Alberto Caldas-Álvarez wurde 2019 an der KIT-Fakultät für Physik des Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie promoviert. Im Wissenschaftsverlag des KIT ist soeben seine Publikation Atmospheric Moisture Effects on Deep Convection in the Western Mediterranean (Wissenschaftliche Berichte des Instituts für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung des Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie (KIT) ; 81) erschienen. Im KSP Portrait erfahren Sie Näheres über Autor und Werk. Weitere biographische Informationen und Kontaktdaten finden Sie am Ende dieses Beitrags.
1. Your publication (see above) has just been published: How would you summarize the content in three or four sentences?:
In my Ph. D. thesis, I present novel insights on the different pathways of moisture and convection interaction to better understand and predict heavy precipitation. In my experiments, I used state of the art techniques in the field of atmospheric modelling such as data assimilation of minute-frequency or dynamical downscaling to reach resolutions in the sub-kilometre scale.
2. What was your motivation (to write this book), how did you come to this topic?
In spite of the recent advancements in the field of numerical weather prediction, a perfect forecast of extreme precipitation is far from accomplished. An identified source of error is the misrepresentation of the atmospheric moisture distribution and therefore there is growing interest in the community in assimilating accurate and high-resolution humidity data in regional models. In this regard, there are still many unknowns and open questions, for example, what are the consequences for the model variables in environments conducive to heavy precipitation.
3. How long did it take from the idea to the finished manuscript?
It took my working team and me a bit over three years to produce this unprecedented set of simulations, analyse the obtained data, with the newest computing techniques. The writing and correcting process itself took me about 6 months.
4. Topic “Manuscript”: Do you write on a PC, notebook, tablet or with the pen?
I wrote everything with my PC.
5. Are there specific tools, services or techniques that you find particularly helpful when writing?
I found particularly useful to jot down my ideas in Microsoft Word and then gathering them under labelled paragraphs. I also, found it easy and intuitive working with LaTeX, especially for mathematical formulae.
6. What gives you the greatest pleasure in writing and what annoys you the most?
The most enjoyable part was definitely wrapping up the main conclusions and thinking how to make them understandable to both experts and the general public. On the other hand, the least enjoyable was working on the typesetting and formatting of the manuscript.
7. How do you relax during the writing process? What do you do to switch off, to relax?
I found it crucial correctly defining the workload and tasks for each day. By setting realistic goals, in terms of number of lines written, for example, helped me facing the writing with a step-by-step approach. Like this it was easier to identify when it was time to stop, shut down the computer and call a good friend for a nice chat or and an evening out.
8. If you could wish for it: Which bestseller in the history of science or literature would you have liked to write yourself?
Anything written by Bjorn Stevens. He is an expert in the field of atmospheric sciences and is able to explain complex ideas in simple ways. Besides, his descriptions of earth system phenomena are quite literary and his analogies and comparisons helped me very much in retaining the meaningful information bits while being enjoyable and funny.
9. If you could recommend three other recent publications in your field, which three would they be?
I would really recommend the recent publications by Kathleen Schiro and David Neelin of 2016 and 2019. They are very complete, understandable and ground-breaking. Also very interesting is the work by Cathy Hohenegger from the Max Planck Institute. I particularly like the modelling set-ups that her and her colleagues come up with to understand complex processes. Finally, a key paper in our field is “Flash Flood Forecasting: An Ingredients-Based Methodology” by Doswell et al. 1996. Anyone in the field should read it as it is a reference paper.
10. You have published your book at “KIT Scientific Publishing”, the scientific publishing house of KIT. Why did you choose this publisher?
I had good references from colleagues that told me about their professionalism and expertise. After the whole publishing process, I am very pleased with the result and the final publication could not look better.