Side Events
Disciplinary sessions
Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions

Session programme


ITS – Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions

ITS1 – Geoscience and Society


The world's energy, water, and land systems are in transition and rapidly integrating, driven by forces such as socioeconomic, demographic, climatic, and technological changes as well as policies intended to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other societal priorities. These dynamics weave across spatial scales, connecting global markets and trends to regional and sub-regional economies. At the same time, resources are often locally managed under varying administrative jurisdictions closely tied to inherent characteristics of each commodity such as river basins for water, grid regions for electricity and land-use boundaries for agriculture. Local decisions in turn are critical in deciding the aggregate success and consequences of national and global policies. Thus, there is a growing need to better characterize the energy-water-land nexus to guide robust and consistent decision making across these scales. This session invites abstracts exploring energy-water-land dynamics, trade patterns, policy interventions, infrastructure planning and uncertainty characterization across variable spatial boundaries.

Co-organized by CL3/HS12/SSS12
Convener: Zarrar KhanECSECS | Co-conveners: Edo Abraham, Edward A. ByersECSECS, Saket Pande
ITS1.2/CL5.9 | PICO

Weather and climate services involve the production, translation, transfer, and use of scientific information for decision-making. They include long term climate projections, monthly to seasonal forecasts and daily weather forecasts. They are particularly useful (i) for several climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water resources, health, energy, disaster risk reduction and (ii) in developing countries where vulnerability to climate change and weather shocks is high. This interdisciplinary session aims at showing tools, results, methodologies that could lead in fine to an operational improvement of WCS in developing countries. It focuses not only on models improvement but also on how to interact with end-users, assess WCS added value, broadcast information, avoid inequalities access, involve the private sector etc. The session will focus particularly on feedbacks and results from different case studies located in the global South.

Co-organized by EOS4/AS4/HS12/NH9
Convener: Philippe Roudier | Co-conveners: Pauline Dibi Kangah, Seyni Salack, Ibrahima Sy, Catherine Vaughan
ITS1.3/NH9.25 | PICO

Natural hazards and associated losses are a barrier to sustainable development in economically developing countries. Both the Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development goals highlight the interdependencies between sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. Urban areas are particularly at risk due to rapid, often unplanned development and lack of capacity to plan. This session will profile the challenges faced in the developing world when doing assessments of natural hazard and risk and designing mitigation strategies. Examples of these challenges include (i) lack of data, including challenges of collecting and sharing; (ii) rapid and often unplanned urban development, with building practices often neglecting the potential hazards, (iii) less regulated nature-human interactions, (iv) limited resources and capacity to undertake the most appropriate prevention and mitigation actions and to respond to disastrous and extreme events, (v) climate change, and (vi) difficulties in communication between science, policy and decision makers, and the general public.
Submissions to this PICO session covering all relevant topics are welcome, including but not limited to: database and archive construction; modeling, monitoring and tools for natural hazard and risk assessment; conceptual understanding of multi-hazards and nature-technology interactions; response and mitigation strategies; building resilience, and communications, policy and decision-making. We particularly welcome abstracts focusing on urban areas, as well as the participation of stakeholders to share their innovative theoretical and practical ideas and success stories of how risk can be understood and addressed across economically developing countries.

Co-organized by EOS4/GI6/HS12/SM1
Convener: Faith TaylorECSECS | Co-conveners: Olivier Dewitte, Joel GillECSECS, Andreas Günther, Bruce D. Malamud
ITS1.4/HS4.8 | PICO

The Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction (SFDRR) and its seventh global target recognizes that increased efforts are required to develop risk-informed and impact-based multi-hazard early warning systems. Despite significant advances in disaster forecasting and warning technology, it remains challenging to produce useful forecasts and warnings that are understood and used to trigger early actions. Overcoming these challenges requires understanding of the reliability of forecast tools and implementation barriers in combination with the development of new risk-informed processes. It also requires a commitment to create and share risk and impact data and to co-produce impact-based forecasting models and services. To deal with the problem of coming into action in response to imperfect forecasts, novel science-based concepts have recently emerged. As an example, Forecast-based Financing and Impact-based Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems are currently being implemented operationally by both governmental and non-governmental organisations in several countries as a result of increasing international effort by several organizations such as the WMO, World Bank, IFRC and UNDRR to reduce disaster losses and ensuring reaching the objectives of SFDRR. This session aims to showcase lessons learnt and best practices on impact-based multi-hazards early warning system from the perspective of both the knowledge producers and users. It presents novel methods to translate forecast of various climate-related and geohazards into an impact-based forecast. The session addresses the role of humanitarian agencies, scientists and communities at risk in creating standard operating procedures for economically feasible actions and reflects on the influence of forecast uncertainty across different time scales in decision-making. Moreover, it provides an overview of state-of-the-art methods, such as using Artificial Intelligence, big data and space applications, and presents innovative ways of addressing the difficulties in implementing forecast-based actions. We invite submissions on the development and use of operational impact-based forecast systems for early action; developing cost-efficient portfolios of early actions for climate/geo-related impact preparedness such as cash-transfer for droughts, weather-based insurance for floods; assessments on the types and costs of possible forecast-based disaster risk management actions; practical applications of impact forecasts.

Co-organized by AS4/NH9/SM3
Convener: Marc van den Homberg | Co-conveners: Bapon Fakhruddin, Andrea FicchiECSECS, Gabriela Guimarães NobreECSECS, Annegien Tijssen
ITS1.5/NH9.21 | PICO

Disasters caused by natural hazards often lead to significant and long-lasting disruptions of economic, social and ecological systems. To improve both ex-ante disaster risk reduction and ex-post recovery, increasing attention is placed on strengthening the “disaster resilience” of communities, cities, regions and countries. However, a lack of empirical data and evidence, a high diversity in assessment and measurement approaches as well as various definitions of disaster resilience make it difficult to establish a solid understanding of what contributes to disaster resilience and how it can be measured. This hinders targeted resilience strengthening investments and actions across all levels, that are increasingly demanded in the context of climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

This session aims to discuss concepts and frameworks that improve the understanding of economic, social and ecological resilience to various natural hazards (e.g. floods, droughts, wildfires) as well as to review current frameworks and tools that aim to measure disaster resilience. We invite submissions addressing process- and outcome-based approaches to assess or measure disaster resilience, as well as studies using remote sensing or other innovative approaches such as predictive models aiming to quantify disaster resilience. We particularly encourage presentations on operationalized and applied resilience assessment frameworks, case studies using new data sets to measure resilience as well new tools and approaches to engage with decision makers, practitioners and the general public. We also welcome submissions from governments at all levels, the development and humanitarian sector as well as practitioners that effectively work for the hazard affected communities both from the developed and developing world.

Co-organized by HS12
Convener: Viktor RözerECSECS | Co-conveners: Emilie Etienne, Adriana Keating, Finn LaurienECSECS, Colin McQuistan

Disasters caused by natural hazards are social phenomena that transcend scientific disciplinary boundaries and political borders. International, trans-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder collaborations are vital in advancing our understanding of the underlying drivers and impacts of disasters. Disaster-related science diplomacy (disaster diplomacy) provides opportunities to advance our understanding of disaster risk in "all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment" while simultaneously building bridges between states where relationships could otherwise be strained. Disaster diplomacy can originate within any disaster-related activity, such as prevention/mitigation, preparation, risk reduction, planning, response, recovery, and reconstruction, or their intersection. Disaster diplomacy is a multi-track diplomacy, which simultaneously might encompass official conflict resolution efforts led by governments with peer-to-peer exchanges between scientists and non-academic disaster experts, such as practitioners and local knowledge holders. Therefore, disaster diplomacy efforts could simultaneously comprise interdisciplinary research, scientific assessments, and governmental policy agendas. This session invites contributions on topics related to disaster science, international cooperation, and science diplomacy illustrating diplomacy in action and highlighting its effectiveness and current challenges at international and national levels.

Co-organized by EOS4, co-sponsored by IUGG
Convener: Alik Ismail-Zadeh | Co-convener: Yekaterina KontarECSECS
ITS1.7/SM3.5 | PICO

The International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) senses the solid Earth, the oceans and the atmosphere with a global network of seismic, infrasound, and hydroacoustic sensors as well as detectors for atmospheric radioactivity. The primary purpose of the IMS data is for nuclear explosion monitoring regarding all aspects of detecting, locating and characterizing nuclear explosions and their radioactivity releases. On-site verification technologies apply similar methods on smaller scales as well as geophysical methods such as ground penetrating radar and geomagnetic surveying with the goal of identifying evidence for a nuclear explosion close to ground zero. Papers in this session address advances in the sensor technologies, new and historic data, data collection, data processing and analysis methods and algorithms, uncertainty analysis, machine learning and data mining, experiments and simulations including atmospheric transport modelling. This session also welcomes papers on applications of the IMS and OSI instrumentation data. This covers the use of IMS data for disaster risk reduction such as tsunami early warning, earthquake hazard assessment, volcano ash plume warning, radiological emergencies and climate change related monitoring. The scientific applications of IMS data establish another large range of topics, including acoustic wave propagation in the Earth crust, stratospheric wind fields and gravity waves, global atmospheric circulation patterns, deep ocean temperature profiles and whale migration. The use of IMS data for such purposes returns a benefit with regard to calibration, data analysis methods and performance of the primary mission of monitoring for nuclear explosions.

Co-organized by AS4/NH10/OS4
Convener: Martin Kalinowski | Co-conveners: Lars Ceranna, Yan Jia, Peter Nielsen, Ole Ross

Citizen science (the involvement of the public in scientific processes) is gaining momentum in one discipline after another, thereby more and more data on biodiversity, earthquakes, weather, climate, health issues among others are being collected at different scales that can extend the frontiers of knowledge. Successful citizen observatories can potentially be scaled up in order to contribute to larger environmental and policy strategies and actions (such as the European Earth Observation monitoring systems) and to be integrated in GEOSS and Copernicus. Making credible contributions to science can empower citizens to actively participate in environmental decision making and can help bridging between scientific disciplines. Often, citizen science is seen in the context of Open Science, which is a broad movement embracing Open Data, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Source, Open Methodology, and Open Peer Review to transparently publish and share scientific research - thus leveraging Citizen Science and Reproducible Research.
Both, open science in general and citizen science in particular, pose great challenges for researchers, and to support the goals of the various openness initiatives, this session looks at what is possible and what is ready for application in geosciences. Success stories, failures, best practices and solutions will be presented. We aim to show how researchers, citizens, funding agencies, governments and other stakeholders can benefit from citizen science and open science, acknowledging the drawbacks and highlighting the opportunities available for geoscientists.
In this session, we are looking for successful approaches of working with citizen science and open science to bridge between the scientific desciplines in research, policy, economy, practice and society at large. Learning from others and understanding what to adopt and what to change help the participants in their own undertakings and new initiatives, so that they become future success stories.

We want to ask and find answers to the following questions:
Which approaches can be used in Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences?
What are the biggest challenges in bridging between scientific disciplines and how to overcome them?
What kind of citizen scientist involvement and open science strategies exist?
How to ensure transparency in project results and analyses?

Co-organized by EOS2/CL5/HS12/SM3
Convener: Taru SandénECSECS | Co-conveners: Lorenzo Bigagli, Daniel DörlerECSECS, Martin Hammitzsch, Florian HeiglECSECS

Rural and urban localities are under continued pressure to ensure vibrant, liveable and sustainable environments for their inhabitants. Citizen stewards are forging ahead with innovative small-scale initiatives to provide grass roots solutions for improving environmental and cultural resilience within these landscapes. Enterprises encompass everything from home gardening for providing habitat for native wildlife, to street art for improving visual urban aesthetics, to income diversification strategies for smallholder farmers. These initiatives are often undertaken with limited access to locally relevant environmental information to help guide decisions. In turn, government agencies face challenges with understanding the scale, scope and impact of such bottom-up initiatives in the absence of effective tools for collecting data. Recently, much exciting research has emerged through co-development initiatives between researchers and public contributors to improve communal accessibility to valuable and useable geographical data. Easy-to-use mobile applications have evolved which can provide environmental information to citizen participants to help them map, plan and monitor their enterprises. Such technological enterprises can also provide data to researchers and stakeholders on how the diversity of these spaces links with broader outcomes for human and ecological wellbeing. In this interdisciplinary session we invite research which showcases the value-add of public participation mobile [often geospatial in nature] applications for supporting improved biodiversity and/or cultural inclusivity. Case studies which demonstrate a transitioning towards improved functionality and viability of landscapes under the multitude of socio-ecological threats are welcomed. Likewise, we welcome research which contributes to our broader scientific understanding of sustainable practice within landscapes through using participatory mapping processes. This could also include critical perspectives on the limitations, challenges, ethical considerations and digital divides of using participatory approaches or techniques.

Co-organized by EOS4/GM12/SSS8
Convener: Natasha Pauli | Co-conveners: Eloise Biggs, Julia FöllmerECSECS, Billy Tusker HaworthECSECS

In this session, we invite contributions to explore diverse experiences with inter- and transdisciplinary research and practice, that is specifically applied in the mountain context. Taking mountains as complex social-ecological systems, they provide a concrete and spatially-defined contexts in which to explore how global change phenomena manifests and how it poses challenges and opportunities for communities and society in general.

Addressing societal concerns, and finding suitable solutions with regards to associated impacts of global change in mountains, requires and inter- and transdisciplinary (IT-TD) approach to research and practice. We invite contributions based on empirical research and/or practical experience with IT-TD, to critically reflect on these practices in the mountains context and learn from experiences that explicitly address societal grand challenges such as (but not limited to) climate change impacts and adaptation, transformations to sustainability, disaster risk reduction, or transitions to low carbon economies. We welcome contributions depicting research experiences in European mountain regions, other mountain regions around the world, as well as contributions from Early Career Researchers.

The session is led and coordinated by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) with expectations to be able to draw from this session as inputs for future research agendas and coordination of research collaborations in mountain regions, worldwide.


Co-organized by EOS4/CL4/CR7/GM7
Convener: Carolina Adler | Co-convener: Aino Kulonen

Comprehensive studies to address ocean science issues require synergistic collaboration across the globe between many subdisciplines including science, engineering, environment, society and economics. However, it is a challenge to unify these aspects under a common program or study, and as such has been recognized as a main goal of the United Nations “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)”. Consequently, this session will bring together early-career representatives from a wide range of subdisciplines to demonstrate the strength of an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach when addressing global concerns, such as the dynamic impacts of climate change, focusing on the North Atlantic region as an example.

Continuous and comprehensive data is crucial to our understanding of the ocean. Yet, developing the advanced tools and technologies required for long-term ocean monitoring is not merely an engineering problem, as the data produced by these instruments will have future environmental and socio-economic impacts. A comprehensive view of the ocean also requires an understanding of past conditions. Thus, this session will also include contributions from paleo-oceanography to link the past to the future. In this vein, we will discuss our attempts at transdisciplinary and transcultural collaboration and share what we have learned for future approaches.

We invite contributions from a wide range of enthusiasts, including those in the natural sciences (e.g. biology, physics), applied sciences (e.g. engineering and technology, business), humanities (e.g. law), and social sciences (e.g. economics, political science). We also invite contributions from educators and administrators who are interested in experimenting with novel methods of building and encouraging research within interdisciplinary and multicultural graduate school programs.

Co-organized by EOS4/CL4
Convener: Allison ChuaECSECS | Co-conveners: Jacqueline BertlichECSECS, Kriste MakareviciuteECSECS, Subhadeep RakshitECSECS

A grand challenge facing society in the coming decades is to feed the growing human population in a sustainable and healthy manner. This problem is made more complex by an increasingly globalised food system and its interactions with a changing climate. Agri-food system actors - including policy makers, corporations, farmers, and consumers - must meet this challenge while considering potentially conflicting priorities, such as environmental sustainability (e.g., minimising disturbance to ecosystems via greenhouse gas emissions and the use of water, land, fertilisers and other inputs), economic viability (e.g., revenues for food producers and guaranteed access for consumers), nutritional balance and quality (e.g., addressing overconsumption and undernourishment), and resilience to climate change.
This growing complexity of agri-food systems, which can involve global supply chains and difficult environmental and societal tradeoffs, needs to be better understood.
The type of product (e.g. plant or meat based, fresh or processed), as well as the location and method of production, can play an important role in improving the nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of global food production, to enable healthy and sustainable diets. Quantifying and assessing these multiple outcomes while accounting for the linkages, interconnections, and scales of local and global supply chains will be essential for informing decisions aimed at developing sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
This session welcomes submissions that quantify and assess a range of outcomes from agri-food systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales, and the trade-offs or synergies between them. The session will include studies providing improved methods for quantifying multiple environmental, economic or social dimensions, studies that incorporate the role of food trade into solution-development, and studies that seek to achieve multiple sustainability goals together.

Co-organized by ERE7/HS12/SSS12
Convener: Carole DalinECSECS | Co-conveners: Kyle Frankel DavisECSECS, Matti Kummu, Landon MarstonECSECS, Marta TuninettiECSECS

Since last two years, the publication of the FAO report "Soil pollution: a hidden reality” has triggered debate on contaminants reaching the human chain from the use of agrochemicals in agriculture, by-products of industrial activities, household, livestock and municipal waste (including wastewater) and petroleum products. At European level, special concerned has been recently given after the results by Silva et al. (2019) on pesticide residues found in soils. This is of special relevance due to the fact that humans may be exposed to soil contaminants in various ways like for example by ingesting or consuming plants or animals that have accumulated large amounts of these contaminants; through skin exposure when using drift contaminated spaces such as parks and gardens; or inhaling soil contaminants that have been vaporized. Humans can also be affected as a result of secondary contamination of water sources and deposition of contaminants. In some situations, the soil plays an important role as a source of contaminants in these two processes.
This session aims to attract results and opinions by scientists on soil science, chemistry, human and physical geography and hydrology, risk managers, consultants, officers and regulators on soil contamination due to agricultural practices. We welcome inter- and disciplinary studies on pesticide drift, soil contamination and food security and encourage those addressing social and community challenges.
Abstracts need to make clear in one sentence in which group of topics fall
- pesticide drift,
- soil contamination,
- food security
and to specify one or more of the following subgroups
- experimental assessment,
- data and modelling,
- mitigation and or management.
During the conference, it will be discussed the possibility of organizing a special issue under the Copernicus Editorial.

Co-organized by EOS4/HS12/NH8
Convener: Glenda Garcia-Santos | Co-conveners: Anne Alix, Virginia Aparicio, Manfred Sager, Jan van de Zande

Precision Agriculture makes towards achieving SDG2, especially considering the SDG2 focus on “small-scale" food producers. It is based on different types data collected in field by soil and weather sensors, proximal and remote sensing (e.g. UAV), producing large datasets which can help in the achievement of better farm management (sustainable agriculture). However, many times that farmers fail to act on information provided or never adopt technologies or practices with production benefits.
In this context, DSS (Decision Support Systems) can help the farmers to manage their field information and make the right choice in nutrients, irrigation and plant disease management through the integration of approaches that combine physical, chemical, biological and space–time techniques through the use of various types of knowledge, including stakeholder expertise and knowledge derived from scientific measurements and model simulations. Moreover, they are able to enabling both simple, rapid and cheap procedures and complex, cumbersome and expensive data-intensive procedures, according to the types of study and the spatial and temporal scale on which a solution is sought.
The session should be of interest to different scientific communities (e.g. soil science, remote sensing, plant science, etc…) and stakeholders (farmer, consortiums, decision maker, etc…).

Co-organized by BG2/ESSI1/GI6
Convener: Antonello Bonfante | Co-convener: Anna Brook
ITS1.15/BG3.56 | PICO

The Amazon forest is the world’s largest intact forest landscape. Due to its large biodiversity, carbon storage capacity, and role in the hydrological cycle, it is an extraordinary interdisciplinary natural laboratory of global significance. In the Amazon rain forest biome, it is possible to study atmospheric composition and processes, biogeochemical cycling and energy fluxes at the geo-, bio-, atmosphere interface under near-pristine conditions for a part of the year, and under anthropogenic disturbance of varying intensity the rest of the year. Understanding its current functioning at process up to biome level in its pristine and degraded state is elemental for predicting its response upon changing climate and land use, and the impact this will have on local up to global scale.
This session aims at bringing together scientists who investigate the functioning of the Amazon and comparable forest landscapes across spatial and temporal scales by means of remote and in-situ observational, modelling, and theoretical studies. Particularly welcome are also presentations of novel, interdisciplinary approaches and techniques that bear the potential of paving the way for a paradigm shift.

Co-organized by AS4/CL4/HS12
Convener: Jošt Valentin Lavrič | Co-conveners: Alessandro Araújo, Carlos Alberto Quesada, Matthias Sörgel

ITS2 – Anthroposphere - Geosphere Interactions


Organised by the Joint IGU-IAG Commission/Working Group on Geomorphology and Society: Past, Present, and Future, this session aims to discuss the dualism of the relationship between geomorphological processes and people, and how this has developed over time.
This session is targeted at providing a platform for scientists with common interests in geomorphology and, in particular, the complex and integrated nature of the relationship between landforms, geomorphological processes and societies. As such, we are inviting contributions that focus on the two-way interactions between geomorphological processes/landforms and human activity. These should show how the various factors of the physical environment interact with the anthroposphere, and, in turn, how population and individuals may affect (and change) these factors. As a corollary, contributions may center on interrelationships between man and the landscape, or human-landscape relations, with mutual interaction.
In this context, topics of different fields may be addressed in the session such as landform evolution, landscape sensitivity and resilience in the overall context of the interrelation between geomorphology and society, geohazards, geoheritage and conservation, geomorphological responses to (and evidence for) environmental change, and applied geomorphology.
Possible key concepts may include the concept of space and the concept of time, which involves the paradigms of dynamical systems, nonlinearities, chaotic behaviour and even panarchy in geomorphological and social systems, including cultural landscapes and landscape conservation and heritage. Moreover, issues of scale and hierarchies may be addressed, and methods and applications of dynamic rather than equilibrium ideas and metaphors.
Contributions should provide new insights how to conceptualize, analyse, model and/or interpret such two-way interactions between geomorphological processes/landforms and human activity in the past, present or future. While case studies are welcome to underpin the overall string of arguments, they should be framed by and embedded in methodological approaches and concepts to enable transferability and further scientific discussion.

Co-organized by CL1/NH9/SSP1
Convener: Margreth Keiler | Co-conveners: Sanja Faivre, Sven Fuchs

Documenting the diversity of human responses and adaptations to climate, landscapes, ecosystems, natural disasters and the changing natural resources availability in different regions of our planet, cross-disciplinary studies in Geoarchaeology provide valuable opportunities to learn from the past. Furthermore, human activity became a major player of global climatic and environmental change in the course of the late Quaternary, during the Anthropocene. Consequently, we must better understand the archaeological records and landscapes in context of human culture and the hydroclimate-environment nexus at different spatial and temporal scales. This session seeks related interdisciplinary papers and specific geoarchaeological case-studies that deploy various approaches and tools to address the reconstruction of former human-environmental interactions from the Palaeolithic period through the modern. Topics related to records of the Anthropocene from Earth and archaeological science perspectives are welcome. Furthermore, contributions may include (but are not limited to) insights about how people have coped with environmental disasters or abrupt changes in the past; defining sustainability thresholds for farming or resource exploitation; distinguishing the baseline natural and human contributions to environmental changes. Ultimately, we would like to understand how strategies of human resilience and innovation can inform our modern strategies for addressing the challenges of the emerging Anthropocene, a time frame dominated by human modulation of surface geomorphological processes and hydroclimate.

Co-organized by BG3/CL4/NH8/SSP1/SSS3
Convener: Julia MeisterECSECS | Co-conveners: André Kirchner, Guido Stefano MarianiECSECS, Kathleen Nicoll, Hans von Suchodoletz

The Ancient Silk Road was one of the most important passages for trans-Eurasia exchange and human migration, which witnessed the rise and fall of ancient civilizations in Central Eurasia. In the central part of the Ancient Silk Road, where the climate condition is extremely dry and the ecosystem is very fragile. The climate and environment changes, especially the water resources change in this area, can significantly influence the spatio-temporal distribution of Ancient Silk Road network, the trans-Eurasia exchange and human migration along the Ancient Silk Road, and the civilization evolution of these ancient cities and towns among the Ancient Silk Road network. This session aims to explore the history of trans-Eurasia exchange, human migration, Ancient Silk Road network spatial change, civilization evolution and climate and environment change, as well as relationship among them in the areas along the Ancient Silk Road. We welcome presentations concerning these issues from multi-disciplinary perspectives, to promote the advancements of research in the field.

Co-organized by GM10/SSP1
Convener: Juzhi Hou | Co-conveners: Jianhui Chen, Guanghui Dong, Haichao XieECSECS, Xiaoyan Yang

This session provides a platform for cross-disciplinary science that addresses the continuum of the river and its catchment to the coastal sea. We invite studies across geographical borders; from the source to the sea including groundwater, and across the freshwater-marine water transition. The session welcomes studies that link environmental and social science, address the impacts of climate change and extreme events, and of human activities on water and sediment quality and quantity, hydromorphology, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services of River-Sea systems, and that provide solutions for sustainable management of the River-Sea social-ecological system.
We need to fully understand how River-Sea-Systems function. How are River-Sea-Systems changing due to human pressures? What is the impact of processes in the catchment on marine systems function, and vice versa? How can we discern between human-induced changes or those driven by natural processes from climate-induced variability? What will the tipping points of socio-ecologic system states be and what will they look like? How can we better characterise river-sea systems from the latest generation Earth observation to citizen science based observatories. How can we predict short and long term changes in River-Sea-Systems to manage them sustainably? What is the limit to which it is possible to predict the natural and human-influenced evolution of River-Sea-Systems? The increasing demand to jointly enable intensive human use and environmental protection in river-sea systems requires holistic and integrative research approaches with the ultimate goal of enhanced system understanding.

Co-organized by BG4/GM6/NH5/OS2/SSP3, co-sponsored by IAS
Convener: Jana Friedrich | Co-conveners: Debora Bellafiore, Andrea D'Alpaos, Panagiotis Michalopoulos, David Todd

The world’s big rivers and their floodplains were central to development of civilization and are now home to 3 billion people. These river systems harbour some of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems, and are hot spots of resources, agriculture, trade and energy production. While it is clear that large rivers and their floodplains are precious resources, a number of anthropogenic stressors, including large-scale damming, hydrological change, pollution, introduction of non-native species and sediment mining, are posing a sustainability crisis. The scale of the challenge is so great that large-scale, and potentially irreparable, transformations may ensue in periods of years to decades, with ecosystem collapse being possible in some systems. Prioritizing the fate of the world’s great river corridors is imperative. This session will provide a platform for cross-disciplinary science to identify and address this challenge. We invite presentations on topics that identify the causes and drivers of changes to the hydrology, geomorphology and ecology of large river systems, as well as studies that present options for future sustainable management that recognise the particular characteristics and challenges of large rivers. We therefore encourage submissions from across the globe, and especially studies that integrate social and geophysical sciences.

Co-organized by BG4/HS12/NH8
Convener: Stephen Darby | Co-conveners: Jim Best, Frances DunnECSECS

Microplastics are recognised to be one of the most prolific and widespread environmental contaminants today, found worldwide across all environmental compartments. Despite growing research in this field, we still have insufficient understanding of the factors influencing the distribution of microplastics in the environment. It is known that the shape, size and polymer type will significantly influence particle behaviour within water. However, importantly, there are many processes that will further influence the degradation and transformation of microplastics throughout aquatic systems. Physical processes will facilitate the horizontal and vertical transport of microplastics within the water, for example flooding, tides, currents, upwelling and downwelling. Additionally, ecological interactions can significantly influence the behaviour and fate of microplastics, for example by changing their density and physical characteristics as a result of incorporation into faecal pellets, organic aggregate formation and biofilm development.
This session specifically aims to investigate the processes that influence the behaviour, fate and flux of microplastics in freshwater and marine systems. Presentations will cover, for example, biofilms, organic or inorganic aggregate formation, ingestion and egestion of microplastics by aquatic organisms, biodegradable plastics, physical transport processes and process-based models.

Co-organized by OS4
Convener: Alice HortonECSECS | Co-conveners: Simon Dixon, Imogen Napper, Manousos Valyrakis, Jörg-Olaf Wolff

Plastic pollution in river systems is a widely recognized global problem with severe environmental risks. Besides the direct negative effects on river ecosystems, riverine plastic pollution is also considered the dominant source of plastic input into the oceans. However, research on plastic pollution has only recently expanded from the marine environment to riverine systems, and therefore data and knowledge from field studies are still limited in regard to fresh waters. This knowledge gap must be addressed to understand the dispersal and distribution of plastics and their fate in the oceans, as well as forming effective mitigation measures.

In this session, we explore the current state of knowledge and activities on (macro to micro) plastic in river systems, including aspects such as:

• River plastic monitoring techniques;
• Case studies;
• Source to sink investigations;
• Transport processes of plastics in watersheds;
• Novel measurement approaches, such as citizen science or remote sensing;
• Modelling approaches for local and/or global river output estimations;
• Legislative/regulatory efforts, such as monitoring programs and measures against plastic pollution in river systems.

Co-organized by BG4/GI6/NH8
Convener: Tim van EmmerikECSECS | Co-conveners: Daniel González-Fernández, Merel KooiECSECS, Freija MendrikECSECS, Friederike Stock

Plastic contamination has been reported in all realms of the environment from the tropics to the polar oceans. Our poor knowledge of plastics sources, pathways and hot spots of accumulation prevents an assessment of risks to ecosystems and human health and the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. In order to understand current distributions of plastics and the way they evolve in space and time, much better observations and common consistent measuring methods are required but simultaneously, observations must be systematically combined with computational models
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 pollutions impacts. The session will provide a platform for discussions to advise policy and industry on the best ways to assess potential harm to the environment and human health from this contaminant.
This session will draw together research on plastic contamination across all sizes of plastics from shelf seas to the deep ocean including ice covered seas. The forum will facilitate combining observations with state-of-the-art computational modelling to promote the fast advance of research and improve our understanding of how plastic pollution affects environments worldwide. We invite contributions on field and remote observations, laboratory experiments, novel modelling approaches, related scientific initiatives and projects. New ideas for citizen-science involvement and for mitigation strategies to reduce plastic contamination of the environment are especially welcome.

Co-organized by BG4
Convener: Stefanie RyndersECSECS | Co-conveners: Yevgeny Aksenov, H.G. Orr, Ilka Peeken, Anna Rubio

There is no doubt that among many anthropogenic environmental stresses that are threatening the future of life on our planet, plastic pollution is one of the topics on top of the list. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been an accelerating trend in the research concerning the detection of microplastics and their negative impacts on the aquatic ecosystems and marine environments. However, studies concerning the role of plastics in polluting the terrestrial ecosystems, soils and plants are limited and numerous questions still need to be addressed.
The aim of this session is to bring together contributions on novel measurement techniques or analytical approaches to observe, detect or quantify plastics in soil-plant systems in any observational or process scales. Any studies highlighting how nano and microplastics accumulate or are transported in soil, contaminate groundwater, change chemical properties of the soil, affect soil biota or is adsorbed by plants roots are welcome. Presentations addressing how microplastics alter the rhizosphere condition by affecting the biological, chemical and physical properties of the soil are appreciated. One main purpose of this session is to gather researchers from the related disciplines to exchange experiences and finding innovative solutions for the current unknown problems and highlight the future research needs of the potential impacts of microplastics on soils and plants.

Co-organized by HS12
Convener: Mahyar NaseriECSECS | Co-conveners: Christina Bogner, Andrea Carminati, Wolfgang Durner

Last year sessions ITS6.1-3 on urban geosciences have largely confirmed the urgency to develop inter-/trans-disciplinary approaches of urban geosciences to respond to the huge societal demand to radically improve urban systems and their interactions with their environment and climate. The session ITS.6.1 focussed on the need to develop holistic approaches going beyond specialised domains such as urban meteorology, hydrology, climatology, ecology and resilience to grasp the urban-geophysical systems in their multi-component and multiscale complexity. This in particular indispensable to resolve long lasting questions like multi-hazard threats and upscaling of climate solutions. The recent IPCC report 1.5°C confirms the necessity to fully take into account the multi-component complexity of the urban-geophysical systems to achieve the urban and infrastructure transition, one of the main four system transitions to be achieved

The present session calls therefore for contributions on the development transdisciplinary concepts, methodologies and tools, as well as their applications to urban-geophysical systems in view of this transition. Jean Jouzel (former IPCC vice-president) will open this session.

Co-organized by CL3/ERE7/HS12, co-sponsored by AGU and JpGU
Convener: Daniel Schertzer | Co-conveners: Matthias Demuzere, Klaus Fraedrich, Gabriele ManoliECSECS, Stefano Tinti

The continuous increase of world’s cities sprawl, in a context of global change, makes it urgent to promote the sustainability of these areas. But an integrated and systemic approach is required to face with simultaneous environmental, economic and social challenges. The concept of critical zone offers an adapted framework to develop integrated approach, but it needs to be adapted to the specificities of the zones where humans live and work. The critical zone is defined initially as the thin and heterogeneous and near surface environment in which occur interactions involving rock, soil, water, air, and terrestrial ecosystems. In urban areas, the critical zone is strongly transformed by the infrastructure, facilities and buildings, and impacted by human activities and usages which heavily affect the fluxes and balances of water, energy, and chemicals including pollutants….In this session, we will address the question of the biophysical processes specificities of the urban critical zone that interact with anthropic processes controlled by human activities and stakeholders. Most of the urban geophysical processes are studied are very local and small levels, it is necessary to produce interdisciplinary knowledge are more global scales.
We invite contributions of experience on urban critical zones including observations, measurements of fluxes, description of biogeochemical, physical and human resilience processes and development of models to respond to these crosscutting issues. Proposals coming from diverse urban contexts (size, growth patterns, geographical, social) at different spatial and temporal scales will be appreciated. We aim at forstering interdisciplinary dialogue to make the Urban Critical Zone a unifying concept.

Co-organized by HS12/SSS12
Convener: Beatrice Bechet | Co-conveners: Herve Andrieu, Cécile Delolme, Aawatif Hayar, Arjan Von Timmeren

In an urbanizing world with major land-use changes, both human (social and economic) and natural systems and their environmental challenges and constraints need to be considered in order to achieve sustainable urban development. Nature‐based solutions (NBS) in urban areas can make anthropogenic landscapes more ecosystem-compatible, enhancing ecosystem services, preserving biodiversity, mitigating land degradation, and increasing urban resilience to environmental changes. Maintaining and restoring ecosystems and green–blue areas within urban regions is important for a) increasing the well‐being of urban populations, b) providing multifunctional services, such as storm water mitigation and local climate regulation, c) improving energy efficiency of buildings, and d) mitigating carbon emissions. Implementing NBS in urban areas is of growing importance worldwide, and particularly in the EU political agenda, as a way to attain some of the Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. Sustainable cities and communities), and to reinforce the New Urban Agenda. Implementing efficient NBS in urban landscapes requires integrated and interdisciplinary approaches.

This session aims to enhance the scientific basis for sustainable urban development and resilience and advance knowledge of innovative nature-based approaches to face environmental changes (e.g. in land use and climate) and simultaneously provide better understanding of associated social-ecological interactions. This session seeks to:

• Better understanding of advantages and disadvantages of NBS in Urban environments;
• New methods and tools to investigate the role of NBS in the context of environmental change, in particular the effectiveness of NBS in enhancing urban resilience;
• New insights and perspectives of NBS, particularly their role in providing urban ecosystem services, such as storm water regulation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
• Identifying opportunities for and barriers to implement NBS, driven by current regulatory frameworks and management practices - and how the former can be reaped and the latter overcome;
• Presenting overviews and case studies of NBS projects that also involve the private sector and market-based mechanisms;
• Interactions between NBS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
• Approaches for integrating actors involved in landscape design and urban planning.

Co-organized by BG2/CL3/NH8
Convener: Zahra KalantariECSECS | Co-conveners: Carla FerreiraECSECS, Haozhi PanECSECS, Omid RahmatiECSECS, Johanna SörensenECSECS

Volcanic eruptions are a major natural driver of climate variability at interannual to multidecadal time scales. Assessment of volcanically-forced climate variability is complicated by many limiting factors, including the paucity of observed eruptions, uncertainties associated with volcanological forcing datasets for the current and pre-instrumental periods, limitations of proxy-based climate evidence, uncertainties of global aerosol model simulations and the apparent large inconsistencies in the responses to volcanic forcing simulated by current climate models.

This session aims to highlight new results from integrative research on the climatic response to volcanic eruptions of Pinatubo-magnitude and larger, with a special focus on studies conducted under the umbrella of the CMIP6, in particular the VolMIP activity. This session invites contributions that explore the responses of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system to volcanic forcing, from the characterization of past volcanically-forced climate variability, particularly during the Common Era, and on the identification of dominant mechanisms of interannual-to-interdecadal volcanically-forced variability by means of observations, climate reconstruction studies as well as modeling approaches.

This session also welcomes presentations contributing to current international SPARC-SSiRC and PAGES-VICS activities from research aimed at better understanding the stratospheric aerosol layer, its volcanic perturbations and impacts on historical and modern societies. We further invite observational and modelling studies of the 2019 Raikoke aerosol cloud, from recent field campaigns and contributions on the potential role of volcanic eruptions on future climate variability and predictability.

Co-organized by CL4/GMPV10
Convener: Myriam Khodri | Co-conveners: Claudia Timmreck, Davide Zanchettin, Graham Mann, Matthew Toohey

Volcanoes release gas effluents and aerosol particles into the atmosphere during eruptive episodes and by quiescent emissions. Volcanic degassing exerts a dominant role in forcing the timing and nature of volcanic unrest and eruptions. Understanding the exsolution processes of gas species dissolved in magma, and measuring their emissions is crucial to characterise eruptive mechanism and evaluate the sub-sequent impacts on the atmospheric composition, the environment and the biosphere. Emissions range from silent exhalation through soils to astonishing eruptive clouds that release gas and particles effluents into the atmosphere, potentially exerting a strong impact on the Earth’s radiation budget and climate over a range of temporal and spatial scales. Through direct exposure and indirect effects, volcanic emissions may influence local-to-regional air quality, seriously affect the biosphere and environment, and the release of gas from soil may pose long-term health hazards. Gas emissions are measured and monitored via a range of in-situ and remote sensing techniques, to gain insights into both the subterranean-surface processes and quantify the extent of their impacts. In addition, modelling of the subsurface and atmospheric processes, as well as laboratory experiments, are fundamental to the interpretation of the field-based and satellite observations. This session focuses on the state of the art and interdisciplinary science concerning all aspects of volcanic degassing and impacts of relevance to the Volcanology, Environmental, Atmospheric and Climate sciences (including regional climate), and Hazard assessment. We invite contribution on all aspects of volcanic plumes science, their observation, modelling and impacts.

Co-organized by AS5/BG2/CL2/NH2
Convener: Pasquale Sellitto | Co-conveners: Evgenia IlyinskayaECSECS, Emily Mason, Tjarda Roberts, Giuseppe G. Salerno

This session is linked to the Pan-Eurasian EXperiment (PEEX; www.atm.helsinki.fi/peex), which is a multi-disciplinary, multi-scale and multi-component climate change, air quality, environment and research infrastructure and capacity building programme. It is aimed at resolving major uncertainties in Earth system science and global sustainability issues concerning Arctic, boreal Pan-Eurasian regions and China. PEEX solves interlinked grand challenges influencing human well-being and societies in the regions, by establishing and maintaining long-term, coherent and coordinated research activities as well as continuous, comprehensive research and educational infrastructures.
This session scope and aims to bring together researchers and users interested to (i) understand the Earth system and influence of environmental and other changes in pristine and industrialized Pan-Eurasian environments (system understanding); (ii) determine relevant environmental, climatic, and other processes in the Arctic-boreal regions (process understanding); (iii) maintain long-term, continuous and comprehensive ground-based, air/seaborne research infrastructures together with satellite data (observation component); (iv) develop new datasets and archives with continuous, comprehensive data flows in a joint manner (data component); (v) implement validated and harmonized data products in models of appropriate spatial and temporal scales and topical focus (modeling component); (vi) evaluate impact on society though assessment, scenarios, services, innovations and new technologies (society component).

List of topics:
 Ground-based and satellite observations and datasets for atmospheric composition in Northern Eurasia and China;
 Impacts on environment and ecosystems as well as on human health due to atmospheric transport, dispersion, deposition and chemical transformations of air pollutants in the Arctic-boreal regions;
 New approaches and methods on measurements and modelling in Arctic conditions;
 Improvements in natural and anthropogenic emission inventories for Arctic-boreal regions;
 Atmospheric physical and chemical processes in a northern context;
 Aerosol formation and growth, aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, radiative forcing and feedbacks in Arctic, Siberia, China;
 Short lived pollutants and climate forcers, permafrost, forest fires effects;
 Carbon dioxide and methane, ecosystem carbon cycle;
 Socio-economical changes in the Northern Eurasia and China regions.

Co-organized by AS4/CL2/CR7/GI6
Convener: Markku Kulmala | Co-conveners: Alexander Baklanov, Hanna Lappalainen, Sergej Zilitinkevich

High-impact climate and weather events typically result from the interaction of multiple hazards across various spatial and temporal scales. These events, also known as Compound Events, often cause more severe socio-economic impacts than single-hazard events, rendering traditional univariate extreme event analyses and risk assessment techniques insufficient. It is therefore crucial to develop new methodologies that account for the possible interaction of multiple physical drivers when analysing high-impact events. Such an endeavour requires (i) a deeper understanding of the interplay of mechanisms causing Compound Events and (ii) an evaluation of the performance of climate/weather, statistical and impact models in representing Compound Events.

The European COST Action DAMOCLES coordinates these efforts by building a research network consisting of climate scientists, impact modellers, statisticians, and stakeholders. This session creates a platform for this network and acts as an introduction of the work related to DAMOCLES to the research community.

We invite papers studying all aspects of Compound Events, which might relate to (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Synthesis and Analysis: What are common features for different classes of Compound Events? Which climate variables need to be assessed jointly in order to address related impacts? How much is currently known about the dependence between these variables?
Stakeholders and science-user interface: Which events are most relevant for stakeholders? What are novel approaches to ensure continuous stakeholder engagement?
Impacts: What are the currently available sources of impact data? How can they be used to link observed impacts to climate and weather events?
Statistical approaches, model development and evaluation: What are possible novel statistical models that could be applied in the assessment of Compound Events?
Realistic model simulations of events: What are the physical mechanisms behind different types of Compound Events? What type of interactions result in the joint impact of the hazards that are involved in the event? How do these interactions influence risk assessment analyses?

Co-organized by AS1/CL2/HS12/NP2
Convener: Jakob ZscheischlerECSECS | Co-conveners: Nina Nadine RidderECSECS, Bart van den Hurk, Philip Ward, Seth Westra

Human interaction with the environment has gone through several stages of evolution. Being a product of the natural evolution of living organisms in the biosphere, Homo sapiens as a species has evolved in the geochemical conditions of the virgin biosphere. The rapid development of intellectual abilities of this genus allowed, first, to survive in adverse environmental conditions around the whole world, then, to cultivate the land, transform the entire system of biocenoses, and now to create a new habitat for man exclusively. The result was a significant geochemical transformation of the virgin biosphere, but a kind of punishment for the achieved progress was the emergence of a number of endemic diseases of a geochemical nature. Nowadays a variety of anthropogenic sources of pollution and their location in various natural geochemical conditions require not only constant monitoring of the chemical state of soil, water, air and food products, but also the development of spatially differentiated approaches to assessing the risk of provoked diseases. To solve this problem it is necessary concertedly interpreting a geochemical and medical information in order to assess the risks to human health associated with modern natural and anthropogenic geochemical features in urban and rural habitats. During session we propose to discuss:
1) global trends of health transformation in new geochemical environment of modern noosphere;
2) criteria for determining pollution level depending on environmental and geochemical constrains;
3) new approaches to assess the risk of diseases of geochemical nature in different countries;
4) the problem of mapping the risk zones, related to negative medical effects due to deficiency or excess of certain chemical elements or compounds.
Session co-sponsored by the European Association of Geochemistry.

Co-organized by EOS4/AS4/BG2/GM12/GMPV10/HS13/NH9, co-sponsored by EAG
Convener: Elena Korobova | Co-conveners: Maria Manuela Abreu, Jaume Bech, Liudmila KolmykovaECSECS, Michael J. Watts

ITS3 – Tipping points, thresholds and resonance


Several subsystems of the Earth system have been suggested to react abruptly at critical levels of anthropogenic forcing. Well-known examples of such Tipping Elements include the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the polar ice sheets and sea ice, tropical and boreal forests, as well as the Asian monsoon systems. Interactions between the different Tipping Elements may either have stabilizing or destabilizing effects on the other subsystems, potentially leading to cascades of abrupt transitions. The critical forcing levels at which abrupt transitions occur have recently been associated with Tipping Points.

It is paramount to determine the critical forcing levels (and the associated uncertainties) beyond which the systems in question will abruptly change their state, with potentially devastating climatic, ecological, and societal impacts. For this purpose, we need to substantially enhance our understanding of the dynamics of the Tipping Elements and their interactions, on the basis of paleoclimatic evidence, present-day observations, and models spanning the entire hierarchy of complexity. Moreover, to be able to mitigate - or prepare for - potential future transitions, early warning signals have to be identified and monitored in both observations and models.

This interdisciplinary session invites contributions that address Tipping Points in the Earth system from the different perspectives of all relevant disciplines, including

- the mathematical theory of abrupt transitions in (random) dynamical systems,
- paleoclimatic studies of past abrupt transitions,
- data-driven and process-based modelling of past and future transitions,
- early-warning signals
- the implications of abrupt transitions for Climate sensitivity and response,
- ecological and societal impacts, as well as
- decision theory in the presence of uncertain Tipping Point estimates

Co-organized by CL4/CR7/OS1
Convener: Niklas BoersECSECS | Co-conveners: Peter Ditlevsen, Timothy Lenton , Anna von der Heydt, Ricarda Winkelmann

Extreme climate and weather events, associated disasters and emergent risks are becoming increasingly critical in the context of global environmental change. They are a potential major threat to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and one of the most pressing challenges for future human well-being.
This session explores the linkages between extreme climate and weather events, associated disasters, societal dynamics and resilience.
Emphasis is laid on 1) Which impacts are caused by extreme climate events (including risks emerging from compound events) and cascades of impacts on various aspects of ecosystems and societies? 2) Which feedbacks across ecosystems, infrastructures and societies exist? 3) What are key obstacles towards societal resilience and reaching the SDGs, while facing climate extremes? 4) What can we learn from past experiences? 5) What local to global governance arrangements best support equitable and sustainable risk reduction?
We welcome empirical, theoretical and modelling studies from local to global scale from the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and related disciplines.

Co-organized by BG1/CL2/NP8, co-sponsored by Future Earth
Convener: Markus Reichstein | Co-conveners: Dorothea Frank, Felix Riede, Jana Sillmann

The dynamics of heatwaves, infectious disease outbreak, famine, and wildfires are associated in a complex way with extreme climatic conditions. In the classical view of extremes, when a climatic variable (e.g. temperature or rainfall) exceeds a certain threshold, the system fails and disaster strikes. Under these conditions, the probability of a disaster happening at a certain time is disconnected from the system state, which in turn has no memory of the past climatic forcing. In reality, complex systems dynamically evolve in response to climate, and the state history modulates their response to climatic extremes.
Legacy effects of climate forcing are typical in systems with living organisms. For example, the sustainability of agroecosystems is dependent on water availability which is modulated by climatic and hydrologic variables (e.g. rainfall, temperature, or soil moisture), and the response of these systems to climatic extremes depends on their trajectory of growth. Similarly, the occurrence of wildfires due to heatwaves depends on vegetation density, and in the context of human health, the outbreak of vector-borne diseases after flood/drought events depends on the prior vector population.
The aim of this session is to share and discuss new findings in coupled climatological and ecological dynamical systems with memory in response to extreme climatic events. This session targets a range of hazards across disciplines from hydrology to agriculture, health, and economics, and welcomes theoretical, modeling, and data-driven approaches.

Co-organized by HS12/NH10/NP2
Convener: Milad Hooshyar | Co-conveners: Rachel Baker, Caroline Wagner, Wenchang Yang

In recent years, parallel developments in disciplines such as Geomorphology, Ecology, Neuroscience, Social Science and Systems Biology have focused on connectivity. Connectivity is a transformative concept in understanding complex systems, allowing unprecedented analysis of how such systems behave in terms of scaling, catastrophic/phase transitions, critical nodes, emergence and self-organization. In this session, we seek contributions where theoretical and practical advances in connectivity is being made within the physical sciences. Examples include learning from other disciplines, for instance by exploring the relations and dynamics between structural and functional connectivity and their wider application, and how to generate abstractions of specific systems so that connectivity tools can be employed. Contributions may focus on (i) Developing the theoretical underpinning of connectivity science for applications in complex systems; (ii) Developing methods and approaches in connectivity science that can be applied across disciplines; (iii) Exploring applications of connectivity science to understand, adapt to and manage complex systems and address real-world challenges in the physical sciences.

Co-organized by NP8/SSS12
Convener: Laura Turnbull | Co-conveners: Thomas Hein, Rebecca Hodge, Tony Parsons, Ronald PöpplECSECS

Earth system resilience critically depends on the nonlinear interplay of positive and negative feedbacks of biophysical processes. Earth system science has established a robust understanding of dynamics in the carbon cycle, large-scale ecosystems, atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere. Recent developments in policy, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate, and also in cross-discipline scientific debate about entering the Anthropocene have recognised the need for better understanding and characterization of the resilience of the Earth system to planetary-scale human impacts.

Maintaining Earth in the Holocene-like conditions that have enabled the development of the world’s societies will require better understanding of tipping dynamics in both the human world and the biophysical Earth. Societies will need to embark on rapid global-scale socio-economic transformations, to reduce the risk of crossing tipping points in the Earth system, potentially triggering cascading changes at multiple temporal and spatial scales.

Earth resilience brings the complex dynamics and perturbations associated with human activities into Earth system analysis, and increasingly captures socio-economic as well as biophysical dynamics. In this session we invite contributions on all topics relating to Earth resilience, such as assessing the biophysical and social determinants of the Earth’s long-term stability, modelling and analysis of nonlinearity, feedback processes, tipping points and abrupt shifts in the Earth system, and the potential for rapid social transformations to global sustainability.

Co-organized by BG1/CR7/NP8/OS1
Convener: David Armstrong McKayECSECS | Co-conveners: Sarah Cornell, Jonathan Donges, James Dyke, Ricarda Winkelmann

ITS4 – Big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the Geosciences


This session aims to bring together researchers working with big data sets generated from monitoring networks, extensive observational campaigns and detailed modeling efforts across various fields of geosciences. Topics of this session will include the identification and handling of specific problems arising from the need to analyze such large-scale data sets, together with methodological approaches towards semi or fully automated inference of relevant patterns in time and space aided by computer science-inspired techniques. Among others, this session shall address approaches from the following fields:
• Dimensionality and complexity of big data sets
• Data mining in Earth sciences
• Machine learning, deep learning and Artificial Intelligence applications in geosciences
• Visualization and visual analytics of big and high-dimensional data
• Informatics and data science
• Emerging big data paradigms, such as datacubes

Co-organized by AS5/CL5/ESSI2/G6/GD10/HS3/SM1
Convener: Mikhail Kanevski | Co-conveners: Peter Baumann, Sandro Fiore, Kwo-sen Kuo, Nicolas Younan

All areas in the Earth sciences face the same problem of dealing with larger and more complex data sets that need to be analyzed, visualized and understood. Depending on the application domain and the specific scientific questions to be solved, different visualization strategies and techniques have to be applied. Yet, how we communicate those complex data sets, and the effect that visualization strategies and choices have on different (expert and non-expert) audiences as well as decision-makers remains an under-researched area of interest. For this "PICO only" session, we not only invite submissions that demonstrate how to create effective and efficient visualizations for complex and large earth science data sets but also those that discuss possibilities and challenges we face in the communication and tailoring of such complex data to different users/ audiences. Submissions are encouraged from all geoscientific areas that either show best practices or state of the art in earth science data visualization or demonstrate efficient techniques that allow an intuitive interaction with large data sets. In addition, we would like to encourage studies that integrate thematic and methodological insights from fields such as for example risk communication more effectively into the visualization of complex data. Presentations will be given as PICO (Presenting Interactive COntent) on large interactive touch screens. This session is supported by ESiWACE2. ESiWACE2 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 823988.

Co-organized by EOS7/CL5/GD10/GM2
Convener: Niklas Röber | Co-conveners: Michael Böttinger, Joseph Daron, Susanne Lorenz

There are many ways in which machine learning promises to provide insight into the Earth System, and this area of research is developing at a breathtaking pace. If unsupervised, supervised as well as reinforcement learning can hold this promise remains an open question, particularly for predictions. Machine learning could help extract information from numerous Earth System data, such as satellite observations, as well as improve model fidelity through novel parameterisations or speed-ups. This session invites submissions spanning modelling and observational approaches towards providing an overview of the state-of-the-art of the application of these novel methods.

Co-organized by BG2/CL5/ESSI2/NP4
Convener: Julien Brajard | Co-conveners: Peter Düben, Redouane LguensatECSECS, Francine SchevenhovenECSECS, Maike SonnewaldECSECS

The Earth and its climate form a complex system. In the last few years, research in machine learning has created new techniques for the analysis of high-dimensional non-linear systems. Many of these new techniques could improve our ability to understand and predict the Earth.

In this session, we aim to connect researchers from machine learning (ML) and computational geoscience to identify opportunities that advance the state-of-the-art in Earth and climate modeling. We invite participants to discuss (1) cutting-edge machine learning advances that are relevant to Earth and climate science problems, such as advances in the modeling and simulation of non-linear systems with generative adversarial networks; new tools for interpretable ML; or methods for placing physical constraints on ML models; (2) creative new applications of reinforcement learning techniques to Earth and climate science problems; and (3) geoscience problems that reveal needs for new research in machine learning, e.g. extreme event problems involving skewed or poorly-labeled datasets.

Co-organized by CR2/ESSI2/HS12/NP4/OS4
Convener: Kelly KochanskiECSECS | Co-convener: Karthik MukkavilliECSECS

Environmental systems often span spatial and temporal scales covering different orders of magnitude. The session is oriented in collecting studies relevant to understand multiscale aspects of these systems and in proposing adequate multi-platform and inter-disciplinary surveillance networks monitoring tools systems. It is especially aimed to emphasize the interaction between environmental processes occurring at different scales. In particular, a special attention is devoted to the studies focused on the development of new techniques and integrated instrumentation for multiscale monitoring high natural risk areas, such as: volcanic, seismic, energy exploitation, slope instability, floods, coastal instability, climate changes and other environmental context.
We expect contributions derived from several disciplines, such as applied geophysics, geology, seismology, geodesy, geochemistry, remote and proximal sensing, volcanology, geotechnical, soil science, marine geology, oceanography, climatology and meteorology. In this context, the contributions in analytical and numerical modeling of geological and environmental processes are also expected.
Finally, we stress that the inter-disciplinary studies that highlight the multiscale properties of natural processes analyzed and monitored by using several methodologies are welcome.

Co-organized by AS4/CL2/GM2/GMPV9/NH8/NP3/OS4/SM5/SSS10
Convener: Pietro Tizzani | Co-conveners: Francesca Bianco, Antonello Bonfante, Raffaele Castaldo, Nemesio M. Pérez
ITS4.6/NH6.7 | PICO

Smart monitoring and observing system for natural hazards, including satellites, global networks, unmanned vehicles (e.g., UAV), and other linked devices, have become increasingly abundant. We keep restlessly observing and monitoring different natural hazards processes happen on the earth (e.g., landslide, debris flows, earthquake, flood, storm, tsunami, and many others). This diversity of systems and methods gives natural hazards scientists unprecedented amounts of data before, during, and after events. In parallel, new data science and machine learning techniques are constantly being developed that allow us to mine these large datasets. Such data and methods not only bring a better understanding of the processes that govern the natural hazards processes, and allow monitoring of natural hazards, but also results in a better understanding of how hazard impacts can compound and cause cascading consequences. Hence, data science and machine learning methods are dramatically changing natural hazard science. We invite abstracts from all aspects of natural-hazards research applying data science and machine learning to understand natural hazard events and hazards over both different time and spatial scale.

Co-organized by ESSI2/GI2/GM2/HS12/NP4/SM1
Convener: Hui TangECSECS | Co-conveners: Jean Braun, Kejie ChenECSECS, Stephanie OlenECSECS, Jens Turowski

The past few years have seen an increase in the application of machine learning methods for geophysical data analysis. This is due to the increased adoption and visibility of freely available and easy-to-use machine learning toolkits, faster computation, reduced cost of data storage, and the very large sets of continuous geophysical and laboratory experimental data. The combination of these factors means that now is the time to consider machine learning as one of the key tools in both improving routine data processing and better understanding the underlying solid-earth processes.

In this session, we welcome machine-learning focused presentations covering topics such as seismic waveform processing, earthquake cataloging, earthquake classification, earthquake cycle behavior from numerical and laboratory experiments, computer vision approaches to tectonic and volcanic monitoring, and geodynamic modelling. We also welcome abstracts from related geophysical fields that use similar data, such as from near surface processes and geophysical hazards (e.g. rockslides, avalanches, etc.).

Co-organized by ESSI2/GD10/GM2/GMPV1/NP4/TS10
Convener: Jonathan BedfordECSECS | Co-conveners: Fabio CorbiECSECS, Leonard SeydouxECSECS

Data science, analytics and visualization technologies and methods emerge as significant capabilities for extracting insight from the ever growing volume and complexity of scientific data. The rapid advancement of these capabilities no doubt helps address a number of challenges and present new opportunities in improving Earth and Space science data usability. This session will highlight and discuss the novelty and strength of these emerging fields and technologies of these components, and their trends. We invite papers and presentations to examine and share the experience of:
- What benefits they offer to Earth and Space Science
- What science research challenges they address
- How they help transform science data into information and knowledge
- In what ways they can advance scientific research
- What lessons were learned in the development and infusion of these methods and technologies

Co-organized by GD10/GI2/PS6/ST4
Convener: Emily Law | Co-conveners: Simon Baillarin, Thomas Huang

Most of the processes studied by geoscientists are characterized by variations in both space and time. These spatio-temporal phenomena have been traditionally investigated using linear statistical approaches, as in the case of physically-based models and geostatistical models. Additionally, the rising attention toward machine learning, as well as the rapid growth of computational resources, opens new horizons in understanding, modelling and forecasting complex spatio-temporal systems through the use of stochastics non-linear models.
This session aims at exploring the new challenges and opportunities opened by the spread of data-driven statistical learning approaches in Earth and Soil Sciences. We invite cutting-edge contributions related to methods of spatio-temporal geostatistics or data mining on topics that include, but are not limited to:
- advances in spatio-temporal modeling using geostatistics and machine learning;
- uncertainty quantification and representation;
- innovative techniques of knowledge extraction based on clustering, pattern recognition and, more generally, data mining.
The main applications will be closely related to the research in environmental sciences and quantitative geography. A non-complete list of possible applications includes:
- natural and anthropogenic hazards (e.g. floods; landslides; earthquakes; wildfires; soil, water, and air pollution);
- interaction between geosphere and anthroposphere (e.g. land degradation; urban sprawl);
- socio-economic sciences, characterized by the spatial and temporal dimension of the data (e.g. census data; transport; commuter traffic).

Co-organized by GM2/HS12/NH8/NP4/SSS12
Convener: Federico AmatoECSECS | Co-conveners: Fabian GuignardECSECS, Luigi LombardoECSECS, Marj Tonini

ITS5 – Scientific Challenges posed by Global Change


Remaining carbon budgets specify the quantity of CO2 that can be emitted before a given warming level (such as the 1.5 °C target) is reached, and are thus of high interest to the public and policymakers. Yet, there are many sources of uncertainty which make it challenging to deduce this finite amount of CO2 emissions. The theoretical foundation of carbon budgets is based on the concept of the Transient Climate Response to cumulative CO2 Emissions (TCRE). This is the pathway-independent ratio of global warming per unit of cumulative CO2 emissions. However, accounting for non-CO2 forcings and changes in albedo or other Earth system feedbacks provides further challenges in calculating TCRE and the remaining carbon budgets.

This session aims to further our understanding of the climate response under different emission scenarios, and to advance our knowledge of associated carbon budgets consistent with meeting various levels of warming. We invite contributions that use a variety of tools, including fully coupled Earth System Models, Integrated Assessment Models, or simple climate model emulators. We welcome studies exploring different aspects related to carbon budgets and the TCRE framework, including: the governing mechanisms behind linearity of TCRE and its limitations, effects of different forcings and feedbacks (e.g. permafrost carbon feedback) and non-CO2 forcings (e.g. aerosols, and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases), estimates of the remaining carbon budget to reach a given temperature target (for example, the 1.5 °C warming level from the Paris Agreement), the role of pathway dependence, the climate-carbon responses to different emission scenarios (e.g. SSP scenarios, or idealized scenarios), and the behaviour of TCRE in response to artificial CO2 removal from the atmosphere (i.e. negative emissions). Contributions from the fields of climate policy and economics focused on applications of carbon budgets are also encouraged.

Co-organized by EOS4/BG1/ERE1
Convener: Katarzyna TokarskaECSECS | Co-conveners: Andrew MacDougallECSECS, H. Damon Matthews, Joeri Rogelj, Kirsten Zickfeld

Accurate and precise atmospheric measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations reveal the rapid and unceasing rise of global GHG concentrations due to human activity. The resulting increases in global temperatures, sea-level, glacial retreat, and other negative impacts are clear. In response to this evidence, nations, states, and cities, private enterprises and individuals have been accelerating GHG reduction efforts while meeting the needs of global development. The urgency, complexity and economic implications of GHG reductions demand strategic investment in science-based information for planning and tracking emission reduction policies and actions. In response, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch Program (GAW) and its partners have initiated the development of an Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS). IG3IS combines atmospheric GHG concentration measurements and human-activity data in an inverse modeling framework to help decision-makers take better-informed action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that reduce air quality. This service is based on existing and successful measurement and analysis methods and use-cases for which the scientific and technical skill is proven or emerging.

This session intends to gather presentations from researchers and decision-makers (user-community) on the development, implementation and use of atmospheric measurement-based “top-down” and data-driven “bottom-up” GHG emission inventory estimates, and the combination of both approaches, explicit in space and time, to deliver actionable emissions information at scales where human activity occurs and emission reduction is most effective. This session will also showcase the new projects and efforts to develop “good-practice” standards under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS), which is part of WMO’s commitment to science-based services.

Co-organized by BG2/CL3/ERE1
Convener: Phil DeCola | Co-conveners: Thomas Lauvaux, Kimberly Mueller, Tomohiro Oda, Oksana Tarasova

Understanding the impact of climate change on natural and socio-economic outcomes plays an important role in informing a range of national and international policies, including energy, agriculture and health. Economic models of climate impacts used to guide policy rely on multiple components: projections of future climate change, damage functions, and policy responses, each of which comes with its own modelling challenges and uncertainties.

We invite research using process-based (e.g. Integrated Assessment Models) and empirical models of climate change to investigate future impacts, together with policy evaluation to explore effective mitigation, technology and adaptation pathways. Furthermore, we invite research on changes to, and new developments of climate-economic and econometric modelling.

Co-organized by ERE1
Convener: Luke JacksonECSECS | Co-conveners: Sam Heft-NealECSECS, Felix PretisECSECS, David Stainforth

Climate change poses risks to (re)insurers through potentially increasing the physical damage to insured assets through extreme weather events. This has been recognised by the industry but due to the short-term nature of insurance contracts has not been widely considered directly in pricing and capital management. Recent regulatory pressure and attribution studies implicating climate in several recent natural disasters is changing the industry landscape towards greater recognition of the importance of considering climate change. Questions also remain around the role of natural variability versus climate change when considering natural catastrophes; for example in the recent quiet period of winter season North Atlantic storms in north-western Europe.

The focus of the session is on atmospheric perils such as flooding, windstorm, hail and temperature extremes. This session welcomes submissions from scientists, (re)insurers and other risk management professionals on the topic of catastrophe modelling, risk assessment, risk management and pricing in the context of climate change and natural variability. In particular, talks are welcomed on methods to incorporate climate change into the modelling by insurers and reinsurers. The session also welcomes contributions regarding the impacts and importance of natural variability relative to climate change in the context of risk management.

Co-organized by AS5/CL2/HS12
Convener: Aleksandra BorodinaECSECS | Co-conveners: Symeon Koumoutsaris, Jessica Turner

Globally, there is increased concern for the potential impacts of extreme climate events in terms of losses and damage to people, assets & infrastructure, property and society as a whole. Plenty of evidence provided by, e.g., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the scientific literature, but also by the insurance sector, supports these concerns, indicating clearly that both, overall and insured losses and damages are on the rise, and that a major part of these developments can be attributed to climate change.
New multi-hazard and multi-risk models, catastrophe (CAT) models, tools, and services aimed at providing reliable and probabilistic climate information to a broad range of public and economic sectors are currently being developed in close collaboration with users. Innovations in this regard can provide the means to, e.g., better understand costs and benefits of adaptation and more accurately underwrite risk by insurance and re-insurance companies, who serve as key implementers in increasing societies’ resilience and recovery from extreme events. Such services are crucial in order to facilitate effective and evidence-based adaptation planning by for example cities, regional authorities and other sectors.
This session invites contributions that: (1) highlight the current state-of-the-art in climate change hazard and risk assessment related to extremes and high impact events such as floods, storms, droughts and heat waves, including compound events; (2) demonstrate the applicability and added-value of such analyses (or tools based thereupon) for stakeholders and practitioners with a particular focus on insurance and adaptation in different sectors; and (3) foster discussions on new scientific methodologies, good practices and emerging standards between scientists and practitioners across disciplines and application areas. Papers related to all aspects of climate hazard and/or (economic) risk assessment and attribution covering all geographical areas are welcomed, regardless of whether they are focused on single hazards (risks), multiple hazards (risks), or a combination or cascade of hazards (risks). Contributions related to projects funded under EU H2020, Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S), ERA4CS, JPI Climate and other larger scale climate service programmes are especially encouraged.
This session is endorsed by the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA)’s Collaborative Programme on High Impact Events and Climate Change.

Co-organized by CL5/HS12
Convener: Fred Fokko Hattermann | Co-conveners: Elin AndréeECSECS, Hilppa Gregow, Claire Souch, Max SteinhausenECSECS

It has been shown that regional climate change interacts with many other man-made perturbations in both natural and anthropogenic coastal environments. Regional climate change is one of multiple drivers, which have a continuing impact on terrestrial, aquatic and socio-economic (resp. human) environments. These drivers interact with regional climate change in ways, which are not completely understood. Recent assessments all over the world have partly addressed this issue (e.g. Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea region, BACC (2008, 2015); North Sea Climate Change Assessment, NOSCCA (2011); Canada’s Changing Climate Report, CCCR (2019)).
This session invites contributions, which focus on the connections and interrelations between climate change and other drivers of environmental change, be it natural or human-induced, in different regional seas and coastal regions. Observation and modelling studies are welcome, which describe processes and interrelations with climate change in the atmosphere, in marine and freshwater ecosystems and biogeochemistry, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems as well as human systems. In particular, studies on socio-economic factors like aerosols, land cover, fisheries, agriculture and forestry, urban areas, coastal management, offshore energy, air quality and recreation, and their relation to climate change, are welcome.
The aim of this session is to provide an overview over the current state of knowledge of this complicated interplay of different factors, in different regional seas and coastal regions all over the world.

Co-organized by BG4/HS12/NH10/OS2
Convener: Marcus Reckermann | Co-conveners: Ute Daewel, Helena Filipsson, Markus Meier, Markus Quante

To meet the target of the Paris agreement and limit global average temperature increase to below 2°C above preindustrial levels, not only a reduction of greenhouse gas emission is required, but also GHG removal (negative emission technologies, NET). The latter needs to be implemented quickly within the next decades to remove 2.7 to 8.5 billion tons of carbon per year from 2030 onwards. However, large-scale (monoculture, industrial-only) approaches can have undesired negative side effects on biodiversity, ecosystem services and SDGs. Among the range of easy-and-quick to implement, SDG-friendly NETs is the production of biochar, a carbon-rich product of pyrolysis of biomass. PyCCS (pyrolysis for carbon capture and storage) is an alternative to the so-called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) mentioned in the last IPCC 1.5° special report. It co-generates bioenergy while serving as a decentral, low-tech rural to high-tech industrial NET approach that offers a broad spectrum of economic incentives.
The benefits of biochar use in agriculture and forestry can span enhanced plant productivity, the increase in soil C stock, the reduction of nutrient losses from soil and non-CO2 greenhouse gases´ emissions. Furthermore, many other uses have been proposed for biochar beyond its application to soil, such as animal feed supplement, its use in building materials or bioplastic production. This session aims at bringing together different uses, incentives and implementation pathways of biochar as a NET technology (including, but not limited to, agriculture).
Despite its potential, biochar seems to be underrepresented in the discussion on NET, and its success depends on its large- or rather multiple-location, asap implementation strategies. This session will focus on the current advancements of the available pyrogenic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) technologies, and on its potential application in the contexts of the green economy. Discussions on novel implementation strategies, associated risks, C sink certification and payment and on their ecological and socio-economic impact are highly welcome.

Co-organized by BG3/CL3/ERE1
Convener: Maurizio Ventura | Co-convener: Claudia Kammann

World-wide an increasing number of research projects focus on the challenges associated with permafrost thaw. Whereas these often have a natural and physical science focus, this session focuses on trans-disciplinary approaches to study the multiple phenomena associated with warming ground, especially but not exclusively in Arctic regions, and how to tackle these in large, trans-disciplinary research projects, initiatives and programs (e.g. HORIZON2020 Nunataryuk and the T-MOSAIC program of the International Arctic Research Council, NSF Navigating the New Arctic). Contributions are invited, but are not limited, to the following themes:
• science communication with local stakeholders, co-production of knowledge, risk perception,
• integration of social and natural science approaches in large research projects,
• (indigenous) approaches to adaptation and mitigation, equitable mitigation,
• socio-economic modelling in relation to permafrost thaw,
• examining the impacts of permafrost thaw on and health and pollution as well as infrastructure (and consequences of the built environment).

Invited speaker: Skip Walker (University of Alaska Fairbanks) – ‘Navigating the New Arctic: Adapting to infrastructure- and climate-related changes in ice-rich permafrost systems’

Co-organized by CL4/CR4/GM7/HS12/NH9
Convener: Peter Schweitzer | Co-conveners: Annett Bartsch, Susanna GartlerECSECS