The Climate Change and Environmental Systems group (ZEPHYRUS) is the Portuguese leading team on geographical analysis of climate change and environmental systems, joining several working areas and recognized international experts. The key focus are the interactions between a changing climate, environmental systems and human activities at various scales and in different regions across the Earth.
ZEPHYRUS research is organized into three main subject areas: Climatology, Biogeography and Geocryology.
- 12 senior researchers (one Full Professor, two Associate Professors, five Assistant Professors, one invited Assistant Professor and two post-doc researchers) and two collaborators with PhD (Associate and Assistant Professors), from 4 national universities (ULisboa, UÉvora, UAlgarve and UTAD).
- 19 young researchers: 17 PhD students and 4 scholarships.
- Many international researchers (from Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Spain, UK and the USA), were hosted in the group.
ZEPHYRUS is an interdisciplinary research group:
-13 geographers, 3 physicists, 2 biophysical engineers, 2 geologists, 1 graduate in European Studies and 1 Forestry Engineer. Engineers, architects, environmentalists and historians, among others, have joined us temporarily, bringing their expertise and new ideas into the group’s research.
ZEPHYRUS members have important positions at international and national science organizations:
the European Polar Board (ExComm), Expert Group on Antarctic Permafrost of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (Co-Chair), Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost of WMO/GCOS/IPA (ExComm), Polar Office of the FCT (Science advisor), Joint Iberian Commission for Polar research and Permafrost Young Researchers Network (President), Jury of the Prize Vautrin-Lud.
ZEPHYRUS members have contributed in peer reviewing in 25 international Journals and have participated as project referees in Argentina and Chile.
ZEPHYRUS manages the Remote Sensing and Environmental Systems Modelling Lab (RSESM-L), supporting post-graduate research and bridging with IGOT-ULISBOA on under- and post-graduate teaching. This infrastructure benefits from the expertise of team members in optical, infrared and microwave remote sensing and will also include new observational platforms based on UAVs, bridging the gap with ground truthing observational instrumentation for field data collection (D-GPS systems, cameras, infra-red cameras and meteorological monitoring instruments).
Observational systems are an important legacy from teams CliMA and ANTECC, which are now managed by ZEPHYRUS:
- The Urban Mesoscale Climate Networks are coordinated by the Climate team and monitors the urban heat island and heat stress in urban environments.
- The Antarctic Peninsula Permafrost Observatories are part of the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (IPA, WMO/GCOS), comprehending a set of monitoring sites in Western Antarctic Peninsula. This network is a cooperative effort with research groups from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Spain and the USA.
ZEPHYRUS observational networks produce a set of high quality data environmental systems allowing for high quality science deliverables and for feeding a number of masters and PhD dissertations.