venue was organised in Brussels by the European Commision, the IPCC and WCRP. My contribution was awarded with the price for best poster. The poster can be found here.

9 October 2013

The Automatic Weather Station that I mounted over the surface of Lake Kivu is now exactly 1 year operational. The station provides 30 min averages of precipitation, wind speed/direction, air temperature/pressure/relative humidity and 4-component radiation, all from state-of-the-art meteorological sensors. Check out the pictures of the station. Don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested in using this data!