PhD Giorgia Di Capua

Postdoctoral Researcher
Di Capua

I am a physicist by training and my field of research are atmospheric teleconnections between the tropics and the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. In particular, I have been studying the causal interactions between the Indian summer monsoon and the mid-altitude circulation during boreal summer. I have also been working on waviness in the middle troposphere and its relation to Arctic amplification and climate change.


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2514
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Giorgia has a BSc and MSc in Physics from the University of Turin (Italy). She started working with regional climate change impacts during her Bachelor thesis, which was carried out at the ISAC-CNR institute in Turin (2012). After that, she started working at PIK (SACREX project) for her Master thesis (2014), which focused on meandering middle troposphere waves (Di Capua and Coumou, 2016).

In 2016 Giorgia started her PhD work (GOTHAM project), on the interactions between the mid-latitude circulation and the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Her work, which was carried out in collaboration with several researchers from the University of Oxford, the University of Reading, VU Amsterdam University and the Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology, focuses on applying causal discovery tools to the study of the physical interactions between enhanced convective activity in the tropical belt and surface and atmospheric patterns in the Northern Hemisphere during boreal summer (Di Capua et al. 2019, 2020a,b).

On the 8th of September 2021 Giorgia  got my PhD title from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

PhD dissertation title : The Indian Monsoon and its interaction with the mid-latitude circulation

Awards: 2021 Virtual Outstanding Student and PhD candidate Presentation (vOSPP) Award (Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences)

*** 2024 ***
Docquier, D., Di Capua, G., Donner, R. V., Pires, C. A. L., Simon, A., and Vannitsem, S.: A comparison of two causal methods in the context of climate analyses, EGUsphere [accepted],, 2023.

*** 2023 ***

Carvalho-Oliveira, J., Di Capua, G., Borchert, L., Donner, R., and Baehr, J.: Causal associations and predictability of the summer East Atlantic teleconnection, EGUsphere [preprint],, 2023.

Di Capua, G.
, Coumou, D., van den Hurk, B., Weisheimer, A., Turner, A. G., and Donner, R. V.: Validation of boreal summer tropical–extratropical causal links in seasonal forecasts, Weather Clim. Dynam., 4, 701–723,, 2023.

*** 2021 ***

Di Capua G., Sparrow S., Kornhuber K., Rousi E., Osprey S., Wallom D., van den Hurk B. & Coumou D. (2021). Drivers behind the summer 2010 wave train leading to Russian heatwave and Pakistan flooding. npj Clim Atmos Sci 4, 55.

Harwood, N., Hall, R., Di Capua, G., Russell, A., & Tucker, A. (2021). Using Bayesian Networks to Investigate the Influence of Subseasonal Arctic Variability on Midlatitude North Atlantic Circulation, Journal of Climate, 34(6), 2319-2335.

*** 2020 ***

Di Capua G., Runge J., Donner R. V., van den Hurk B., Turner A. G., Vellore R., Krishnan R., and Coumou D. (2020) "Dominant patterns of interaction between the tropics and mid-latitudes in boreal summer: Causal relationships and the role of timescales", Weather and Climate Dynamics  DOI:

Di Capua, G., Kretschmer, M., Donner, R. V., van den Hurk, B., Vellore, R., Krishnan, R. and Coumou, D. (2020) "Tropical and mid-latitude teleconnections interacting with the Indian summer monsoon rainfall: A Theory-Guided Causal Effect Network approach", Earth System Dynamics  DOI:

*** 2019 ***

Vellore R., Bisht J.S.H., Krishnan R., Di Capua G. and Coumou D.  (2019) "Sub‑synoptic circulation variability in the Himalayan extreme precipitation event during June 2013", Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, DOI:

Umakanth U., Vellore R., Krishnan R., Dey Choudhury A., Bisht J.S.H., Di Capua G., Coumou D. and Donner R. V.  (2019) "Meridionally Extending Anomalous Wave Train over Asia During Breaks in the Indian Summer Monsoon", Earth System and Environment. DOI:

Di Capua G., Kretschmer M., Runge J., Alessandri A., Donner R.V., van den Hurk B., Vellore R., KrishnanR. and Coumou D. (2019) "Long-lead statistical forecasts of the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall based on causal precursors ", Weather and Forecasting - American Meteorological Society

*** 2018 ***

Coumou D., Di Capua G., Vavrus S., Wang L. and Wang S. (2018) "The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation", Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 2959 (2018)

*** 2016 ***

i Capua and Coumou (2016)  "Changes in meandering of the Northern Hemisphere circulation" Environ. Res. Lett. 11 094028

Current projects:


Past projects:

SacreX - Atmospheric circulation and its relation to extreme weather

GOTHAM - Globally Observed Teleconnections and their role and representation in Hierarchies of Atmospheric Models

ROADMAP - The Role of ocean dynamics and Ocean-Atmosphere interactions in Driving cliMAte variations and future Projections of impact-relevant extreme events


The code for the Meandering Index as defined in Di Capua and Coumou (2016) is availble on Github.