Massimiliano Zappa


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Hybrid forecasting: blending climate predictions with AI models
Louise Slater, Louise Arnal, Marie‐Amélie Boucher, Annie Y.-Y. Chang, Simon Moulds, Conor Murphy, Grey Nearing, Guy Shalev, Chaopeng Shen, Linda Speight, Gabriele Villarini, Robert L. Wilby, Andy Wood, Massimiliano Zappa
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Volume 27, Issue 9

Abstract. Hybrid hydroclimatic forecasting systems employ data-driven (statistical or machine learning) methods to harness and integrate a broad variety of predictions from dynamical, physics-based models – such as numerical weather prediction, climate, land, hydrology, and Earth system models – into a final prediction product. They are recognized as a promising way of enhancing the prediction skill of meteorological and hydroclimatic variables and events, including rainfall, temperature, streamflow, floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, or atmospheric rivers. Hybrid forecasting methods are now receiving growing attention due to advances in weather and climate prediction systems at subseasonal to decadal scales, a better appreciation of the strengths of AI, and expanding access to computational resources and methods. Such systems are attractive because they may avoid the need to run a computationally expensive offline land model, can minimize the effect of biases that exist within dynamical outputs, benefit from the strengths of machine learning, and can learn from large datasets, while combining different sources of predictability with varying time horizons. Here we review recent developments in hybrid hydroclimatic forecasting and outline key challenges and opportunities for further research. These include obtaining physically explainable results, assimilating human influences from novel data sources, integrating new ensemble techniques to improve predictive skill, creating seamless prediction schemes that merge short to long lead times, incorporating initial land surface and ocean/ice conditions, acknowledging spatial variability in landscape and atmospheric forcing, and increasing the operational uptake of hybrid prediction schemes.


DOI bib
Subjective modeling decisions can significantly impact the simulation of flood and drought events
Lieke Melsen, Adriaan J. Teuling, P.J.J.F. Torfs, Massimiliano Zappa, Naoki Mizukami, Pablo Mendoza, Martyn P. Clark, R. Uijlenhoet
Journal of Hydrology, Volume 568

It is generally acknowledged in the environmental sciences that the choice of a computational model impacts the research results. In this study of a flood and drought event in the Swiss Thur basin, we show that modeling decisions during the model configuration, beyond the model choice, also impact the model results. In our carefully designed experiment we investigated four modeling decisions in ten nested basins: the spatial resolution of the model, the spatial representation of the forcing data, the calibration period, and the performance metric. The flood characteristics were mainly affected by the performance metric, whereas the drought characteristics were mainly affected by the calibration period. The results could be related to the processes that triggered the particular events studied. The impact of the modeling decisions on the simulations did, however, vary among the investigated sub-basins. In spite of the limitations of this study, our findings have important implications for the understanding and quantification of uncertainty in any hydrological or even environmental model. Modeling decisions during model configuration introduce subjectivity from the modeler. Multiple working hypotheses during model configuration can provide insights on the impact of such subjective modeling decisions.