Diego Miralles - HEAT

Description of the PI diegomiralles.jpg

Diego Miralles graduated with an MSc in Environmental Sciences in 2005 (Autonoma University Madrid) and an MSc in Hydrology in 2009 (VU University Amsterdam). In 2008–2009 he worked as a research assistant at the USDA Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab (Washington DC) to then come back to Europe to complete a PhD in global hydrology. In 2011 he obtained his doctoral degree from the VU University Amsterdam and became lecturer (docent) at the University of Bristol. He first became affiliated to Ghent University in 2014 as external professor (gastprofessor), to then become associate professor (hoofddocent) in February 2017 thanks to the DRY–2–DRY ERC Starting grant, and full professor (hoogleraar) in September 2023 thanks to the HEAT ERC Consolidator grant.

In the present, he leads a group of researchers at the Hydro-Climate Extremes Lab (H-CEL) working on projects that strive towards improving our understanding of the water, energy and carbon cycles over land. Specific activities in the group revolve along the characterization of land–atmospheric feedbacks, the estimation of evaporation at regional scales from satellite data, the investigation of hydro-climatic extremes, and the impacts of climate change on vegetation and terrestrial hydrology. He is a board member of GCOS and of the Boussinesq Centre of Hydrology.

Contact: Diego.Miralles@UGent.be

Recent publications: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/802001751490

Project description

HEAT – Hybrid dry–hot Extremes prediction and AdapTation

Heatwaves and droughts are becoming synchronized. In our warmer world, soils dry faster, heating up the air even further. These compound dry-hot events propagate like a wildfire: the drying upwind can trigger heat stress episodes on populations located hundreds of kilometers downwind. What are the physical mechanisms that drive these compound events and cause heat stress episodes on societies? Can we forecast these episodes weeks-to-months in advance using recent technological progress? Can intelligent land management attenuate the intensity and frequency of future events?

In HEAT, Diego Miralles and his team will aim to answer these questions. This will be achieved through a combination of satellite data, physics-driven atmospheric models, artificial intelligence, and state-of-the-art climate model simulations. Altogether, HEAT will enhance preparedness and resilience against extreme hot and dry events by providing accurate seasonal forecasts, novel mechanistic understanding, and land management strategies to mitigate future events and their impact on societies.

The project runs from May 2023 until April 2028.


to be announced soon


Prof. Diego Miralles
Department of Environment
Hydro-Climate Extremes Lab (H-CEL)
Publications: prof. Diego Miralles (ugent.be)

Funding info

vlag plat funded by the eu.JPG
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.