Dr. Stephan Thober

Leader HydroScientific Software Development group

Computational Hydrosystems (CHS)
Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig


Fon: 0341 235 482324
Fax: 0341 235 1939

Stephan Thober


My work

Currently, I am a group leader of the HydroScientific Development (HSD) group the HSD group. In this group, we maintain and further develop the mesoscale Hydrologic Model (mHM) and associated tools. I am currently also a visiting scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) and serve as work package leader and service manager in the Ulysses project funded by the European Copernicus Climate Change program.

Further, I am interested in the representation of hydrologic processes within hydrologic and land-surface models, in particular their parametrization. I evaluate a multiscale Parameter Regionalization technique (MPR), presented first for the mesoscale Hydrologic Model (mHM), inside the state-of-the-art land-surface models.

In the past, I lead the HOKLIM project, which investigated high-resolution climate projection for Europe with a focus on different levels of global warming (i.e., 1.5° K, 2° K, and 3 °K).

In my PhD thesis, I worked on the statistical downscaling of meteorological variables (i.e. precipitation and temperature) from climate models to hydrological models. The goal is to generate synthetic high-resolution fields that have the same statistical properties as observations.


Short CV

2016

PostDoc

2011 - 2015

PhD studies at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena

Topic "Evaluation and Disaggregation of Climate Model Outputs for European Drought Prediction" (graduated summa cum laude)

02|2010 - 08|2010

Diploma thesis "Averaging Principle for Markov Jump Processes and Applications to Enzyme Kinetics"

2005 - 2010

Studies in Mathematics
University of Greifswald, Germany

  • HIGRADE Conference 2013: Best presentation award (2nd)
  • 7th GEWEX Conference 2014: Recognized presentation
  • Helmholtz Association 2016: short-listed for PhD prize
  • Jena University 2016: PhD prize geosciences
  • UFZ 2017: UFZ Research Award 2017 as member of the mHM developer team

Projects

Publications

  1. T. R. Saha, P. K. Shrestha, O. Rakovec, S. Thober and L. Samaniego: A drought monitoring tool for South Asia, Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abf525
  2. R. Kumar, F. Heße, P. S. C. Rao, A. Musolff, J. W. Jawitz, F. Sarrazin, L. Samaniego, J. H. Fleckenstein, O. Rakovec, S. Thober and S. Attinger:  Strong hydroclimatic controls on vulnerability to subsurface nitrate contamination across Europe. Nat Commun 11, 6302 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19955-8
  3. M. Jing, R. Kumar, F. Heße, S. Thober, O. Rakovec, L. Samaniego, and S. Attinger: Assessing the response of groundwater quantity and travel time distribution to 1.5, 2, and 3 °C global warming in a mesoscale central German basin, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1511–1526, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1511-2020, 2020.
  4. O. Rakovec, N. Mizukami, R. Kumar, A. J. Newman, S. Thober, A. W. Wood, M. P. Clark, L. Samaniego: Diagnostic Evaluation of Large-Domain Hydrologic Models Calibrated Across the Contiguous United States, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD030767
  5. A.Visser-Quinn, L. Beevers, L.  Collet, G.  Formetta, K. Smith, N. Wanders. S. Thober, M. Pan, R. Kumar: Spatio-temporal analysis of compound hydro-hazard extremes across the UK, Advances in Water Resources, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.05.019
  6. M. Peichl, S. Thober, L. Samaniego et al.: Climate impacts on long-term silage maize yield in Germany. Sci Rep 9, 7674 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44126-1
  7. S. Thober, M. Cuntz, M. Kelbling, R. Kumar, J. Mai, and L. Samaniego: The multiscale routing model mRM v1.0: simple river routing at resolutions from 1 to 50 km, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 2501–2521, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-12-2501-2019, 2019.
  8. L. Samaniego, S. Thober, N. Wanders, M. Pan, O. Rakovec, J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood, C. Prudhomme, G. Rees, H. Houghton-Carr, M. Fry, K. Smith, G. Watts, H. Hisdal, T. Estrela, C. Buontempo, A. Marx, and R. Kumar: Hydrological Forecasts and Projections for Improved Decision-Making in the Water Sector in Europe, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0274.1
  9. N. Wanders, S. Thober, R. Kumar, M. Pan, J. Sheffield, L. Samaniego, and E.F. Wood, 2019: "Development and Evaluation of a Pan-European Multimodel Seasonal Hydrological Forecasting System", J. Hydrometeor., 20, 99–115
  10. L. Samaniego*, S. Thober*, R. Kumar, N. Wanders, O. Rakovec, M. Pan, M. Zink, J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood & A. Marx: Anthropogenic warming exacerbates European soil moisture droughts, Nature Climate Change, Volume 8, Pages 421–426 (2018), *: contributed equally
  11. A. Marx, R. Kumar, S. Thober, O. Rakovec, N. Wanders, M. Zink, E. F. Wood, M. Pan, J. Sheffield, and L. Samaniego: Climate change alters low flows in Europe under global warming of 1.5, 2, and 3 °C, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1017-1032,  2018
  12. S. Thober, R. Kumar, N. Wanders, A. Marx, M. Pan, O. Rakovec, L. Samaniego, J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood, and M. Zink:
    Multi-model ensemble projections of European river floods and high flows at 1.5, 2, and 3 degree global warming. 2018 Environ. Res. Lett. 13 014003
  13. M. Peichl, S. Thober, V. Meyer, and L. Samaniego: The Effect of Soil Moisture Anomalies on Maize Yield in Germany, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 889-906, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-889-2018, 2018.
  14. L. Samaniego, R. Kumar, S. Thober, O. Rakovec, M. Zink, N. Wanders, S. Eisner, H. Müller Schmied, E. H. Sutanudjaja, K. Warrach-Sagi, and S. Attinger: Toward seamless hydrologic predictions across spatial scales, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 4323-4346, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-4323-2017, 2017.
  15. M. Cuntz, J. Mai, L. Samaniego, M. Clark, V. Wulfmeyer, O. Branch, S. Attinger, S. Thober:
    The impact of standard and hard-coded parameters on the hydrologic fluxes in the Noah-MP land surface model
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2016, doi:10.1002/2016JD025097
  16. M. Zink, L. Samaniego, R. Kumar, S. Thober, J. Mai, D. Schäfer, A Marx:
    The German Drought Monitor.
    Environmental Research Letters, 2016, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074002
  17. R.C. Nijzink, L. Samaniego, J. Mai, R. Kumar, S. Thober, M. Zink, D. Schaefer, H.H.G. Savenije, M. Hrachowitz:
    The importance of topography controlled sub-grid process heterogeneity and semi-quantitative prior constraints in distributed hydrological models
    Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2016, doi:10.5194/hess-20-1151-2016
  18. O. Rakovec, R. Kumar, J. Mai, M. Cuntz, S. Thober, M. Zink, S. Attinger, D. Schäfer, M. Schrӧn, L. Samaniego:
    Multiscale and multivariate evaluation of water fluxes and states over European river basins
    Journal of Hydrometeorology, 2016, DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-15-0054.1
  19. S. Thober, R. Kumar, J. Sheffield, J. Mai, D. Schäfer, L. Samaniego:
    Seasonal Soil Moisture Drought Prediction over Europe using the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME)
    Journal of Hydrometeorology, 2015, DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-15-0053.1
  20. M. Cuntz, J. Mai, M. Zink, S. Thober, R. Kumar, D. Schäfer, M. Schrön, J. Craven, O. Rakovec, D. Spieler, V. Prykhodko, G. Dalmasso, J. Musuuza, B. Langenberg, S. Attinger, L. Samaniego:
    Computationally inexpensive identification of noninformative model parameters by sequential screening
    Water Resources Research, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/2015WR016907
  21. S. Thober, J. Mai, M. Zink, L. Samaniego:
    Stochastic temporal disaggregation of monthly precipitation for regional gridded data sets
    Water Resources Research, 2014, DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015930
  22. S. Thober,  L. Samaniego:
    Robust Ensemble Selection by Multivariate Evaluation of Extreme Precipitation and Temperature Characteristics
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2014, DOI: 10.1002/2013JD020505
  1. Marx A, L Samaniego, R Kumar, S Thober, J Mai, and M Zink. 2016. “Der Dürremonitor - Aktuelle Information zur Bodenfeuchte in Deutschland”. in: G. Wernecke et al (Hrsg): Wasserressourcen - Wissen in Flussgebieten vernetzen, Forum für Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung; Heft 37.16, Seiten 131-142 ISBN: 978-3-88721-307-7, DOI: 10.14617/for.hydrol.wasbew.37.16

Conference contributions (since 2015)

  1. Stephan Thober, Luis Samaniego, Rohini Kumar, Niko Wanders, Oldrich Rakovec, Ming Pan, Matthias Zink, Justin Sheffield, Eric Wood, Andreas Marx. "Climate change exacerbates soil moisture droughts in Europe", 8th GEWEX confernce, Canmore, Canada, 7-11th May 2018
  2. Stephan Thober, Luis Samaniego, Rohini Kumar, Niko Wanders, Oldrich Rakovec, Ming Pan, Matthias Zink, Justin Sheffield, Eric Wood, Andreas Marx: "Klimawandel verstärkt Bodenfeuchtedürren in Europa", Tag der Hydrologie, Dresden, 21-22 März 2018
  3. Stephan Thober, Naoki Mizukami, Luis Samaniego, Sabine Attinger, Martyn Clark, Matthias Cuntz. "Achieving scale-independent land-surface flux estimates – Application of the Multiscale Parameter Regionalization (MPR) to the Noah-MP land-surface model across the contiguous USA", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 12-16 December 2016
  4. Luis Samaniego, Rohini Kumar, Stephan Thober, Ming Pan, Christel Prudhomme, Justin Sheffield, Niko Wanders, Eric Wood. "Exploring the mutual enhancement between droughts and heatwaves in Europe", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 12-16 December 2016
  5. Oldrich Rakovec, Naoki Mizukami, Andrew Newman, Stephan Thober, Rohini Kumar, Andrew Wood, Martyn Clark, Luis Samaniego. "On Model Complexity and Parameter Regionalization for Continental Scale Hydrologic Simulations", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 12-16 December 2016
  6. Matthias Cuntz, Juliane Mai, Luis Samaniego, Martyn Clark, Volker Wulfmeyer, Sabine Attinger, and Stephan Thober. "Impact of the hard-coded parameters on the hydrologic fluxes of the land surface model Noah-MP", EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  7. Matthias Cuntz, Stephan Thober, Matthias Zink, Oldrich Rakovec, and Luis Samaniego. "How important are the descriptions of vegetation in distributed hydrologic models?". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  8. Michael Peichl, Stephan Thober, Reimund Schwarze, Volker Meyer, and Luis Samaniego. "Soil Moisture Anomaly as Predictor of Crop Yield Deviation in Germany", EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  9. Juliane Mai, Matthias Cuntz, Mahyar Shafii, Matthias Zink, David Schäfer, Stephan Thober, Luis Samaniego, and Bryan Tolson. "Multi-objective vs. single-objective calibration of a hydrologic model using single- and multi-objective screening", EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  10. Stephan Thober, Rohini Kumar, Luis Samaniego, Justin Sheffield, David Schäfer, and Juliane Mai. "Forecasting European Droughts using the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME)", EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 12-17 April 2015
  11. Luis Samaniego, Oldrich Rakovec, Rohini Kumar, Juliane Mai, Sabine Attinger, Matthias Cuntz, Martin Schrön, Stephan Thober, and Matthias Zink. "Searching for a robust parameter estimation strategy for large river basins". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 12-17 April 2015
  12. Matthias Cuntz, Juliane Mai, Luis Samaniego, Martyn Clark, Volker Wulfmeyer, Sabine Attinger, Stephan Thober. "Hard-coded parameters have the largest impact on fluxes of the land surface model Noah-MP". AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 15-18 December 2015
  1. Matthias Cuntz, Juliane Mai, Luis Samaniego, Martyn Clark, Oliver Branch, Volker Wulfmeyer, Sabine Attinger, Stephan Thober. "The impact of standard and hard-coded parameters on the hydrologic fluxes in the Noah-MP land surface model", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 12-16 December 2016
  2. S Thober, R Kumar, L Samaniego, J Mai, O Rakovec, and M Cuntz. "mRM - multiscale Routing Model for Scale-Independent Streamflow Simulations". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  3. Kumar R, J Mai, O Rakovec, M Zink, M Cuntz, S Thober, S Attinger, M Schroen, D Schaefer, and L Samaniego. "A spatially consistent seamless predictions of continental-scale hydrologic fluxes and states". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  4. Mai J, M Cuntz, M Zink, S Thober, R Kumar, D Schäfer, M Schrön, J Craven, O Rakovec, D Spieler, V Prykhodko, G Dalmasso, J Musuuza, B Langenberg, S Attinger, and L Samaniego. "Computationally inexpensive identification of noninformative model parameters by sequential screening". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 17-22 April 2016
  5. Michael Peichl, Volker Meyer, Luis Samaniego, and Stephan Thober. "Soil Moisture as an Estimator for Crop Yield in Germany". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 12-17 April 2015
  6. Juliane Mai, Stephan Thober, Luis Samaniego, Oliver Branch, Volker Wulfmeyer, Martyn Clark, Sabine Attinger, Rohini Kumar, and Matthias Cuntz. "Sensitivity Analysis of the Land Surface Model NOAH-MP for Different Model Fluxes". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 12-17 April 2015
  7. Andreas Marx, Matthias Zink, Julia Pommerencke, Rohini Kumar, Stephan Thober, and Luis Samaniego. "The German Drought Monitor". EGU General Assembly, Vienna, 12-17 April 2015
  8. Rohini Kumar, Juliane Mai, Oldrich Rakovec, Matthias Cuntz, Stephan Thober, Matthias Zink, Sabine Attinger, David Schäfer, Martin Schrön, Luis Samaniego. "Regionalized Hydrologic Parameters Estimates for a Seamless Prediction of Continental scale Water Fluxes and States". AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 15-18 December 2015
  9. Juliane Mai, Matthias Cuntz, Matthias Zink, David Schäfer, Stephan Thober, Luis Samaniego, Mahyar Shafii, Bryan Tolson. "Multi-Objective vs. Single Objective Calibration of a Hydrologic Model using Either Different Hydrologic Signatures or Complementary Data Sources". AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 15-18 December 2015
  10. Stephan Thober, Juliane Mai, Luis Samaniego, David J Gochis, Rohini Kumar, Matthias Cuntz . "mRM - multiscale Routing Model for Land Surface and Hydrologic Models". AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, 15-18 December 2015

Please find a selection of my posters here.


Journal Referee

Geophysical Research Letters (AGU), Water Resources Research (AGU), Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (EGU), Journal of Hydrometeorology (AMS)