Climate, Water, Global Change and Natural Systems


The general aim of this research group is to analyse in depth the current climate and the past climate, to study hydrological dynamics, human intervention and water-related risks, as well as to analyse the interactions between climate dynamics and natural and forest systems. These are issues fundamental to ensuring the appropriate planning and management of the Aragonese territory and of its resources and potentials in a context of global change.

The group is made up of researchers from the Department of Geography of the University of Zaragoza and from the Agro-food Research and Technology Centre of Aragon (CITA), as well as members of other organizations with experience and competencies in the management of the territory.

Much of the work carried out by the group to date has been located in Aragon, an ecotone and area of climate transition, where the changes in environmental dynamics exert a significant impact on natural systems and anthropic activities.

Lines of investigation

  1. Analysis of the present and past climate.- Debugging and quality control of instrumental databases, analysis of tendencies, climate indicators, extreme climate events; reconstruction of the climate of the last few centuries by means of dendroclimatology and historical climatology.
  2. Dynamics of forest systems.- effects of global change on natural vegetation, ecophysiology and water relations of tree and bush species, the response of vegetation in episodes of extreme drought, measurement of water stress in plants.
  3. Surface hydrology.- floods and drought flow, risks associated with flooding events, diachronic analysis of the evolution of river beds and systems.

Projects undertaken

The research group brings together a series of lines of work that are interwoven with a significant number of the main lines of investigation of the 2nd Regional Research Plan of Aragon and the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (RIS3 Aragón). This is no coincidence. The climate is a cross-variable in many natural processes and a key factor in the development of anthropic activities. For this reason, an understanding of it is fundamental for reorienting the use we make of resources of all kinds, particularly territorial resources.

In the last two years, 44 articles have been published in indexed journals, 6 in non-indexed journals, and 12 books or book chapters.
3 PhD theses have been defended.
Group members have taken part, as leaders or participants, in 3 international projects and 3 national projects.
Financing for 7 new projects and 5 contracts have been obtained.
Three conferences and international meetings have been organized.


  1. Laboratory for dendrochronological analysis (UNIZAR)
  2. Laboratory for ecophysiological analysis (CITA)




Chief Investigator:

Alfredo Ollero Ojeda