Pascal YIOU

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Senior Researcher, Expert International CEA
Papa d’Ulysse, Félix et Quentin


Sujets de recherche

My main research area is climate extreme and rare events (like heatwaves, cold spells, extreme precipitation or storms). I am interested in their statistical and mathematical modelling. I focus on properties of the atmospheric circulation (patterns, recurrences, persistence…). I have developed methods based on analogues of circulation, which have interesting mathematical properties when dealing with chaotic dynamical systems.

One of the topic I work on is the attribution of extreme events (EEA), i.e. how the probability of an event is affected by forcings (anthropogenic or not). In order to do so, I focus on the relation between the atmospheric circulation and the observable on which the extreme is detected (e.g. cumulated precipitation, average temperature, max temperature…) and look at recurrence properties of atmospheric patterns, and how those properties can change. This can be called “conditional attribution”.

One of the outcomes of this research on the properties of the atmospheric circulation is the development of stochastic weather generators that sample the invariant measure of an underlying attractor. This allows simulating large ensembles of climate sequences, with various hypotheses of external climate forcings.

Most of this is summarized on the web page of the ERC project A2C2 (2014-2019).


Training & Positions

  • 1965: Naissance (Paris, France)
  • 1967-1976: Ecole du Centre (Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
  • 1976-1980: Collège Juliette Adam (Gif-sur-Yvette)
  • 1980-1986: Lycée Louis-le-Grand (Paris)
  • 1986-1990: Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris)
  • 1989-1990: DEA d’Analyse Numérique (Paris 6)
  • 1988-1990: Research associate, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, UCLA (Los Angeles, USA)
  • 1990-1991: Scientifique du contingent, Section de Recherche Opérationnelle de l’Armée de Terre (Paris)
  • 1991-1994: Doctorat de l’Université Paris 6 (Analyse Numérique), au LMCE (Gif-sur-Yvette)
  • 1994-: Chercheur CEA au LSCE (Gif-sur-Yvette)
  • 1996-1997: Visiting Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, UCLA (Los Angele, USA)
  • 2003: Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches
  • 2008-2014: Dirige l’équipe “Extrêmes: Statistiques, Régionalisation et Impacts” (ESTIMR)
  • 2010-2011: Invited Professor à l’AORI (University of Tokyo, Japan)

Recent projects

Publications scientifiques

Complete (updated) list

Google scholar (with citations and h-factor)

Recent papers (since 2017)

  1. Alvarez-Castro, M. C., Faranda, D., Noël, T., & Yiou, P. (2019). Recurrence Spectra of European Temperature in Historical Climate Simulations. Atmosphere, 10(4), 166.
  2. T. Caby, D. Faranda, G. Mantica, S. Vaienti, P. Yiou. Generalized dimensions, large deviations and the distribution of rare events. 2019. Physical D ?hal-01941189?
  3. García-Herrera R., Garrido-Perez J.M., Barriopedro D., Ordóñez C., Vicente-Serrano S.M., Nieto R., Gimeno L., Sorí R., Yiou P., The European 2016/2017 drought, J. Clim., 2019
  4. Faranda, D., Alvarez-Castro, M. C., Messori, G., Rodrigues, D., & Yiou, P. (2019). The hammam effect or how a warm ocean enhances large scale atmospheric predictability. Nature communications, 10(1), 1316.
  5. Oueslati B., Yiou P., Jézéquel A.: Revisiting the dynamic and thermodynamic processes driving the record-breaking January 2014 precipitation in the southern UK, Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39306-y, 2019
  6. Carella, G., Vrac, M., Brogniez, H., Yiou, P., and Chepfer, H.: Statistical downscaling of water vapour satellite measurements from profiles of tropical ice clouds, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,, in review, 2019.
  7. Faranda, D., Sato, Y., Messori, G., Moloney, N. R., and Yiou, P.: Minimal dynamical systems model of the northern hemisphere jet stream via embedding of climate data, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.,, accepted, 2019.
  8. Yiou, P. and Déandréis, C.: Stochastic Ensemble Climate Forecast with an Analogue Model, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 723-734, 2019,
  9. Vautard, R., van Oldenborgh, G. J., Otto, F. E. L., Yiou, P., de Vries, H., van Meijgaard, E., Stepek, A., Soubeyroux, J.-M., Philip, S., Kew, S. F., Costella, C., Singh, R., and Tebaldi, C.: Human influence on European winter wind storms such as those of January 2018, Earth Syst. Dynam., 10, 271-286,, 2019.
  10. Robin, Y., Vrac, M., Naveau, P., and Yiou, P.: Multivariate stochastic bias corrections with optimal transport, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.,, 23, 773-786, 2019.
  11. Rodrigues, D., M.C. Alvarez-Castro, G. Messori, P. Yiou, Y. Robin, and D. Faranda, 2018: Dynamical Properties of the North Atlantic Atmospheric Circulation in the Past 150 Years in CMIP5 Models and the 20CRv2c Reanalysis. J. Climate, 31, 6097–6111,
  12. Balkanski, Y.; Menut, L.; Garnier, E.; Wang, R.; Evangeliou, N.; Jourdain, S.; Eschstruth, C.; Vrac, M. & Yiou, P. Mortality induced by PM2.5 exposure following the 1783 Laki eruption using reconstructed meteorological fields, Scientific Reports, 8, 15896-, , 2018
  13. Jézéquel, A., Cattiaux, J., Naveau, P., Radanovics, S., Ribes, A., Vautard, R. & Yiou, P. (2018). Trends of atmospheric circulation during singular hot days in Europe. Environmental Research Letters, 13(5), 054007, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aab5da
  14. Jézéquel, A., Dépoues, V., Guillemot, H., Vanderlinden J.-P., Yiou, P., Behind the veil of extreme event attribution, Climatic Change (2018).
  15. Messori, G., Davini, P., Alvarez-Castro, M.C., Pausata F.S.R., Yiou P., Caballero R., On the low-frequency variability of wintertime Euro-Atlantic planetary wave-breaking, Clim Dyn (2018).
  16. Vautard, R.; Christidis, N.; Ciavarella, A.; Alvarez-Castro, C.; Bellprat, O.; Christiansen, B.; Colfescu, I.; Cowan, T.; Doblas-Reyes, F.; Eden, J.; Hauser, M.; Hegerl, G.; Hempelmann, N.; Klehmet, K.; Lott, F.; Nangini, C.; Orth, R.; Radanovics, S.; Seneviratne, S. I.; van Oldenborgh, G. J.; Stott, P.; Tett, S.; Wilcox, L. & Yiou, P. Evaluation of the HadGEM3-A simulations in view of detection and attribution of human influence on extreme events in Europe, Climate Dynamics, 2018.
  17. Luu, L. N., Vautard, R., Yiou, P., van Oldenborgh, G. J., & Lenderink, G. (2018). Attribution of extreme rainfall events in the South of France using EURO?CORDEX simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 6242–6250.
  18. M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro, D. Faranda, and P. Yiou, Atmospheric Dynamics Leading to West European Summer Hot Temperatures Since 1851, Complexity, vol. 2018, Article ID 2494509, doi:10.1155/2018/2494509, 2018
  19. Yiou P., J. Cattiaux, A. Ribes, R. Vautard, and M. Vrac, Recent Trends in the Recurrence of North Atlantic Atmospheric Circulation Patterns, Complexity, vol. 2018, Article ID 3140915, 8 pages, doi:10.1155/2018/3140915, 2018
  20. Messori, G., R. Caballero, F. Bouchet, D. Faranda, R. Grotjahn, N. Harnik, S. Jewson, J. Pinto, G. Rivière, T. Woollings, and P. Yiou, 2018: An interdisciplinary approach to the study of extreme weather events: large-scale atmospheric controls and insights from dynamical systems theory and statistical mechanics. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0296.1, 2018.
  21. Christiansen, B., C. Alvarez-Castro, N. Christidis, A. Ciavarella, I. Colfescu, T. Cowan, J. Eden, M. Hauser, N. Hempelmann, K. Klehmet, F. Lott, C. Nangini, G.J. van Oldenborgh, R. Orth, P. Stott, S. Tett, R. Vautard, L. Wilcox, and P. Yiou: Was the cold European winter 2009-2010 modified by anthropogenic climate change? An attribution study. J. Climate,, 2018
  22. Naveau, P., A. Ribes, F. Zwiers, A. Hannart, A. Tuel, and P. Yiou: Revising return periods for record events in a climate event attribution context. J. Climate,, 2018
  23. Hempelmann N., Ehbrecht C., Alvarez-Castro C., Brockmann P., Falk W., Hoffmann J., Kindermann S., Koziol B., Nangini C., Radanovics S., Vautard R., Yiou P., Web processing service for climate impact and extreme weather event analyses. Flyingpigeon (Version 1.0), Computers & Geosciences, 110, 65-72, 2017
  24. Jézéquel A., Yiou P., Radanovics S., Vautard R., Analysis of the exceptionally warm December 2015 in France using flow analogues. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0103.1, 2017.
  25. Vautard R., Colette A., van Meijgaard E., Meleux F., van Oldenborgh G.J., Otto F., Tobin I., Yiou P., attribution of wintertime anticyclonic stagnation contributing to air pollution in western Europe, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0113.1, 2017
  26. Wilcox, L.J., Yiou, P., Hauser, M., Lott, F.C., van Oldenborgh, G.J., Colfescu, I, Dong, B., Hegerl, G., Shaffrey, L., Sutton, R. Multiple perspectives on the attribution of the extreme European summer of 2012 to climate change, Climate Dynamics, 1-19, doi:10.1007/s00382-017-3822-7, 2017
  27. Jézéquel, A., Yiou, P. & Radanovics, S., Role of circulation in European heatwaves using flow analogues, Clim Dyn (2017) 50: 1145.
  28. Faranda, D., Messori, G., Alvarez-Castro, M. C., and Yiou, P.: Dynamical properties and extremes of Northern Hemisphere climate fields over the past 60 years, Nonlin. Processes Geophys.,, 2017.
  29. Robin, Y., Yiou, P., and Naveau, P.: Detecting changes in forced climate attractors with Wasserstein distance, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 24, 393-405,, 2017.
  30. Yiou, P.; Jézéquel, A.; Naveau, P.; Otto, F. E. L.; Vautard, R. & Vrac, M. A statistical framework for conditional extreme event attribution, Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography, 2017, 3, 17-31, doi:10.5194/ascmo-3-17-2017
  31. D. Faranda, G. Messori, P. Yiou, Dynamical proxies of North Atlantic predictability and extremes, Scientific Reports, 7: 41278 (2017) doi:10.1038/srep41278
  32. C. Dione, F. Lohou, M. Chiriaco, M. Lothon, S. Bastin, J.-L. Baray, P. Yiou, A. Colomb. The influence of synoptic circulations and local processes on temperature. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 56, (1) doi: , 2017

Complete list here.


Yiou P. (2015) Le Temps s’est-il détraqué?, Buchet-Chastel, Paris

Book chapters

  • Yiou P. et Jézéquel A. (2017) Crise, catastrophe, risque et adaptation, in Euzen A. et al. (ed), L’adaptation au changement climatique. Une question de sociétés, CNRS Edition, Paris
  • Yiou P. (2015), Changement climatique et événements météorologiques majeurs, Encyclopædia Universalis.
  • Yiou P. (2014) Exploration des bases de données pour évaluer l’impact du changement climatique, A. Euzen et al. (Eds.) Le Développement Durable à Découvert, CNRS Editions, Paris
  • Braconnot P. et Yiou P. (2013) Holocène et perturbation anthropique, Duplessy JC et Ramstein G. (Eds.), Paléoclimatologie : Enquêtes sur les Climat Anciens (Tome II), CNRS Editions, Paris
  • Yiou P. (2013) Climatologie et statistiques, N. Anantharaman et al. (Eds.) L’explosion des Mathématiques, SFdS, SMAI, SMF
  • Yiou P. (2011) Analyse de données climatiques, C. Jeandel and R. Mosséry (Eds.) Le Climat à Découvert, CNRS Editions, Paris, pp. 138-141
  • Yiou, P. & Paillard (2002), D. Holton, J. R.; Pyle, J. & Curry, J. A. (Eds.) Climate Variability: Glacial-Interglacial Variations Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, Academic Press, 424-432
  • Guiot J., Yiou P. (2011) Méthodes statistiques, fonctions de transfert, C. Jeandel and R. Mosséry (Eds.) Le Climat à Découvert, CNRS Editions, Paris, pp. 133-136
  • Xoplaki, E., R. M. Trigo, R. García-Herrera, D. Barriopedro, F. D’Andrea, E. M. Fischer, L. Gimeno, C. Gouveia, E. Hernandez, F. G. Kuglitsch, A. Mariotti, R. Nieto, J. G. Pinto, D. Pozo-Vázquez, H. Saaroni, A. Toreti, I. F. Trigo, S. M. Vicente-Serrano, P. Yiou, and B. Ziv, 2012: Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation Driving Extreme Climate Events in the Mediterranean and its Related Impacts. In: Lionello, P. (ed.) The Climate of the Mediterranean Region. From the past to the future. Elsevier, 349-417.


Statistics for climate scientists

Climate extremes


On the web


LSCE Klezmer Band (LKB)

If you feel like playing music in a relaxed and flexible ensemble, please contact me! The repertoire includes klezmer, tango, jazz & classical. We are looking for a cello, bass & percussions. All instruments are welcome.

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