CGCS Directory

Prof. Elfatih Eltahir

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering



Research Interests:
Research in the Eltahir group is recognized for defining the role of land surface hydrology in shaping the climate system at regional scales. We seek to improve understanding of natural hydrologic phenomena, motivated by several environmental problems related to the impacts of deforestation, desertification and climate change. We develop state-of-the-art numerical models that are suited for simulation of climate processes at the regional scale. 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 two general areas: (1) Regional climate studies of Africa, Southwest Asia and Southeast Asia; and (2) Development of a new class of environmental, hydrological and entomological models of infectious disease transmission (including malaria and dengue fever), which can be used for planning of environmental management interventions and prediction of the impact of climate change on disease transmission.

Research Group Website

Selected Publications:

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)