CGCS Directory

Prof. Elfatih Eltahir

Breen M. Kerr Professor of Hydrology and Climate
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering



Research Interests:

Professor Eltahir's research group is interested in understanding how regional land use/land cover change as well as global climate change may impact society through changes in the patterns of water availability, extreme weather, and spread of vector-borne diseases. We develop sophisticated numerical models (MIT Regional Climate Model (MRCM); and the Hydrology, Entomology and Malaria Transmission Simulator (HYDREMATS)) that are used for predicting such impacts at regional scales. We test these models against satellite observations and archived data sets of hydrologic and atmospheric variables, as well as data collected in our own field campaigns. Current research in the Eltahir group focuses on three general areas: 1) Regional climate studies, 2) Water and Disease, and 3) Water Resource Management. 

Research Group Website

Selected Publications:

Endo, N., & Eltahir, E.A.B.. 2018. Environmental Determinants of Malaria Transmission Around the Koka Reservoir in Ethiopia. AGU Publications.       Google Scholar    Endo_et_al-2017-GeoHealth.pdf  (6.12 MB)

S. Kang, E.-S. Im and E. A. B. Eltahir. 2018. Future climate change enhances rainfall seasonality in a regional model of western Maritime Continent. Climate Dynamics.       Google Scholar     Kang_CD2018.pdf  (6.60 MB)

N. Endo and E. A. B. Eltahir. 2018. Modelling and observing the role of wind in Anopheles population dynamics around a reservoir. Malaria Journal.       Google Scholar    s12936-018-2197-5.pdf  (1.28 MB)

Eun-Soon Im, Suchul Kang, Elfatih A.B. Eltahir. 2018. Projections of rising heat stress over the western Maritime Continent from dynamically downscaled climate simulations. Global and Planetary Change. 165       Google Scholar     Projections-of-rising-heat-stress-over-the-western-Maritime-Continent-from-dynamically-downscaled-climate-simulations-1.pdf  (4.72 MB)


R. E. Alter, H. C. Douglas, J. M. Winter, and E. A. B. Eltahir. 2018. Twentieth Century Regional Climate Change During the Summer in the Central United States Attributed to Agricultural Intensification. Geophysical Research Letters.       Google Scholar     Alter18.pdf  (1.15 MB)

Mohamed S. Siam; Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2017. Climate change enhances interannual variability of the Nile river flow. Nature Climate Change.       Google Scholar    Climate-change-enhances-interannual-variability-of-the-flow-in-the-Nile-river.pdf  (1.46 MB)

Eun-Soon Im, Jeremy S. Pal, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2017. Deadly heat waves projected in the densely populated agricultural regions of South Asia. Science Advances. 3 (8)       Google Scholar     Im2016.pdf  (2.91 MB)

E. A. B. Eltahir. 2017. Dividing the Nile. Nature Middle East.       Google Scholar   

Eun‐Soon Im and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2017. Simulation of the diurnal variation of rainfall over the western Maritime Continent using a regional climate model. Climate Dynamics.       Google Scholar     Im_2017.pdf  (5.76 MB)

Eun-Soon Im, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2017. Simulations of the observed ‘jump’ in the West African monsoon and its underlying dynamics using the MIT regional climate model. International Journal of Climatology.       Google Scholar     Im2017.pdf  (3.15 MB)

Yunfang Sun, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir, Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli. 2017. The Bottom water exchange between the Singapore Strait and the West Johor Strait. Continental Shelf Research.       Google Scholar     The-bottom-water-exchange-between-the-Singapore-Strai_2017_Continental-Shelf.pdf  (4.45 MB)

Osama M. E. Seidahmed, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2016. A Sequence of Flushing and Drying of Breeding Habitats of Aedes aegypti (L.) Prior to the Low Dengue Season in Singapore. PLOS- Neglected Tropical Diseases.       Google Scholar     journal.pntd_.0004842.pdf  (6.12 MB)

Teresa K. Yamana, Arne Bomblies and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2016. Climate change unlikely to increase malaria burden in West Africa. nature climate change.       Google Scholar     Yamana_et_al-2016-Nature_Climate_Change.pdf  (985.05 KB)

Noriko Endo; Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2016. Environmental determinants of malaria transmission in African villages. Malaria Journal.       Google Scholar     Environmental-determinants-of-malaria-transmission-in-African-villages.pdf  (1.47 MB)

Mariam M. Allam, Anjuli Jain Figueroa, Dennis B. McLaughlin, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2016. Estimation of evaporation over the Upper Blue Nile basin by combining observations from satellites and river flow gauges. Water Resources Research.       Google Scholar     Allam_et_al-2016-Water_Resources_Research-2.pdf  (2.28 MB)

Teresa K. Yamana, Xin Qiu, Elfatih A.B. Eltahir. 2016. Hysteresis in Simulations of Malaria Transmission. Advances in Water Resources.       Google Scholar     1-s2.0-S030917081630519X-main.pdf  (2.23 MB)


Rocio Gonzalez, Taha B. M. J. Ouarda, Prashanth R. Marpu, Mariam M. Allam, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir and Simon Pearson. 2016. Water Budget Analysis in Arid Regions, Application to the United Arab Emirates. Water. 8 (9)       Google Scholar     water-08-00415.pdf  (5.40 MB)


Pengfei Xue and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2015. Estimation of the Heat and Water Budgets of the Persian Gulf Using A Regional Climate Model. Journal of Climate. 28 (4)  

M. S. Siam and E. A. B. Eltahir. 2015. Explaining and forecasting interannual variability in the flow of the Nile River. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 11 : 4851–4878.      

Jeremy S. Pal and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2015. Future temperature in southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability. Nature Climate Change.  

Wei J, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Eltahir EAB, Xue P, Xu D. 2014. Coupling of a regional atmospheric model (RegCM3) and a regional oceanic model (FVCOM) over the maritime continent. Climate Dynamics: 1-20.  

Eun-Soon Im and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2014. Enhancement of rainfall and runoff upstream from irrigation location in a climate model of West Africa. Water Resources Research. 50 (11) : 8651–8674.  

Marcella MP, Eltahir EAB. 2014. The role of mineral aerosols in shaping the regional climate of West Africa. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 119 : 1-14.


Im E-S, Marcella MP, Eltahir EAB.  2014.  Impact of potential large-scale irrigation on the West African Monsoon and its dependence on location of irrigated area. Journal of Climate. 27(3):1009. 

Im E-S, Gianotti RL, Eltahir EAB.  2014.  Improving the simulation of the West African Monsoon using the MIT Regional Climate Model.Journal of Climate. 27(6):2209-2229.

Gianotti RL, Eltahir EAB.  2014.  Regional Climate Modeling over the Maritime Continent. Part I: New Parameterization for Convective Cloud Fraction. Journal of Climate. 27(4):1488-1503. 

Yamana TK, Eltahir EAB.  2013.  Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Environmental Suitability for Malaria Transmission in West Africa. Environmental Health Perspectives • volume 121 | number 10 | October 2013

Marcella, M.P., and E.A.B. Eltahir, 2008: Modeling the Hydroclimatology of Kuwait: The Role of Subcloud Evaporation in Semiarid Climates, Journal of Climate, 21(12): 2976-2989

Hildebrandt, A., and E.A.B. Eltahir, 2006: Forest on the edge: Seasonal cloud forest in Oman creates its own ecological niche, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L11401

Niemann, J.D., and E.A.B. Eltahir, 2005: Sensitivity of regional hydrology to climate changes, with application to the Illinois River basin, Water Resources Research, Vol. 41, w07014

Yeh, P.J.-F., and E.A.B. Eltahir, 2005: Representation of Water Table Dynamics in a Land Surface Scheme. Part I: Model Development, Journal of Climate, 18(12): 1861-1880

Eltahir, E.A.B, 1996: The Role of Vegetation in Sustaining Large-scale Atmospheric Circulations in the Tropics, Journal of Geophysical Research, 101(D2): 4255-4268

Eltahir, E.A.B., and R. L. Bras, 1993: On the Response of the Tropical Atmosphere to Large-scale Deforestation, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 119: 779-793

More Publications

Contact Information

t: 617-253-6596


B.Sc., Civil Engineering, University of Khartoum, 1985
M.Sc., Hydroloy, National University of Ireland, 1988
S.M., Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993
Sc.D., Hydroclimatology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993

Courses taught:
Surface Hydrology (1.714)
Environmental Data Analysis (1.715)
Global Change Science (1.071)