Boris Orlowsky

Boris Orlowsky, Dr.

Academic associate

Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics

Tel.: 044 63 55188


Since 2015 — Research Associate at University of Zurich

2015 — Climate Change Advisor at HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

2008 to 2014 — PostDoc/Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich

2004 to 2007 — PhD at Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research and University of Hamburg

1999 to 2004 — Studying physics and geophysics at Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Free University of Berlin and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris

Research interests

My main job at GIUZ is the coordination of the Swiss scientific consortium (or Entidades Cientificas Suizas, ECS) within the Program of Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) in the Peruvian Andes, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). This involves the facilitation of everything related to cooperation between the Swiss and Peruvian partners,  some proper administrative tasks and having an eye on schedules and deliverables.

In the remaining time, I pursue my research interests in statistical analyses of climate data, with a strong focus on making climate data fruitful for development cooperation. Experience shows that climate change information is best absorbed by stakeholdes if directly linked to specific (adaptation) activities, for example by applying the Climate Corridor Approach. Exploring and communicating such links makes climate change more tangible and guides the account for uncertainty of future climate.


In journals (first author)


Orlowsky B. et al. (2014). Todayʼs virtual water consumption and trade under future water scarcity. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 074007


Orlowsky B. and Seneviratne S.I. (2014). Short Communication: On the spatial representativeness of temporal dynamics at European weather stations. International Journal of Climatology DOI: 10.1002/joc.3903


Orlowsky B. and Seneviratne S.I. (2013). Elusive drought: uncertainty in observed trends and short- and long-term CMIP5 projections. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 1765-1781


Orlowsky B. and Seneviratne S.I. (2012). Global changes in extreme events: Regional and seasonal dimension. Climatic Change 110, 669-696


Orlowsky B. and Seneviratne S.I. (2011). Investigating spatial climate relations using CARTs: an application to persistent hot days in a multi-model ensemble. Journal of Geophysical Research 116, D14106


Orlowsky B. and Seneviratne S.I. (2010). Statistical analyses of land-atmosphere feedbacks and their possible pitfalls. Journal of Climate 23 (14), 3918-3932


Orlowsky B. et al. (2010). Future climates from bias-bootstrapped weather analogues: an application to the Yangtze river basin. Journal of Climate 23 (13), 3509-3524


Orlowsky B. and Fraedrich, K. (2009). Up-scaling European surface temperatures to North-Atlantic circulation pattern statistics. International Journal of Climatology 29, 839-849


Orlowsky B., Gerstengarbe, F.-W. and Werner, P.C. (2008). A resampling scheme for regional climate simulations and its performance compared to a dynamical RCM. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 92, 209-223


In journals (Co-author)


Robledo-Abad C., …, Orlowsky B., et al. (2016). Bioenergy Production and Sustainable Development: Science Base for Policy-Making Remains Limited. GCB Bioenergy, doi:10.1111/gcbb.12338.


Guillod B. P., Orlowsky B., Miralles D. G., Teuling A. J. and Seneviratne S. I. (2015). Reconciling spatial and temporal soil moisture effects on afternoon rainfall. Nature Communications 6, 6443


Greve P., Orlowsky B., Mueller B., Sheffield J., Reichstein M. and Seneviratne S. I. (2014). Global assessment of trends in wetting and drying over land. Nature Geoscience 7, 716–721


Hirschi M., Seneviratne S. I., Alexandrov V., Boberg F., Boroneant C., Christensen O. B., Formayer H., Orlowsky B. and Stepanek P. (2011). Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe. Nature Geoscience 4, 17-21


Seneviratne S. I., Corti T., Davin E. L., Jaeger E. B., Hirschi M., Lehner I., Orlowsky B. and Teuling A. J. (2010). Investigating soil moisture-climate interactions in a changing climate: A review. Earch-Science Reviews 99 (3-4) , 125-161


Kuecken M., Gerstengarbe, F.-W. and Orlowsky B. (2009). A combination of cluster analysis and Kappa statistic for the evaluation of climate model results. Journal of the American Meteorological Society 48 (9), 1757-1765




Setzkasten Vergangenheit - ein kombinatorischer Ansatz für regionale Klimasimulationen
PhD Thesis. 2007, Universität Hamburg.


Physique du monde. In: Das ganze Fragment - Perspektiven auf Alexander von Humboldts Wissenschaften UNIVERSITAS ONLINE 1/2005.