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EGU press conference (Credit: Kai Boggild/EGU)

Media at the EGU General Assembly
Vienna, Austria | 23–28 April 2017
Press conferences

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European Geosciences Union

Press conferences

You are viewing the EGU 2017 General Assembly Press Centre page. Click here to see information about media services and activities (e.g. press conferences) at the most recent General Assembly.

List of press conferences

Monday, 24 April
Tuesday, 25 April
Wednesday, 26 April

PC1 – Screaming clouds

Monday, 24 April, 10:30–11:00 (Stream)

In this press conference we will learn how the spectacular colours of bright, mother-of-pearl clouds inspired a famous painting.


Related scientific sessions: AS1.34

PC2 – Cities’ resilience to a changing climate

Monday, 24 April, 13:00–14:00 (Stream)

Cities are usually warmer than their surrounding areas, an effect known as urban heat island. Roads and buildings absorb and trap more solar radiation than the soil and vegetation more prevalent in rural locations, which causes temperatures in cities to increase. In addition, human activities such as heating, cooling and transportation, add to this effect. How will climate change affect urban areas, and what can we do about it? In this press conference, we’ll find out how much global warming will worsen the urban heat island effect, and how weather, air pollution and future climate can affect an essential service in cities: ambulances. We will also hear about a technique to fight increasing urban temperatures: a 17th century Japanese practice.


Related scientific sessions: NH9.7/AS4.33/CL2.28/HS11.34, CL3.07/AS4.27, CL2.02

PC3 – Water hazards: how floods and storms impact us and how we impact water resources

Tuesday, 25 April, 09:00–10:00 (Stream)

Coastlines are often impacted by storms, with low-lying coastal areas being particularly prone to flooding. This risk is expected to increase in a warmer world, as sea level rises and storms become more intense and frequent. In this press conference we will hear about a 300-year storm record and how it can help people living in European coastlines better prepare for future storms. Another team will present a map of global coastal flood hazards, which will make it easier for coastal populations to understand their flood risk and how it might change in the future. Moving from the coast inland, we’ll hear about another water-related hazard: threats to freshwater resources. The third presentation at this press conference will focus on how drought and wars in the Middle East have affected water bodies in the region. Finally, the fourth presentation will describe the results of a study published in Nature Geoscience. The results of this study remain under embargo until the start of the press conference.


Related scientific sessions: NH9.1/CL2.26, CL3.07/AS4.27, HS6.3

PC4 – Polar regions: Arctic sea-ice future, Antarctic ice-shelf stability, and glacial landforms

Tuesday, 25 April, 10:00–11:00 (Stream)

The polar regions, at the north and southern extremes of our planet, are some of the most unique and fragile areas on Earth. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, with drastic consequences for the sea-ice cover in the region, which hit its lowest annual extent on record in 2016. A talk at this press conference will look into what 2016 Arctic sea ice can tell us about future sea-ice conditions in the region. We will also hear about how future Arctic sea-ice cover will differ for 1.5 and 2°C, the two global warming limits in the Paris Agreement. Moving south, another presentation will look into the impact that warm winds (Foehn winds) are having on the weather, climate and ice shelves in Antarctica, specifically Larsen C. This ice shelf is located in the Antarctic Peninsula, the fastest warming region on Earth in the late 20th century, and is at risk of collapse. This press conference will end with the presentation of a new seabed map of the polar regions, an atlas of submarine glacial landforms with stunning images.


Related scientific sessions: CL3.04, CR2.1, CL4.07/AS1.14/BG9.18/CR1.7/HS11.3, CL1.23/BG9.14/CR6.3/OS2.5

PC5 – Plastic litter: how it’s transported, reaches the food chain, and what we can learn from it

Tuesday, 25 April, 11:00–12:00 (Stream)

In modern societies, plastic has uses in thousands of products, from food packaging and clothing to furniture and electronics. Because of how prevalent its use is, millions of tons of plastic debris end up in landfills every year around the world. When plastic waste is not properly managed or disposed, it can pollute soils, rivers and the oceans, affecting the natural environment, including animals and humans. This press conference will feature a presentation about how microplastics can accumulate in the terrestrial food chain. Another presentation will reveal how much plastic is delivered by rivers into the sea. Finally, we will hear about what plastic debris washed up in coastal areas can tell us about past storms.


Related scientific sessions: OS4.7, SSP4.7/CL1.08/NH2.9/SM1.4, NH1.5/AS4.37/CL4.19/HS11.27/SM10.9/SSS10.16

PC6 – The grand finale of Cassini’s mission at Saturn

Tuesday, 25 April, 15:30–16:30 (Stream)

On 22 April, the final close flyby of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, will propel the Cassini spacecraft across the planet’s main rings and into its Grand Finale series of orbits. This marks the start of the final and most audacious phase of the mission as the spacecraft dives between the innermost rings of Saturn and the outer atmosphere of the planet to explore a region never before visited; the first of 22 ring plane crossings occurs on 26 April. The mission will end on 15 September 2017 when the spacecraft plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere and burns up, in order to protect moons of Saturn that could have conditions suitable for life. During this press briefing, a panel of Cassini scientists will discuss what to expect during Cassini’s Grand Finale, as well as presenting some science highlights from the mission, including updates from the ring-grazing orbits that began in November 2016.


Related scientific sessions: PS3.1

PC7 – Geoarcheology: Finding traces of human presence in caves, soils and landscapes

Wednesday, 26 April, 10:00–11:00 (Stream)

What can we learn about human history and evolution, and its impact, by analysing rocky caves, sediments, or features in the landscape? Research featured at this press conference explores a newly discovered rock shelter in Spain. The Abrigo del Molino holds clues for when the last Neanderthals occupied the Iberia Peninsula, which could help us find out if they mingled with anatomically modern humans. Another presentation will look into how soils are affected when we bury the dead underground: What can the chemical signals of decomposed human remains tell us about different mortuary customs? And how can nutrients of human origin affect the local ecology? A final presentation will go into how battles can leave long-term scars in landscapes. The research focuses on the First World War Verdun battlefield, in France, and how – 100 years on – flora and fauna are taking over shell craters, trenches, shelters and gun sites.


Related scientific sessions: SSP4.7/CL1.08/NH2.9/SM1.4, GM7.3/CL1.09/SSS3.11, SSS3.4

PC8 – Food security: how extreme weather and other hazards affect what we drink and eat

Wednesday, 26 April, 11:00–12:00 (Stream)

Many of the goods consumed in Europe, including staples such as coffee or rice, are produced outside its borders, making Europe’s economy dependent on water resources elsewhere in the world. Researchers have studied how vulnerable some key products are to drought and water scarcity, which climate change and weather extremes are making more likely in many of the regions where European goods originate from. They will outline their findings during the press conference. Another team has looked into the question: How can countries mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions in agriculture without compromising food security? Researchers will detail some of the options at the press conference. Finally, we will hear about how climate change and other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, storms or fires, affect the production of one of Europe’s most popular drinks: wine.


Related scientific sessions: NH9.1/CL2.26, HS4.6/CL3.02, SSS9.14/BG9.46/CL3.13