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Home > Staff > Gianpaolo Balsamo    

Gianpaolo Balsamo, Ph.D.


Research interests:

  • Land surface modelling and data assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)
  • Interaction of water, energy, carbon over land in Earth System Science (ESS)
  • Global land-atmosphere predictability studies

Work experiences:

  • Senior scientist (current position), Model Division/Physics, ECMWF, UK, since 2009.
  • Scientist, Model Division/Physics, ECMWF, UK, 2006-2009.
  • Visiting scientist at the Meteorological Service of Canada, RPN, Canada, 2004-2005.
  • ALATNET young researcher at CNRM, GMAP, France, 2000-2003.
  • Weather forecasting and land modelling at the ARPA-Piedmont, Italy, 1999-2002.


  • Habilitation in Meteorology (HDR, UPS, Toulouse-III,submitted), in 2012.
  • PhD in Meteorology (UPS, Toulouse-III and UNIGE, Genoa) in 2003.
  • Physics degree ("Laurea", UNITO, University of Torino, Italy) in 1999.
  • Visiting student (BSc/MSc, University of Reading, Met. Department, UK) in 1997.
  • Computer science ("Diploma", Peano Institute, Torino, Italy), in 1994.

Commitees and projects:

  • GLASS Global Land Atmosphere System Study panel's member. GLASS operates under the auspices of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).
  • GCW Global Chryosphere Watch (WMO) implementation working group.
  • SRNWP Land Expert Team: Short-Range Numerical Weather Prediction (EUMETNET).
  • GEOLAND-2 2008-2012: (PI) Operational land surface modelling and data assimilation for vegetation (LAI) and carbon (NEE) fluxes and coupling of carbon/water fluxes into atmospheric transport models (MACC-2), in preparation to GMES.

Useful links:

Recent publications (2010-to-date):

G. Balsamo, C. Albergel, A. Beljaars, S. Boussetta, E. Brun, H. Cloke, D. Dee, E. Dutra, F. Pappenberger, P. de Rosnay, J. Muñoz-Sabater, T. Stockdale, F. Vitart, 2012: ERA-Interim/Land: A global land-surface reanalysis based on ERA-Interim meteorological forcing, ERA-Report series, n. 13, pp. 25 [link].

I. Sandu, A. Beljaars, P. Bechtold, T. Mauritsen and G. Balsamo, 2012: Why is it so difficult to represent stably stratified conditions in NWP models?, J. Advances Modelling Earth Systems (submitted) also available as ECMWF Tech. Memo. 684 [link].

A. Manrique Suñén, A. Nordbo, G. Balsamo, A. Beljaars, I. Mammarella, 2012: Representing land surface heterogeneity with the tiling method: merits and limitations in presence of large contrast, J. Hydromet. (submitted), also available as ECMWF Tech. Memo. 683 [link].

S. Boussetta, G. Balsamo, A. Beljaars, A. Agusti-Panareda, J.-C. Calvet, C. Jacobs, B. van den Hurk, P. Viterbo, S. Lafont, E. Dutra, L. Jarlan, M. Balzarolo, D. Papale, G. van der Werf, 2012: Natural land carbon dioxide exchanges in the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System: Implementation and offline validation, J. Geophys. Res. (submitted), available as ECMWF Tech. memo. 675 [link].

Y. J. Orsolini, R. Senan, G. Balsamo, F.J. Doblas-Reyes, F. Vitart, A. Weisheimer, A. Carrasco, R.E. Benestad, 2012: Impact of snow initialization on sub-seasonal forecasts, Clim. Dyn. (in revision).

P. de Rosnay, G. Balsamo, C. Albergel, J. Muñoz Sabater, and L. Isaksen, 2012: Initialization of land surface variables for Numerical Weather Prediction, Surveys in Geophysics, Springer Ed. (submitted).

C. Albergel, G. Balsamo, P. de Rosnay, J. Muñoz-Sabater, and S. Boussetta, 2012: A bare ground evaporation revision in the ECMWF land-surface scheme: evaluation of its impact using ground soil moisture and satellite microwave data, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 9, 6715-6752, doi:10.5194/hessd-9-6715-2012 [link].

E. Dutra, L. Magnusson, F. Wetterhall, H. Cloke, G. Balsamo, S. Boussetta, F. Pappenberger, 2012: The 2010/11 drought in the Horn of Africa, J. Climate, doi:10.1002/joc.3545 [link].

P. de Rosnay, M. Drusch, D. Vasiljevic, G. Balsamo, C. Albergel and L. Isaksen, 2012: A simplified Extended Kalman Filter for the global operational soil moisture analysis at ECMWF, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc.(accepted), also available as ECMWF Tech. memo 662 [link].

C. Albergel, P. de Rosnay, G. Balsamo, L. Isaksen, J. Muñoz Sabater, 2012: Soil moisture analyses at ECMWF: evaluation using global ground-based in-situ observations, J. Hydrometeor. (accepted), also available as ECMWF Tech. memo 651 [link].

E. Dutra, L. Magnusson, F. Wetterhall, H. Cloke, G. Balsamo, S. Boussetta, F. Pappenberger, 2012: Monitoring and forecasting the 2010/11 drought in the Horn of Africa, ECMWF Newsletter, 131, 9-11 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, C. Albergel, M. Balzarolo, A. Beljaars, S. Boussetta, J.C. Calvet, E. Dutra, T. Kral, D. Papale, P. de Rosnay, and I. Sandu, 2012: Usefulness of Benchmarking for Global Land Surface Model Development" BAMS Conference notebook, summary from the 26th AMS Conference on Hydrology, 22-26 January, 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana, US [pdf].

B. van den Hurk, F. Doblas-Reyes, G. Balsamo, R. Koster, S. Seneviratne and H. Camargo Jr, 2012: Soil moisture effects on seasonal temperature and precipitation forecast scores in Europe, Clim. Dyn., doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0956-2 [link].

E. Dutra, P. Viterbo, P. M. A. Miranda, G. Balsamo, 2012: Complexity of snow schemes in a climate model and its impact on surface energy and hydrology. J. Hydrometeor, 13, 521-538. doi:10.1175/JHM-D-11-072.1 [link].

I. Sandu, A. Beljaars, G. Balsamo, A. Ghelli, 2012: Revision of the surface roughness length table, ECMWF Newsletter, 130, 8-10 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, R. Salgado, E. Dutra, S. Boussetta, T. Stockdale, M. Potes, 2012: On the contribution of lakes in predicting near-surface temperature in a global weather forecasting model, Tellus-A, 64, 15829, DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.15829 [link].

P. de Rosnay, G. Balsamo, J. Muñoz Sabater, C. Albergel, and L. Isaksen, 2012: Land surface data assimilation, Proc. of ECMWF seminar on data assimilation for atmosphere and ocean, 6-9 September 2011, Reading, UK [pdf].

F. Molteni, T. Stockdale, M. Balmaseda, G. Balsamo, R. Buizza, L. Ferranti, L. Magnusson, K. Mogensen, T. Palmer and F. Vitart, 2011: The new ECMWF seasonal forecast system (System 4), ECMWF Tech. memo 656 [pdf].

E. Dutra, S. Kotlarski, P. Viterbo, G. Balsamo, P. M. A. Miranda, C. Schär, P. Bissolli, and T. Jonas, 2011: Snow cover sensitivity to horizontal resolution, parameterizations and atmospheric forcing in a land surface model, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JD016061 [link].

P. de Rosnay, M. Drusch, G. Balsamo, C. Albergel, L. Isaksen, 2011: Extended Kalman Filter soil moisture analysis in the IFS, ECMWF Newsletter, 127, 12-16 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, S. Boussetta, E. Dutra, A. Beljaars, P. Viterbo, B. Van den Hurk, 2011: Evolution of land surface processes in the IFS, ECMWF Newsletter, 127, 17-22 [pdf].

M. Grippa, L. Kergoat, F. Frappart, Q. Araud, A. Boone. P. de Rosnay, J.-M. Lemoine, S. Gascoin, G. Balsamo, C. Ottlé, B. Decharme, and S. Saux-Picart, 2011: Land water storage variability over West Africa estimated by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and land surface models, Water Resour. Res., 47, W05549, doi:10.1029/2009WR008856.

C. Jiménez, C. Prigent, B. Mueller, S. I. Seneviratne, M. F. McCabe, E. F. Wood, W. B. Rossow, C. D. Kummerow, G. Balsamo, A. K. Betts, G. B. Bonan, M. G. Bosilovich, P. A. Dirmeyer, M. B. Ek, J. B. Fisher, M. Jung, M. Kanamitsu, R. D. Koster, R. H. Reichle, M. Reichstein, M. Rodell, J. Sheffield, K. Tu, K. Wang, 2011: Global comparison of 12 land surface heat fluxes, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D02102, doi: 10.1029/2010JD014545.

B. Mueller, S.I. Seneviratne , C. Jimenez, T. Corti, M. Hirschi , G. Balsamo , P. Ciais, P. Dirmeyer, J.B. Fisher, Z. Guo , M. Jung, F. Maignan, M.F. McCabe, R. Reichle, M. Reichstein, M. Rodell, J. Sheffield, A. J. Teuling, K. Wang, E.F. Wood, and Y. Zhang, 2011: Evaluation of global observations-based evapotranspiration datasets and IPCC AR4 simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L06402, doi:10.1029/2010GL046230.

R. D. Koster, S. P. P. Mahanama, T. J. Yamada, G. Balsamo, A. A. Berg, M. Boisserie, P. A. Dirmeyer, F. J. Doblas-Reyes, G. Drewitt, C. T. Gordon, Z. Guo, J.-H. Jeong, W.-S. Lee, Z. Li, L. Luo, S. Malyshev, W. J. Merryfield, S. I. Seneviratne, T. Stanelle, B. J. J. M. van den Hurk, F. Vitart, and E. F. Wood, 2010: The Second Phase of the Global Land-Atmosphere Coupling Experiment: Soil Moisture Contributions to Subseasonal Forecast Skill, J. Hydrometeor., doi: 10.1175/2011JHM1365.1 [link].

D. P. Dee, S. M. Uppala, A. J. Simmons, P. Berrisford, P. Poli, S. Kobayashi, U. Andrae, M. A. Balmaseda, G. Balsamo, P. Bauer, P. Bechtold, A. C. M. Beljaars, L. van de Berg, J. Bidlot, N. Bormann, C. Delsol, R. Dragani, M. Fuentes, A. J. Geer, L. Haimberger, S. Healy, H. Hersbach, E. V. Hólm, L. Isaksen, P. Kållberg, M. Köhler, M. Matricardi, A. P. McNally, B. M. Monge-Sanz, J.-J. Morcrette, C. Peubey, P. de Rosnay, C. Tavolato, J.-N. Thépaut, F. Vitart, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., doi: 10.1002/qj.828, also available as ERA Report Series, n. 9, pp. 71 [pdf].

C. Szczypta, J.-C. Calvet, C. Albergel, G. Balsamo, S. Boussetta, D. Carrer, S. Lafont, and C. Meurey, 2011: Verification of the new ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis over France, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 647-666, doi:10.5194/hess-15-647-2011, 2011 [pdf].

S. Boussetta, G. Balsamo, A. Beljaars, T. Kral, L. Jarlan, 2011: Impact of a satellite-derived Leaf Area Index monthly climatology in a global Numerical Weather Prediction model, Int. J. Remote Sensing (accepted), also available as ECMWF Tech. Memo. 640 [pdf].

R. Lacaze, F. Baret, F. Camacho, R. d'Andrimont, S. C. Freitas, P. Pacholczyk, H. Poilvé, B. Smets h, K. Tansey, W. Wagner, J.-C. Calvet, G. Balsamo, R. Kidd, H. Makhmara, M. Weiss, A. Bradley, 2011: geoland2 - Towards an operational GMES Land Monitoring Core Service: the Biogeophysical Parameter Core Mapping Service, Proc. of the International Symposium of Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE).

E. Dutra, G. Balsamo, P. Viterbo, P.M.A. Miranda, A. Beljaars, C. Schär, K. Elder, 2010: An improved snow scheme for the ECMWF land surface model: description and offline validation. J. Hydrometeor.11, 899-916. doi: 10.1175/2010JHM1249.1., also available as ECMWF Tech. Memo. 607 [pdf].

A. Beljaars, G. Balsamo, P. de Rosnay, B. van den Hurk, M. Best: 2010: Land surface modelling, data assilimilation and implications for predictability, ECMWF Newsletter, 112, pp. 9-10 [pdf].

C. Albergel, J.-C. Calvet, P. de Rosnay, G. Balsamo, W. Wagner, S. Hasenauer, V. Naeimi, E. Martin, E. Bazile, F. Bouyssel, J.-F. Mahfouf, 2010: Cross-evaluation of modelled and remotely sensed surface soil moisture with in situ data in Southwestern France, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 7, 4291-4330, doi:10.5194/hessd-7-4291-2010 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, S. Boussetta, P. Lopez, L. Ferranti, 2010: Evaluation of ERA-Interim and ERA-Interim-GPCP-rescaled precipitation over the U.S.A., ERA Report Series, n. 5, pp10 [pdf].

M.J. Rodwell, T.Jung, P. Bechtold, P. Berrisford, N. Bormann, C. Cardinali, L. Ferranti, T. Hewson, F. Molteni, N. Wedi, M.A. Balmaseda, G. Balsamo, M. Bonavita, R. Buizza, M. Dahoui, A. Garcia-Mendez ,M. Leutbecher, P. Lopez, Y. Trémolet and F. Vitart, 2010: Developments in diagnostics research, ECMWF Tech. Memo. 637 [pdf].

Y. Takaya, F. Vitart, G. Balsamo, M. Balmaseda, M. Leutbecher, F. Molteni, 2010: Implementation of an ocean mixed layer model in the ECMWF Integrated Forecast System. ECMWF Tech. memo. 622 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, F. Pappenberger, E. Dutra, P. Viterbo, B. van den Hurk, 2010: A revised land hydrology in the ECMWF model: A step towards daily water flux prediction in a fully-closed water cycle., Special issue on large scale hydrology of Hydrological Processes, doi:10.1002/hyp.7808.

T. Jung, G. Balsamo, P. Bechtold, A. Beljaars, M. Köhler, M. Miller, J.-J. Morcrette, A. Orr, M. Rodwell, A. Tompkins, 2010 : The ECMWF model climate: Recent progress through improved physical parametrizations. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136(650), 1145-1160, doi: 10.1002/qj.63 also available as ECMWF Tech. memo. 623 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, E. Dutra, S. Boussetta, A. Beljaars, P. Viterbo, B. van den Hurk, 2010: Recent advances in land surface modelling at ECMWF, Proc. of ECMWF/GLASS workshop on Land Surface Modelling, Data Assimilation and the implications for predictability, 9-12 November 2009, Reading, UK [pdf].

P. De Rosnay, M. Drusch, G. Balsamo, A. Beljaars, L. Isaksen, D. Vasiljevic, C. Albergel and K. Scipal, 2010: Advances in land data assimilation at ECMWF, Proc. of ECMWF/GLASS workshop on Land Surface Modelling, Data Assimilation and the implications for predictability, 9-12 November 2009, Reading, UK [pdf].

E. Dutra, V.M. Stepanenko, G. Balsamo, P. Viterbo, P.M. Miranda, D. Mironov, C. Schär, 2010: Global offline lake simulations: Validation and Impact on ERA-Interim, Bor. Env. Res., 15, 100-112, also available as ECMWF Tech. Memo. 608 [pdf].

G. Balsamo, E. Dutra, V.M. Stepanenko, P. Viterbo, P.M. Miranda, D. Mironov, 2010: Deriving an effective lake depth from satellite lake surface temperature data: A feasibility study with MODIS data, Bor. Env. Res., 15, 178-190, also available as ECMWF Tech. memo. 609 [pdf].

Previous publications (2000-2009):

The list of previous scientific contributions is available here [link]

Contact: gianpaolo.balsamo "at" ecmwf.int

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