Degree completed in 2019.

Surface water sensitivity to climate variability


Academic Profile

Homero is interested in the analysis and management of risks and uncertainties which may affect infrastructure and water-dependent systems. This also relates to understanding how shocks and slow-onset events, such as floods or droughts, globally impact and propagate. Homero works for the World Bank and has previous experience working for UNOPS, IADB, WWF and other government institutions and private-sector clients offering technical assistance in hydroclimatic risk assessment and adaptation, infrastructure planning, and robust decision making, in the water, energy, agriculture, and transport sectors. He has expertise in refining and applying modelling, observational, re-analysis, and qualitative tools to combine traditional top-down with bottom-up approaches to analyse trade-offs in infrastructure investments and resilience building under deep uncertain conditions stemming from climate, natural hazards, demand, social, economic and others. His international experience covers countries such as Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, USA, Angola, Uganda, Kenya, Nepal, Oman, and others.

Homero completed his DPhil in 2018 at the School of Geography and the Environment working on sensitives of global water risks to climate variations. His DPhil counted with the collaboration of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his work has been featured by The Washington Post, Die Welt, Science & Vie, NASA News, and others.

Current Research

The aim of my current PhD is the identification and characterization of global areas where freshwater is more sensitive to variations in climate. This leads to the estimation of the way by which shifts in climate alters river catchment dynamics and in turn changes the frequency and intensity of hydrological extremes. This is done via the development of a hydrological framework where we try to understand the components that drive global freshwater processes and how this would respond to disturbances in the climate. In particular, using a land surface model and several spatial dataset we are looking at the sensitivity of precipitation, snowpack size, soil moisture content and generated runoff to different climate conditions. Additionally, a river hydrological model is incorporated to the framework in order to estimate the response of river flow and floodplain dynamics to these changes.

Findings of my research will lead to the detection of global areas where its water sources and dynamics are responding more rapid and severe in a changing climate. Outputs generated of my research are essential to generate climate change adaptation, enhance the plan of hydrological risks and provide insights to water resources managers.

This research is also developed in collaboration with the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Current Teaching

Homero is part of the teaching staff at the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management where he delivers lectures and workshops on planning and management of uncertainties in water infrastructure systems, GIS and remote sensing tool for water resources professionals, and others in the modules of Climate and Catchment Processes and Water Policy. Since 2016, he also has lead the annual study fieldtrip to the Ebro catchment, in Spain.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Rodriguez, D., Garcia, L. and Paltan, H. (forthcoming) Water-Related Infrastructure Investments in a changing environment: A perspective from the World Bank. In, Water Resources Infrastructure Design in a Changing Environment. UNESCO.
  • Mena, C.F., Paltán, H.A., Benitez, F.L., Sampedro, C. and Valverde, M. (2020) Threats of Climate Change in Small Oceanic Islands: The Case of Climate and Agriculture in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In, Walsh, S.J., Riveros-Iregui, D., Acre-Nazario, J. and Page, P.H. (eds.) Land Cover and Land Use Change on Islands: Social and Ecological Threats to Sustainability. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-030-43973-6.
  • Paltán, H. (2020) Transitioning to resilient and adaptative infrastructure systems in Latin America and the Caribbean. In, Brears, R. (ed.) Palgrave Studies in Climate Resilient Societies. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Dadson, S.J., Paltan Lopez, H., Peng, J. and Vora, S. (2019) Hydroclimatic Extremes and Climate Change. Chapter 2 in, Dadson, S.J., Garrick, D.E., Penning-Rowsell, E.C., Hall, J.W., Hope, R. and Hughes, J. (eds.) Water Science, Policy, and Management: A Global Challenge. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. pp. 11-28. ISBN: 9781119520603.
  • Mena, C.F., Sampedro, C., Martinez, P.E., Paltan, H., Encarnación, A. and Zambrano, D. (2017) Remote Sensing of Oil Spills: Linking Community Monitoring and Satellite Image Processing in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In, Liang, S. (ed.) Comprehensive Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing Applications for Societal Benefits. Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128032206.