About us

Who we are

PalMA emerged as a group of young researchers focused on paleoclimatology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Due to the constant effort and motivation of all the members of the group, PalMA has grown fast. This growth has been noticeable not only in people, but also in the knowledge areas. Indeed, nowadays PalMA contains two main branches of research: paleoclimate and wind climatology.


In 2008, PalMA was officially recognised by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as one of its research groups, headed by J. Fidel González-Rouco and Marisa Montoya. In 2009, Volker Rath joined to the group as a Ramón y Cajal researcher. PalMA is also composed by several PhD students, postdocs and external collaborators from national and international institutions.

Part of PalMA is shown in the photo below, but if you want to know something more about each member, please visit People.

What we do

PalMA group has experience in the use of global models of varying complexity for the simulation of the past and future climate, as well as using regionalization techniques (statistical and dynamical downscaling) in combination with observations in order to study climatic variables at more local scales. The group also studies the role of the ocean in climate. M. Montoya and J. F. González Rouco develop their research activities in the context of paleoclimatic analysis issues at different temporal scales. One type of problem has to do with abrupt climate events in the context of the last glacial period. Another type of study are related to the simulation and analysis of climate variability over the last millennium. In this context the group has been using models of intermediate complexity (CLIMBER3α) and models “state of the art” (ECHOG) in the development of some of its projects (SPECT, SPECT-MoRe, MOVAC, Salva-Sinobas).
Pablo Ortega is currently finishing his Ph.D. (with a MEC fellowship) on this theme. Recently Laura Fernández Donado and Rubén Banderas joined the group also in this line of research, financied by a MEC fellowship and the project MOVAC respectively. The incorporation of Volker Rath reinforces this line, as an expert in paleoclimate and experienced with proxy observations that provide information about past climate to be compared with climate model simulations. In addition, V. Rath enriches the research topics by incorporating issues related to the estimation of soil properties from shallow temperature measurements. J. Álvarez-Solas joined the group in 2011 through a postdoctoral contract of the Campus de Excelencia Internacional de Moncloa and has sound expertise in the dynamic simulation of ice-sheets in glacial background climates.
Part of the group activity is also aimed to solve problems related to climate analysis at high spatial resolution. For that purpose, high-resolution regional models (WRF, MM5) and statistical downscaling techniques are now being used in the simulation and analysis of the wind field in complex terrain with the corresponding implications in the field of wind energy. This work is included in the scope of the researching collaborative agreement CIEMAT/PalMA, recently signed, in the context of which P. A. Jiménez Muñoz (in December 2009) and Elena Garcia Bustamante (in December 2010), developed and finished their doctoral thesis both directed by Jorge Navarro (CIEMAT) and J. F. González Rouco (UCM). The creation of a company based on technology transfer (Global Forecasters S. L. ) consisting mostly of personal from PalMA group, CIEMAT and the University of Murcia has guided this knowledge and has also contributed with projects in the corporate sector. In this sense, A. Hidalgo participates in this part of the work under the application of an collaborative agreement recently signed between the UCM and Global Forecasters S. L..

In the group there is additional involvement of an external nature to the UCM: J. P. Montávez (Universidad de Murcia), H. Beltrami (StFX University) and J. Navarro (CIEMAT), as well as numerous collaborations with other international centers (e.g. in Germany GKSS or PIK, WSL in Zurich and the University of Bern, among others). In the case of StFX University (Canada), it has been recently signed an agreement that covers the financing of a predoctoral fellowship (E. Lucio Eceiza) to study the wind field in eastern Canada.

Where we are

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Facultad de Ciencias Físicas
Dpto. Física de la Tierra, Astronomía y Astrofísica II
Avda. Complutense s/n
28040 Madrid, Spain
Telephone:+34 913 945 195

PalMA Facultad de Ciencias Físicas Dpto. Física de la Tierra, Astronomía y Astrofísica II Avda. Complutense s/n 28040 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 394 5195 Fax: +34 91 394 4635