Jonathan Rizzi

Research Scientist

(+47) 483 47 537

Ås R9

Visiting address
Raveien 9, 1430 Ås


See attachement for a complete list of scientific publications.
PhD in Environmental Sciences, working since more than 15 years in the GIS sector. Experience as consultant, teacher, researcher and project manager of national and international project, in international groups and work experience in countries such as China and Ecuador.

The main research activities are concerned with the use of GIS in several environmental sectors, including climate change, contaminated sites and water quality. Development of GIS-based tools such as a Spatial Decision Support System for climate change impact assessment (DESYCO) and WebGIS for climate data. He also worked on the definition of methodologies addressing climate change impacts of coastal zones useful to support the definition of adaptation measures and he has experience in MultiCriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA).

In the last years, he has also participated and managed international cooperation projects in developing countries.

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This study evaluates MODIS snow cover characteristics for large number of snowmelt runoff events in 145 catchments from 9 countries in Europe. The analysis is based on open discharge daily time series from the Global Runoff Data Center database and daily MODIS snow cover data. Runoff events are identified by a base flow separation approach. The MODIS snow cover characteristics are derived from Terra 500 m observations (MOD10A1 dataset, V005) in the period 2000–2015 and include snow cover area, cloud coverage, regional snowline elevation (RSLE) and its changes during the snowmelt runoff events. The snowmelt events are identified by using estimated RSLE changes during a runoff event. The results indicate that in the majority of catchments there are between 3 and 6 snowmelt runoff events per year. The mean duration between the start and peak of snowmelt runoff events is about 3 days and the proportion of snowmelt events in all runoff events tends to increase with the maximum elevation of catchments. Clouds limit the estimation of snow cover area and RSLE, particularly for dates of runoff peaks. In most of the catchments, the median of cloud coverage during runoff peaks is larger than 80%. The mean minimum RSLE, which represents the conditions at the beginning of snowmelt events, is situated approximately at the mean catchment elevation. It means that snowmelt events do not start only during maximum snow cover conditions, but also after this maximum. The mean RSLE during snowmelt peaks is on average 170 m lower than at the start of the snowmelt events, but there is a large regional variability.

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Northern latitudes are experiencing faster warming than other regions in the world, which is partly explained by the snow albedo feedback. In Norway, mean temperatures have been increasing since the 1990s, with 2014 being the warmest year on record, 2.2 °C above normal (1961–1990). At the same time, a concurrent reduction in the land area covered by snow has been reported. In this study, we present a detailed spatial and temporal (monthly and seasonal) analysis of trends and changes in snow indices based on a high resolution (1 km) gridded hydro-meteorological dataset for Norway (seNorge). During the period 1961–2010, snow cover extent (SCE) was found to decrease, notably at the end of the snow season, with a corresponding decrease in snow water equivalent except at high elevations. SCE for all Norway decreased by more than 20,000 km2 (6% of the land area) between the periods 1961–1990 and 1981–2010, mainly north of 63° N. Overall, air temperature increased in all seasons, with the highest increase in spring (particularly in April) and winter. Mean monthly air temperatures were significantly correlated with the monthly SCE, suggesting a positive land–atmosphere feedback enhancing warming in winter and spring.

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Runoff prediction in ungauged catchments has been a challenging topic over recent decades. Much research have been conducted including the intensive studies of the PUB (Prediction in Ungauged Basins) Decade of the International Association for Hydrological Science. Great progress has been made in the field of regionalization study of hydrological models; however, there is no clear conclusion yet about the applicability of various methods in different regions and for different models. This study made a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and limitations of existing regionalization methods in predicting ungauged stream flows in the high latitudes, large climate and geographically diverse, seasonally snow-covered mountainous catchments of Norway. The regionalization methods were evaluated using the water balance model – WASMOD (Water And Snow balance MODeling system) on 118 independent catchments in Norway, and the results show that: (1) distance-based similarity approaches (spatial proximity, physical similarity) performed better than regression-based approaches; (2) one of the combination approaches (combining spatial proximity and physical similarity methods) could slightly improve the simulation; and (3) classifying the catchments into homogeneous groups did not improve the simulations in ungauged catchments in our study region. This study contributes to the theoretical understanding and development of regionalization methods.