Research projects

Mountain snowmelt and its importance for catchment storage and runoff (MountSnow)

Mountain catchments are often influenced by snow, which affects runoff seasonality. However, snow amounts have been decreasing in many regions over the last decades, and spring snowmelt has shifted and occurs earlier in the year. This suggests that snow responds to increasing air temperatures due to climate change. The objectives of the proposed project are 1) to investigate the importance of snowmelt, compared to rainfall, in generating runoff, 2) to quantify how long into the year snowmelt continues to affect runoff, 3) to quantify groundwater recharge, catchment storage and their relation to snow storage and catchment attributes, and 4) to investigate how future changes in snow might affect catchment storage considering different climate projections.

Since the streamflow generation may be sensitive to the decrease of snow, the project will help to understand how snowmelt is partitioned between soil storage, groundwater recharge, evapotranspiration, and runoff which is important for future water availability. The project is and international project of Charles University and University of Zurich.

Principal investigator: Michal Jeníček, Jan Seibert (University of Zurich)

Funding: Czech Science Foundation (GAČR), Swiss National Science Fundation (SNSF)

Duration: 2023-2026

Grant number: GAČR 23-06859K

Hydrological and hydrochemical responses of montane peat bogs to climate change

The research project aims to bring new findings on the response of montane peat bogs to climate change. Using the advanced field and laboratory methods it analyzes the changes in hydrological regime, hydrochemistry, runoff contribution from different zones, and simulates the effects of climate changes.

Principal investigator: Jakub Langhammer

Funding: Czech Science Foundation

Duration: 2022-2024

Grant number: GAČR 22-12837S

Insect induced tree mortality under climate change – Impacts on hydrology and geochemistry across scales

Increased frequency and severity of insect outbreaks under conditions of climate change extensively disturbs forests of the mid-latitudes. Under climate warming, there are imminent risks of movements northward and towards higher elevations of forest-damaging insect species. Through previous work, we have continuously collected and analyzed extensive and unique observation data on the environmental impacts of bark beetle infestation in the Czech mountains, which will constitute a cornerstone in this project. Through the synthesis of existing data, along with climate gradients from south to north and from low altitudes to high altitudes, the impacts of insect-induced tree mortality on hydrologic dynamics and geochemical conditions under increased pressures of climate change across different spatiotemporal scales in Europe will be addressed in this study, which is of relevance for water resources and ecosystem resilience.

Principal investigator: Ye Su

Funding: Czech Science Foundation

Duration: 2022-2025

Grant number: GAČR 22-20422O

Prediction, Evaluation and Research for Understanding National sensitivity and impacts of drought and climate change for Czechia (PERUN)

The PERUN project focuses on the research of climatic extremes, drought and the consequences of climate change in Czechia. The main objective of the project is to create a research centre that would focus on research in the field of climate change in the long term. This includes an analysis of the ongoing change and predicting future trends, including the identification of threats to the environment as well as to society. 

The project is guaranteed by the Czech Ministry of the Environment and carried out by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI), the Czech Geological Survey, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and Faculty of Science of the Charles University, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CzechGlobe, TG Masaryk Water Research Institute and PROGEO Ltd.

Principal investigator: Radim Tolasz (CHMI)

Funding: Technology Agency of the Czech Republic 

Duration: 2020-2026

Grant number: TAČR SS02030040

Spatial and temporal dynamics of hydrometeorological extremes in montane areas

The research project examines the changing patterns of hydrometeorological extreme processes in montane areas of the Czech Republic and aims at identification of changes in dynamics of extreme hydrometeorological processes in mountain basins, having a major effect on the Czech Republic’s hydrological regime. The research fills the gaps in knowledge on changing patterns in spatial distribution, frequency, seasonality and magnitude of hydrometeorological extremes in montane catchments and their key driving forces.

Principal investigator: Jakub Langhammer

Funding: Czech Science Foundation

Duration: 2019-2021

Grant number: GAČR 19-05011S

UAS monitoring of river systems response to the changing climate in the montane environment

The research project examines the changing patterns of The research explores the potential of unmanned (UAS) technologies for monitoring the effects of climate change and forest disturbance on the dynamics of hydrological processes in mountain areas. The research uses the techniques of multispectral, thermal, and LiDAR UAS monitoring of landscape elements, crucial for the formation of runoff in headwater areas.

Principal investigator: Jakub Langhammer

Funding: EU COST Action

Duration: 2019-2021

Grant number: CA16219, LTC 19024

Climate change impacts on snow and ice melt in the Antarctic Peninsula region

The main goal of the project is to determine recent changes in snow cover and melt regime in the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Snow cover is the most sensitive part of the cryosphere and its response to climate variability has important environmental effects. The determination of climate impacts on snow melt in glaciated and ice-free environments will enable us to evaluate
future changes in snow cover and their effects on natural systems.

Principal investigator: Zbyněk Engel

Funding: Czech Science Foundation

Duration: 2020-2022

Grant number: GAČR 20-20240S5011S