EGU 2019 General Assembly Monday, 8 April 2019

Highlights at a glance

  • 08:30 – Plastic in the environment (ITS5.2: Room N1); Hydrological extremes (HS2.4.1: Room B); Risks from a changing cryosphere (CR3.05: Posters, Hall X4); Peatlands under pressure (BG2.17: Posters, Hall A)
  • 10:45 – Science in policymaking (GDB2: Room E1); Big data and machine learning (NP4.3: Room L3)
  • 12:45 – EGU Plenary (PCN2: Room E1)
  • 14:00 – Plastics in the hydrosphere (SCS2: Room E1); Open session on ocean circulation and climate (OS1.1: Room L6)
  • 16:15 – High resolution topography in the geosciences (GM2.2: Room G2)

Welcome message from the EGU Programme Chair

Welcome to the EGU General Assembly! The Programme Committee is proud to present an exciting and diverse programme that covers the widest range of Earth, planetary and space sciences. The programme includes 700 poster, oral and PICO scientific sessions, almost 90 short courses, union-wide Union Symposia, Great Debates and Science and Society sessions, as well as our new Job Centre and Science-Art-Public events. This year we are scheduling poster, oral and PICO sessions throughout the day. This allows us to achieve more viewing time for PICOs and posters, more oral presentations, and we hope a more comfortable conference experience for all by avoiding overcrowding in lecture rooms and poster halls.

We hope this week will offer you great opportunities for building new collaborations and enhancing existing joint research in open discussions. I would specifically like to encourage you to use the networking time of 18:00 – 19:00 to catch up with colleagues, visit the EGU2019 exhibition and the EGU booth, stop by our artists-in-residence in Foyer D, and view any posters or PICOs you missed earlier in the day.

We strive for the EGU General Assembly to be open and inclusive. We are actively working on conference accessibility and you can find quiet rooms, a breastfeeding room and prayer rooms on the ground level. I hope you will join me in proudly wearing our pronoun and EGU Pride pin buttons. Please stop by the Meet EGU spot in Hall X2 to give feedback to division presidents, editors, committee chairs and ECS representatives or attend the open division and committee meetings to learn more about EGU and how you can help us provide the best union and conference for you. I wish you an enjoyable and fruitful week!

Susanne Buiter, EGU Programme Committee Chair 2019

The Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Credit: David Iliff)
The Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Credit: David Iliff)

Science in policymaking: who is responsible?

While the importance of scientific advice and the use of evidence in the policymaking process is generally acknowledged by both policymakers and scientists, how scientific advice is integrated and who is responsible is still unclear. This debate will feature a mixed panel of policymakers and geoscientists who have previously given scientific advice. Some key questions that the panel will debate include: How can the accessibility of current EU science-advisory mechanisms be improved? Are scientists doing enough to share their research? And who is responsible for ensuring that quality scientific evidence is used in policymaking?

GDB2: 10:45–12:30 Room E1

Medal lectures

  • Hannes Alfvén Medal Lecture by Daniel N. Baker: ‘Multi-year observations of the Earth’s high-energy radiation environment’ (MAL12/ST: 11:30–12:30 Room K2)
  • Fridtjof Nansen Medal Lecture by Anne-Marie Tréguier: ‘Modelling mesoscale dynamics for ocean and climate prediction’ (MAL11/OS: 14:00–15:00 Room L6)
  • Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Giulia Sofia: ‘Combining geomorphometry, feature extraction techniques and earth-surface processes research: the way forward’ (MAL5/GM: 16:15–16:45 Room G2)
  • Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal Lecture by Isabel P. Montañez: ‘Reconstructing the Earth system in deep time’ (MAL16/SSP: 17:00–18:00 Room D3)
  • Louis Agassiz Medal Lecture by Andreas Kääb: ‘Collapsing glaciers’ (MAL20/CR: 19:00–20:00 Room K2)
  • Petrus Peregrinus Medal Lecture by Catherine Kissel: ‘Magnetic fingerprint of climatic changes in the Atlantic ocean’ (MAL23/EMRP: 19:00–20:00 Room K1)

Short courses, networking and early career scientist events

  • How to navigate the EGU: tips and tricks (SC3.6: 08:30–10:15 Room -2.16
  • Geoscience Communication: how the new EGU journal can support your outreach and public engagement (SC2.6: 10:45–12:30 Room -2.16)
  • Using Copernicus satellite data for ocean applications (SC1.6: 10:45–12:30 Room -2.85)
  • Help! I’m presenting at a scientific conference (SC1.12: 14:00–15:45 Room -2.62)
  • How to share your research with citizens and why it’s so important (SC2.1: 14:00–15:45 Room -2.16)
  • ADVANCEGeo Workshop – Strategies for improving workplace environment in the geosciences (SC3.3: 14:00–15:45 Room -2.31)
  • Science for policy: How can scientists get involved in the policymaking process? (SC2.12: 16:15–18:00 Room -2.31)
  • How to peer-review? (SC1.31: 16:15–18:00 Room -2.85)
  • Journal reception – 25 years of Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG) (PCN9: 18:00–19:00 EGU booth)

EGU plenary

This session (PCN2) is the main meeting for bringing forward new ideas to the EGU and for members to keep up-to-date with EGU activities. Join us in Room E1 (yellow level) from 12:45 today. Free snacks and soft drinks will be served.

Plastic in the environment: observing and explaining where it comes from and where it goes

Plastic contamination has been reported in all realms of the environment from the tropics to the polar oceans. The session aims to set up a forum for multi-disciplinary discussions to create a global picture of plastic contamination in the environment and to suggest approaches for future research, monitoring and mitigation of plastic pollution impacts. Erik van Sebille (Utrecht University) is an invited speaker.

ITS5.2/OS4.13/EOS10.2/BG3.18/GM6.6/HS11.63: Orals / 08:30–12:30 Room N1
Posters / 16:15–18:00 Hall X4

Plastics in the Hydrosphere: An urgent problem requiring global action

Plastic pollution is recognised as one of the most serious and urgent problems facing our planet. There is a pressing need for global action, backed by sound scientific understanding, to tackle this problem. This Science and Society session (SCS2) will address the problems posed to our planet by plastic pollution, and examine options for dealing with the threat. And tomorrow, come along to the screening of A Plastic Ocean (SCA3) to understand the impacts of plastic pollution around the world, what action we can take to stop plastics entering our natural world and pose your questions to the film’s producer, Jo Ruxton.

SCS2: 14:00–17:45 Room E1
SCA3: Tue, 19:00–21:00 Room E2

Big data and machine learning in geosciences

This session brings together researchers working with big data sets generated from monitoring networks, extensive observational campaigns and detailed modeling efforts across various geoscience fields.

NP4.3: Orals / 10:45–12:30, 14:00–18:00 Room L3
Posters / Tue, 10:45–12:30 Hall X4

Open session on ocean circulation and climate

This open session features contributions on all aspects of ocean circulation from observations, models and theory, from regional to global scales, from air-sea exchanges to abyssal mixing. It includes the Fridtjof Nansen Medal Lecture by Anne-Marie Tréguier.

OS1.1: Orals / 14:00–18:00 Room L6
Posters / Tue, 08:30–10:15 Hall X4

Peatlands under pressure

From pole to pole, peatlands contain up to 30% of the world’s soil carbon pool, illustrating their role in the global carbon cycle. This session will focus on the observed or predicted changes on the biogeochemistry of peatlands, caused by climate change, nutrient loading or land-use. Klaus-Holger Knorr (University of Münster), Franziska Koebsch (Rostock Universität), Michael Waddington (McMaster University) and Minna Väliranta (University of Helsinki) are invited speakers.

BG2.17: Orals / 10:45–12:30, 14:00–18:00 Room L2
Posters / 08:30–10:15 Hall A

Hydrological extremes: from droughts to floods

This general session on hydrological extremes brings together the two communities at the extreme end of the hydrological spectrum to learn from the similarities and differences between flood and drought research. This session is jointly organised by the Panta Rhei Working Groups: Understanding Flood Changes, Changes in Flood Risk, and Drought in the Anthropocene.

HS2.4.1: Orals / 08:30–12:30, 14:00–15:45 Room B
Posters / 16:15–18:00 Hall A

Tectonic plate boundaries (Credit: NGDC World Coast Line data/P. Bird/E. Gaba)
Tectonic plate boundaries (Credit: NGDC World Coast Line data/P. Bird/E. Gaba)

GIFT workshop for teachers

The EGU Geosciences Information for Teachers (GIFT) programme offers school teachers the opportunity to upgrade their geoscience knowledge. This year’s workshop focuses on ‘Plate tectonics and Earth’s structure – yesterday, today, tomorrow’.

EOS1.1: 08:30–12:30, 14:00–18:00; Tue, 08:30–12:30, 14:00–18:00; Wed, 08:30–12:30 Room L4/5

High resolution topography in the geosciences: methods and applications

This session, co-sponsored by JpGU, will evaluate the advances in techniques to model topography and to study patterns of topographic change at multiple temporal and spatial scales. It includes the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Giulia Sofia. Kuo-Jen Chang (National Taipei University of Technology) is an invited speaker.

GM2.2: Orals / 16:15–18:00 Room G2
Posters / Tue, 08:30–10:15 Hall X2

Risks from a changing cryosphere

All components of the cryosphere are strongly impacted by climate change and have been undergoing significant changes over the past decades. This session, co-sponsored by IACS and IPA, features contributions across all cryosphere components that addresses risks associated with observed or projected physical processes.

CR3.05: Orals / Tue, 14:00–15:45 Room 1.85
Posters / 08:30–10:15 Hall X4

Meet EGU

  • Karen Heywood, Division President of Ocean Sciences: 10:15–10:45
  • Giuliana Panieri, Division President Biogeosciences: 10:45–11:30
  • Carole Nehme, Division ECS Representative of Climate: Past, Present & Future: 11:45–12:30
  • Didier Roche, Division President of Climate: Past, Present & Future & PC Officer for Travel Support: 11:45–12:30
  • Lotte Krawczyk, Chief Executive Editor of Solid Earth: 14:00–14:45
  • Claudio Zaccone, Programme Group Chair of Soil System Sciences: 15:00–15:45
  • Patric Jacobs, EGU Treasurer: 15:45–16:15
  • Alberto Montanari, EGU President: 16:15–17:00
  • Annica Ekman, Outgoing Division President of Atmospheric Sciences: 17:00–17:45

EGU Booth Hall X2

Feedback meetings

  • Editorial board meeting of Earth System Dynamics (ESD): 19:00–20:00 Room 3.16
  • Editorial board meeting of Solid Earth (SE): 19:00–20:00 Room 3.29
  • Editorial board meeting of Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI): 19:00–20:00 Room 3.17
  • Editorial board meeting of Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf): 19:00–20:00 Room 3.30

EGU2019 mobile app

You can download the conference app by going to on your iPhone or Android. You can use it to browse the programme and read this newsletter on your mobile.

Remains of a former ocean floor (Credit: Jana Eichel, via
Remains of a former ocean floor (Credit: Jana Eichel, via

EGU Photo Competition

We received over 600 entries for this year’s competition! You can find the finalists, and vote for the winners by Thursday evening, in Hall X2 (basement/brown level). Winners are announced on Friday on the EGU blog,, and on screens around the conference centre.

Job Centre

The EGU General Assembly Job Centre offers the opportunity to connect employers/recruiters and highly-qualified candidates in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. Room -2.34 (brown level, basement) is reserved for job presentations, while rooms -2.35 and -2.36 are available for job interviews. You can find out more about the centre on the General Assembly website. The schedule presentations for both job seekers and recruiters is available through the conference programme (JC programme group).

What’s on tomorrow

  • From fundamental Atmospheric Composition Research to Societal Services/30 years of the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Programme (US5: 10:45–12:15, 14:00–15:30 Room E1)
  • Plan-S: Should scientific publishers be forced to go Open Access? (GDB5: 16:15–18:00 Room E1)
  • 17 medal lectures, including the Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture by Jean Braun (MAL2/GD/GM/TS: 12:45–13:45 Room E1)


EGU Today helps you keep up with the many activities at the General Assembly by highlighting sessions and events from the programme. If you have comments, email the editor Bárbara Ferreira at The newsletter is available at, on the EGU General Assembly mobile app, and on screens around the conference centre.