Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions AS–GM
Disciplinary sessions GMPV–TS

Session programme


US – Union Symposia

Programme group chair: Susanne Buiter


Society benefits greatly from scientific research and the subsequent communication of results without concern by the scientist for censorship, intimidation, or political interference. Speakers with a variety of expertises and backgrounds will debate which policies, roles, and responsibilities they view to be most effective to ensure the integrity of science, including freedom to disseminate results and scientific remarks.

The session will be an opportunity to focus on the role of - and challenges for - scientific communication, scientific integrity and scientific freedom during the current global crisis triggered by the pandemic. Future perspectives will also be discussed.

Public information:

16:15–16:25: Introduction.
Alberto Montanari

16:25–16:40: EGU2020-9796: Earth and Space Science in the 21st Century: A Call for Action.
Chris McEntee

16:40–16:55: EGU2020-22689: Scientific freedom and integrity in the 21st century: roles and power of scientists.
Claudia Jesus-Rydin

16:55–17:10: EGU2020-22692: Geoscientists as social and political actors.
Silvia Peppoloni

17:10-17:25: EGU2020-3093: Impact of the current sociopolitical crisis on research and education in Nicaragua. The role of scientific societies.
Jorge A. Huete-Perez and Graziella Devoli

17:25–17:40: EGU2020-22690: Scientific integrity, personal responsibility, public trust and the role of professional societies.
Jonathan Bamber

17:40-18:00: Discussion

Co-sponsored by AGU, JpGU, AGI, AOGS, GSA, and GSL
Convener: Alberto Montanari | Co-conveners: Robin Bell, Hodaka Kawahata, J. Douglas Walker
| Mon, 04 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

Planet Earth is rapidly ageing, and humankind is yet to thrive despite the odds of its complex role shaping the environmental and societal challenges. Science-informed strategic development for constantly reforming and unifying societies’ resilience skills and resources to evolve in such a world is key to harmony and stability at all levels. To this end, there have been several initiatives at the global level led by the United Nations.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. SDGs build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, and among other priorities include several new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.

A key part of the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is measured by progress in implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies. This is evidenced in fact by the presence of the 25 targets related to disaster risk reduction in 10 of the 17 SDGs considering the disaster resilience as critical to poverty reduction and key enabler of sustainable development. There is recognition in the proposals for both the SDGs and the Sendai Framework that their desired outcomes are a product of complex and interconnected social and economic processes with overlap across the two agendas. The integration of the two agendas can be very beneficial for building resilience comprehensively across societies. While maintaining the autonomy of each of the post-2015 frameworks, improved coherence of action to implement the different agendas can save money and time, enhance efficiency and further enable adaptation action.

The aim of this symposium is to highlight the role of Geosciences in supporting the 2030 Agenda and beyond. We invite regional and/or national contributions that share insights, tools and demonstrations that build collective intelligence to steer societies towards the shared metrics of the 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework. We also welcome lesson learned interdisciplinary studies operating across multiple sectors and scales, ranging from local to global, facilitating (or limiting) policy coherence and contributing to integrated approaches to adaptation, sustainable development and DRR.

Convener: Jonathan RizziECSECS | Co-conveners: Nilay Dogulu, Gabriela Guimarães Nobre, Chiara MarchinaECSECS, Giulia RoderECSECS
| Thu, 07 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Recent record-breaking wildfires in the Arctic, boreal forests, the Mediterranean and, at the same time, human-driven decreases in burned area in savanna ecosystems show the need of an increased understanding of the drivers and impacts of fire regime changes under ongoing and future land management and climate changes. Fire is part of the Earth system since the evolution of terrestrial biomass 420 million years ago. Despite being a risk to many human societies today, fire has played an important role in human evolution and as a tool and target in land management for millennia. However, its role in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics across various spatiotemporal scales is still poorly constrained, partly due to its complex feedbacks with climate and vegetation. The influence of fire on the atmosphere, vegetation, soil properties, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and the impact on society require inter- to transdisciplinary research approaches. This symposium aims to provide state-of-the-art perspectives on the feedbacks and impacts of fires from the different fields. Leading experts in fire observations and modelling as well as post-fire impacts on local to global and across temporal scales will provide insights on key processes, drivers and important links of fire in the natural and human-shaped environments.

Public information:
Updated schedule!
10:45–10:50 Introduction
10:50–11:05 David Bowman: Adaptive thinking and the global fire crisis
11:05–11:20 Fay Johnston: Landscape fires and public health
11:20–11:35 Guido van der Werf: Fire - climate interactions in a warming world
11:35–11:50 Cristina Santin: After the fire: biogeochemical effects of charcoal & ash on fire-affected landscapes
11:50–12:05 Orsolya Valkó: The contradictory role of fire from the nature conservation perspective
12:05–12:30 Discussion

This session is now available as a recorded online-webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5M6xDqUVwk

Convener: Elisabeth DietzeECSECS | Co-conveners: Alysha Inez CoppolaECSECS, Gitta Lasslop, Cathelijne Stoof, Sander Veraverbeke
| Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

Our planet faces its greatest challenge for millennia: us.
There is now almost unanimous agreement that humans are having enormous impacts on the natural balance of our planet, with consequences that threaten our own existence and the survival of natural ecosystems alike.
The need for drastic change in our behaviour is clear. And yet, the response from political leaders and people in general is weak.
Human actions are driven by many factors, but having a clear understanding of cause and effect is a dominant one. Arguably, this is where communication of scientific evidence has failed to inform opinion sufficiently to drive the actions that are necessary to mitigate the worst impacts on our planet’s future climate.
This session aims to highlight the challenges that exist in communicating climate science and demonstrate ways in which scientific research and evidence can be communicated in a way that is meaningful and persuasive to the public and policy-makers alike. This session will demonstrate the most effective ways to communicate issues relating to climate change which may seem abstract, distant or complex, in a way that makes them relatable. To bring to everybody – not just a learned or engaged minority – the clearest possible picture of cause and effect, Humans vs ecosystems. Crisis vs salvation.
This session will be of interest to all EGU participants who are interested in learning about how they can more effectively share their research with the public and policy-makers to encourage action on climate change. It will also be useful for EGU members who would like to better communicate with those at the General Assembly outside of their area of expertise.

Public information:
Nick Everard: Technical Advisor at the UK Environment Agency
Iain Stewart: Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth and Director of its Sustainable Earth Institute

Michael Mann: Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State and Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center
Jutta Thielen-del Pozo: Head of the Scientific Development Unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
Simon Clark: Video producer and science communicator
Leo Hickman: Director and editor of CarbonBrief

Convener: Nick Everard | Co-conveners: Hannah Cloke, Hayley Fowler, Rolf Hut, Iain Stewart
| Fri, 08 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

This Union Session will highlight international space agency plans on current and future planetary exploration including Earth as seen by ESA, NASA and other (to be confirmed) space agencies. We will highlight flagship missions observing the Earth and other planetary bodies and discuss the challenges of organising future missions in an international framework as well as a forward look at potential future candidate missions.

Public information:
This Union Session will highlight international space agency plans on current and future planetary exploration including Earth as seen by ESA, NASA, JAXA and the Russian Space Agency. We will highlight flagship missions observing the Earth and other planetary bodies and discuss the challenges of organising future missions in an international framework as well as a forward look at potential future candidate missions. The first three presentations focus, primarily, on Earth Observation missions and the following three on planetary and solar system missions. Speakers include the directors of Earth Observation and Planetary Science from ESA, NASA, JAXA and the Russian Space Research Institute.

Convener: Jonathan Bamber | Co-conveners: Özgür Karatekin, Håkan Svedhem
| Tue, 05 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)