ITS1 – Geosciences and health during the Covid pandemic
Covid-19 pandemic: health, urban systems and geosciences
One of the most challenging sustainable goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and other international agreements is that urban systems have to increase well-being and health. Indeed, these networked systems already host more than half of the world's population and are going to host most of its growth, while they have been mostly designed and managed with limited visions, in particular with respect to their geophysical environment.
This goal got an unforeseen acuity with the Covid-19 pandemic, starting with the confinement strategies that radically brought into question the functioning of these systems, e.g., drastically reducing mobility and breaking its ever increasing trend. Covid-19 was not without precursor (e.g., SARS, MERS) and will not be without successors.
Long term visions based on transdisciplinary scientific advances are therefore indispensable, particularly from the geoscience community. As a consequence, this session calls for contributions from data-driven and theory-driven approaches of urban health under global change. This includes:
- qualitative improvements of epidemic modelling, as trans-disciplinary and nonlinear as possible
- possible interplays between meteorological and/or climate drivers and epidemic/health issues
- novel monitoring capabilities (including contacts tracking), data access and assimilation techniques
- a fundamental revision of our urban systems, their greening as well as their mobility offer
- a particular focus on urban biodiversity, in particular to better manage virus vectors
- urban resilience must include resilience to epidemics, nd therefore requires revisions of urban governance.
Geoscientist's challenge to the corona pandemics: what are the problem, and how can we overcome them toward the best science.
Corona pandemic significantly affected our livies and scientific activities. All institutions, both scientific and high-education, had to find their own tips to keep the science activities. Such knowledge is often common across different scientific disciplines. This session aims to exchange such know-how. The following topics are just examples and all related contributions are welcome.
(1) How can we meet the deadlines, particularly for planetary missions with limited launch window, under corona pandemic? What are the difference between different institution and how was the result?
(2) How can we mange field works and geophysical monitoring (e.g., maintenance of instruments on sites)?
(3) Non-uniform global distribution and its time profiles of the corona pandemic suggest some geophysical (not only geographical) factors. Does geophysical condition (gradient of UV, gradient of air temperature/humidity, wind) have any correlation to the pandemic?
(4) Can we apply our analyses method on corona data? Isn't it useful to apply our multi-dimension analyses, data assimilation of different sources of data, evaluation and correction of data (and its pipeline), fractal analyses of local distribution, etc?
(5) Air pollution that reflects the human activity is known to have quickly responded to this pandemics. Are there any other geophysical monitoring method of spread and human reactions?
(6) If you or your colleague have been infected, what was the consequence to your science and science colleague
(7) What will be the optimum method to have the highest science output during corona pandemic?
ITS2 – The role of the Geosciences in the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Social Geosciences: A New Paradigm to Characterize Long-Term Community Resilience
: It is clear that in the coming decades, our ability to effectively address and provide critical information regarding some of the most pressing human-environment issues, such as water security, food security, public health, land preservation and management within existing social frameworks (i.e., gender, class, ethnicity/castes, employment and migration, etc.) that usually manifest at local and regional scales, will necessitate a paradigm shift in the ‘earth systems’ sciences, in which, the human society is viewed and understood as an active player of the ‘earth system’. This new paradigm shift can only be achieved via enhanced partnership between natural scientists and social scientists and most importantly, where field practitioners and environmental planners, who work with at-risk local communities, are able to both inform research directions and questions that are human needs focused as well as are able to communicate the results of the collaborative research back to the community in an effective manner.
In fostering such a ‘stake-holder’ focused, collaborative and ‘engaged research’ space, geoscientists, particularly those whose research focuses on environmental and climate records of the Anthropocene (and late Holocene), could play a key role by developing tools, methods, and most importantly, by providing relevant, high-resolution historical records of variations and changes in climate, environment and ecosystems at regional and local scales. Extensive data on local and regional environmental change can allow social scientists to understand environmental changes in the context of existing social norms, market mechanisms, agro-environmental policy and public attitudes. The co-development, conduct and outcome of such stake-holder focused research can also help fill the knowledge gap in vulnerable local communities, potentially making communities more resilient to climate and environmental change, especially in developing countries, where weak institutions and public distrust are major hindrances to effectiveness of public policy. To start building such a ‘stake-holder’ focused collaborative research space we propose this session, where we are inviting contributions from scientists and practitioners working at the interface of earth science and community engagement. We seek contributions from the paleo research community that is human needs focused and contribute towards improved understanding of community resilience to climate change.
Food security, SDG2 – United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - is a global challenge under the ever-increasing population and ever-shrinking finite resources. More than one billion people are undernourished across the globe. Population growth, alongside the accelerated pace of urbanization, improving living standards and the dietary changes are expected to result in a significant escalation in global food demand in coming years.
We face two main challenges to fulfil food demand concerning land and water availability; this high demand resulted in intensification in technical management strategies, such as improving agricultural practices (e.g. fertilization, weeds and pests controls, etc.) or water management (e.g. pressurized irrigation, deficit irrigation, etc.). Food security by solely focusing on technical aspects, has been, in some nations, mainly at the expense of the environment, which threaten the sustainability of these approaches. The concept of virtual water trade was introduced to include other aspects than technical. However, the virtual water concept has its own pros and cons and could not suggest a sustainable, efficient solution to water management and food security challenges.
While enormous attention has been paid to the technical improvements to secure global food demand, other aspects are left out. Growing socioeconomic qualities have substantial impacts like technical ones. However, implementing socioeconomic-based strategies for improving global food security necessitates finding practical social and economic indicators, which is still in its infancy.
This session addresses the current and future challenges of food security, and possible pathways to fulfil the increasing food demand in the coming uncertain future. We invite contributions that (1) map and monitor the food security assessments in different spatial scales and climates, (2) investigate the effect of technical improvements on alleviating local and global malnourishing (3), and find potentials for improving food security status through agroeconomic and socio-environmental assessments using different agricultural, economic, environmental, and social agronomy indicators.
Hydrology as a cross-cutting discipline in SDG nexus research
As a vital resource for all life on earth, water plays a key role in many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations. Examples include hydropower production (SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy), water supply (SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation), agricultural production (SDG 2 - Zero Hunger), and healthy aquatic ecosystems (SDG 14 - Life below Water). There is a growing recognition that human activities and environmental change can simultaneously affect water resources and multiple associated SDGs, resulting in synergies and trade-offs between these SDGs. Hydroelectric power stations, for example, can affect the magnitude and timing of water supply for agricultural use downstream. Likewise, the conversion of forest into agricultural or agroforestry land to intensify the production of, among others, food, feed, fuel, and fiber affects the large-scale water cycle and alters the regional rainfall patterns through modified moisture recycling. These effects are exacerbated by climate change and increased pressure on water resources induced by a growing population. An objective assessment of such interdependencies in the context of water resource management is crucial to ensure a sustainable development.
Hydrological studies are essential to understand the underlying processes and drivers behind these synergies and trade-offs, and thus in the context of SDG nexus research. In this session, we invite contributions demonstrating the value of hydrological research as a cross-cutting discipline contributing to achieving the SDGs in an inter- or transdisciplinary setting. This includes, but is not limited to:
• Studies on the effect of climate change on water provisioning and livelihoods, including adaptation and mitigation options;
• The application of novel monitoring strategies (e.g. citizen science, wireless sensor networks, remote sensing) and modeling to support a sustainable water management;
• The use of hydrological studies to support decision-making and to develop strategies and policies for good governance of water; and
• The application of hydrological research to reduce inequalities (e.g. access to water or gender issues).
All contributions should address a clear nexus between water and at least one other SDGs.
Bridging between scientific disciplines: Participatory Citizen Science and Open Science as a way to go
Citizen science (the involvement of the public in scientific processes) is gaining momentum across multiple disciplines, increasing multi-scale data production on biodiversity, earthquakes, weather, climate, health issues and food production, amongst others, that is extending the frontiers of knowledge. Successful participatory science enterprises and citizen observatories can potentially be scaled-up in order to contribute to larger policy strategies and actions (e.g. the European Earth Observation monitoring systems), for example to be integrated in GEOSS and Copernicus. Making credible contributions to science can empower citizens to actively participate as citizen stewards in decision making, helping to bridge scientific disciplines and promote vibrant, liveable and sustainable environments for inhabitants across rural and urban localities.
Often, citizen science is seen in the context of Open Science, which is a broad movement embracing Open Data, Open Technology, 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 and citizen science pose great challenges for researchers to facilitate effective participatory science. To support the goals of the various Open Science initiatives, this session looks at what is possible and what is applied in geosciences. The session will showcase how various stakeholders can benefit from co-developed participatory research using citizen science and open science, acknowledging the drawbacks and highlighting the opportunities available, particularly through applications within mapping, technology, policy, economy, practice and society at large. Learning from bottom-up initiatives, other disciplines, and understanding what to adopt and what to change can help synergize scientific disciplines and empower participants in their own undertakings and new initiatives.
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 participatory citizen scientist involvement and open science strategies exist?
How to ensure transparency in project results and analyses?
What kind of critical perspectives on the limitations, challenges, and ethical considerations exist?
Global plastic contamination: a journey towards scientifically informed policies and solutions
Plastic contamination is a global concern. With increasing usage and disposal of plastics, waste management is often inefficient in processing the volumes of plastic discarded. A large proportion of plastic waste accumulates in the natural environment where clean-up is difficult, if not impossible. This results in the plastic contamination persisting in the environment for many years, having the potential to cause long-term ecological harm, ultimately affecting humans.
To mitigate plastic pollution and find solutions to reduce harmful effects, a better understanding of the sources and pathways of plastics in the environment is needed. This should inform social and industrial practices, as well as advise on regulatory changes to address plastic management. This will also promote developing a roadmap towards the development and safe usage of alternative materials, to reduce environmental and health implications. The approach aims at bringing together academics from a variety of research fields and citizen science initiatives along with stakeholders from civil society and industry, as well as regulators and policymakers. The task requires collaboration across disciplines, from environmental sciences, including biology and chemistry, geosciences, atmospheric sciences and oceanography, to materials science, social sciences and economics.
This session will address the linkages and cross-disciplinary collaborations required for effective progress in this field. We specifically invite presentations featuring successes and challenges in collaboration between academia, industry and regulators. Presentations on tracking plastics and on elucidating connecting mechanisms from human activities through to environmental abundance and impact are encouraged. Studies on biota-plastic interactions, plastic fluxes linked to human activities and environmental changes (from synoptic events to climate change) and studies linking plastic characteristics to toxicological impacts (chemistry, materials science and ecotoxicology) are welcomed.
This is a linked session co-organised and co-designed with a session at the annual meeting of SETAC Europe (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry), by connected convenor teams, to ensure full integration and input across disciplines. Outputs from the linked sessions will be disseminated widely across SETAC and EGU members through online resources, with a view to effective knowledge sharing and building collaborations.
Solutions for sustainable agri-food systems under climate change and globalisation
A grand challenge facing society in the coming decades is to feed the growing human population in a sustainable and healthy manner. This challenge is central to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), including the zero hunger goal but also those for human health, water, terrestrial biodiversity and sustainable production and consumption.
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.
Detecting and Monitoring Plastic Pollution in Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans.
Global plastic production has increased exponentially since the fifties, with 359 million metric tons manufactured in 2018 alone. Nearly 20% of this production took place within Europe, where at least half of discarded plastics collected for ‘recycling’ were instead exported to China and SE Asia. Every year, an increasing proportion of these plastics (in the order of millions of tons) enter and accumulate in our waterways and oceans. In riverine and marine systems, the presence of micro to macroplastic debris has generated a growing and persistent threat to the environment and ecosystems, as well as an urgent and multi-dimensional challenge for our society.
Methods for resource-efficient and large-scale detection and monitoring of plastic litter are still relatively new. However, in the last few years, they have blossomed across technologies and environments - from mounted cameras to drones to satellites, and from lakes and rivers to coastal waters and open oceans. These new technologies can be crucial to fill in the gaps between limited in situ observations and global models, allowing coverage across fine as well as large spatial scales, and over long time periods. We invite abstracts describing the use of cameras, drones, satellites and other remote sensing techniques to observe and monitor riverine and marine plastics. We also welcome work describing or demonstrating new approaches, methods and algorithms to improve the use of cameras and sensors for plastic detection on (and in) water.
Geosciences at your service! Geoscientific solutions applied to current issues.
Research in geosciences is often focused on deciphering the past or predicting the future, but tackling current, practical issues is also a crucial part of our work. Geoscientific methods can be applied on all scales: from very local, such as landslide monitoring, through regional, such flood prediction and mitigation, to global, such as the transition towards net-zero energy sources, or plastic pollution in the oceans. Often, the consideration of how processes occurred in the past provide vital baselining information for current issues.
Geoscience research and industry have benefitted mutually for many years, especially in hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, and in engineering geology. But now more than ever, skills that geoscientists use in their research are required to provide a diverse range of technological solutions that benefit society positively; such as offshore wind, geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage, as well as providing safe living spaces, protecting coastal infrastructure, and securing drinking and agricultural water supplies for growing populations.
In this session we aim to bring together and showcase the applied side of geoscientific research. We encourage all contributions that showcase how geoscientific methods were or are being used to help tackle issues at hand for the benefit of communities, governments or industry partners.
This session seeks to:
- Showcase where geosciences make a real difference and is having transformative impact;
- Identify current issues which could benefit from application of geoscientific methods;
- Spark discussion about how the geoscientific research can be best used to solve future problems;
- Present innovative, geoscience-based methods and solutions applied to current challenges.
Land degradation in savanna environments - assessments, dynamics and implications
Land degradation is a human-induced process deteriorating ecosystem functioning and services including soil fertility or biological productivity, and is accompanied by a loss of biodiversity. It causes on-site and off-site damages like change or removal of vegetation cover and soil erosion on one hand as well as flooding and siltation of receiving streams one the other hand. Thus, land degradation poses a threat to a number of sustainable development goals including foremost sustainable life on land and under water, the provision of clean water and eventually the eradication of poverty and hunger on Earth.
Often, land cover change is a valid indicator of land degradation providing the opportunity to take advantage of the increasing geometrically and temporally high-resolution remote sensing capabilities to identify and monitor land degradation. However, especially in semi-arid regions like savanna environments, globally driven inter-annual and decadal climate variations cause as well profound land cover dynamics which might be mistaken for land degradation.
Assessing and combating land degradation has already a long scientific, socio-economic and political history. Based on this, the aim of this session is to explore the wide range of methodological approaches to assess land degradation, its dynamics over all spatial and temporal scales as well as the implications for society and the interaction with the different spheres of the Earth including the anthroposphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere or the pedosphere. Contributions to this session can be based on field work, remote sensing approaches or modelling exercises, they can also focus on specific physical and socio-economic aspects of land degradation like land management, land cover change or soil erosion or discuss land degradation in a broader societal context.
The role of Social Media and Crowdsourcing in Disaster Risk Management and Resilience
Natural or man-made hazards pose a risk to many parts of the world, at times causing damages to the people, property, and the environment with economic, social, and environmental consequences. In recent years, social media and crowdsourcing (SMCS) have been integrated into crisis and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) for improved information gathering and collaboration across communities. Numerous governments and EU-funded projects have been supporting the implementation and use of SMCS by developing and adopting new technologies, procedures, and applications for gathering and sharing information within communities, and for collaboratively coping with critical situations. The effectiveness of SMCS on European disaster resilience, however, remains unclear, due to the diversity among disaster risk perception and vulnerability.
This session looks for works that aim to create new approaches, in a coordinated and coherent effort between geoscience and social, economic, and political sciences, that would not be possible if handled separately. Therefore, it is planned to collect contributions about, but it is not limited to: a) disaster risk perception, awareness, and vulnerability in relation to SMCS, with a focus on accessibility to technologies and social marginalization; b) the use of SMCS in disaster crisis management as a way to improve Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and to enhance social resilience; c) the dynamic role of SMCS in situational awareness (states, systems, and processes) as part of the disaster management processes. In general, research relating to scientific methods, practical tools, protocols, and guidelines addressing ways to govern and understand the effectiveness of SMCS for Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Resilience are welcomed.
This section is supported and endorsed by the European Project LINKS: Strengthening links between technologies and society for European disaster resilience (Call: H2020-SU-SEC-2018-2019-2020 (Security), Topic: SU-DRS01-2018-2019-2020, Type of action: RIA, project number 883490).
Pan-Eurasian EXperiment (PEEX) – Observation, Modelling and Assessment in the Arctic-Boreal Domain
This session is linked to the Pan-Eurasian EXperiment (PEEX; www.atm.helsinki.fi/peex), a multi-disciplinary, -scale and -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 the Arctic, Northern Eurasia and China regions. This session aims to bring together researchers interested in (i) understanding environmental changes effecting in pristine and industrialized Pan-Eurasian environments (system understanding); (ii) determining relevant environmental, climatic, and other processes in Arctic-boreal regions (process understanding); (iii) the further development of the long-term, continuous and comprehensive ground-based, air/seaborne research infrastructures together with satellite data (observation component); (iv) to develop new datasets and archives of the continuous, comprehensive data flows in a joint manner (data component); (v) to implement validated and harmonized data products in models of appropriate spatio-temporal scales and topical focus (modeling component); (vi) to 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, ecosystems, human health due to atmospheric transport, dispersion, deposition and chemical transformations of air pollutants in 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
• Physical, chemical and biological processes in a northern context
• Aerosol formation-growth, aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, radiative forcing, 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 Northern Eurasia and China regions.
PEEX session is co-organized with the Digital Belt and Road Program (DBAR), abstracts welcome on topics:
• Big Earth Data approaches on facilitating synergy between DBAR activities & PEEX multi-disciplinary regime
• Understanding and remote connection of last decades changes of environment over High Asia and Arctic regions, both land and ocean.
Meeting demand for metals in a sustainable society: Advances in exploration tools and mineral systems
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals include providing affordable and clean energy to all, building infrastructure to promote sustainable and inclusive industrialisation, combating climate change, and improving food security. It is increasingly being acknowledged that achieving these goals will draw heavily on technological advances including increased solar power generation, large-scale battery storage, and electric vehicles. These technologies require large quantities of metals and their development is placing ever-increasing demand on global supplies of many minerals, outstripping rates of discovery for new deposits. Improvements in recycling efficiency and the development of low-grade, currently uneconomic deposits will only partly meet this shortfall. Significant improvements in exploration success rates for new deposits, particularly critical minerals and those buried beneath surface cover, are crucial to meeting future societal needs. In this multidisciplinary session, we invite contributions from across the geosciences that are related to advancing mineral systems knowledge and narrowing the exploration search space. We welcome studies at the global to ore shoot scale focused on mineral system processes, novel exploration techniques, and the application of geophysical and geochemical tools to improve exploration success.
Plastic in the marine environment: observing and explaining where it comes from and where it goes
Plastic contamination has been reported in all realms of the environment from the tropics to the polar oceans. Our poor knowledge of plastics sources, pathways and hot spots of accumulation prevents an assessment of risks to ecosystems, 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.
Nature-Based Solutions for Global Environmental Challenges
Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are reframing discussion and policy responses worldwide to environmental challenges. Thus, NBS is of growing implementation, supported namely by the EU political agenda (e.g., green deal), as a way to attain the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and to reinforce the New Urban Agenda. The NBS concept builds on and complements other closely related concepts, such as the ecosystem approach, ecosystem services, ecosystem-based adaptation/mitigation, disaster risk reduction and, sponge cities, green/blue infrastructures. They all recognise the importance of nature and outline requirements for a systemic and holistic approach to environmental change, based on an understanding of the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and the social and institutional context within which they are situated. However, quantification of existing NBS’ effectiveness, their operationalisation and replication in different environmental settings has not been presented in such a way that allows them to be both widely accepted and incorporated in policy development and in practical implementation.
This session aims to discuss and advance knowledge of innovative nature-based approaches to face environmental challenges and simultaneously provide better understanding of associated social-ecological interactions, contributing to enhance the scientific basis for sustainable development and resilience. We seek contributions that provide novel conceptualisations, approaches, applications and evidence for understanding how NBS can contribute towards achieving UN SDG.
This session seeks to:
- Better understanding of advantages and disadvantages of NBS to address global environmental and societal challenges;
- New methods and tools to investigate the role of NBS in the context of environmental change; in particular, the effectiveness of NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction at landscape/watershed scale;
- New insights, methodologies, tools and best practices enabling successful implementation and upscaling of NBS in multiple contexts;
- Identifying opportunities for and barriers to NBS within current regulatory frameworks and management practices;
- 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).
Bringing together climate scientists and impact modellers to build knowledge to effectively deal with climate change
As highlighted by the UN development goals, climate change is a reality to which we need to adapt. Our ability to effectively address the adaptation issue must come from a communal effort to link our knowledge in different fields and transform it into useful information for stakeholders and policymakers.
Up to now, physical climate modelling and natural hazard impact and risk assessment have been two separate disciplines that have suffered difficulties in communicating and interacting due to different languages and backgrounds. Until recently, climate modellers did not have the capability to generate long-term projections at a spatial and temporal resolution useful for impact studies such as flood risk assessment, soil erosion or urban modelling. With the advent of kilometre-scale atmospheric models, called convection-permitting models CPMs, we are now in a position to bridge the gap between the two communities, sharing knowledge and understanding. Compared to traditional climate models, CPMs improve substantially the representation of sub-daily precipitation characteristics and have a spatial resolution closer to what many impacts modellers, for example hydrologists, need. Several CPM datasets are already available over different parts of the world and more internationally coordinated projects on CPMs, such as the CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study (CORDEX-FPS) and the European Climate Prediction System (EUCP), are already in place. Now is the time to exploit these high-resolution physically-consistent datasets as input for impact studies and adaptation strategies; to foster interdisciplinary collaboration to build a common language and understand limitations and needs of the different fields; to learn together how to provide policymakers with information and practical cases that can be used to design effective measures at the regional level to adapt to climate change as well as to inform mitigation decisions.
This interdisciplinary session invites contributions that address the linkages between high-resolution modellers and users with examples of good practice, storylines and communication to both stakeholders and policymakers.
Economics and Econometrics of Climate Change: evaluating the drivers, socio-economic and development impacts, and policies of climate change
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. Furthermore, studying this interplay between natural and human systems sheds light on progress and future challenges required to achieve many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However economic models of (and those designed to include) climate impacts that guide decision makers rely on multiple components, for example 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 human and natural 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.
Model regions for sustainable development, resilience to climate extremes and ecosystem services
The Global Risk Report 2020 ranked the likelihood for climate related risk as the most dominant long-term risks including extreme weather events, climate action failure and biodiversity loss. Furthermore, the intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) global assessment stated that climate change is one of the main drivers for unprecedented biodiversity loss, which unknown consequences for ecosystem services and human wellbeing.
Besides, we have global targets to transform our world in a sustainable way, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be reached until 2030. Hence, the implementation of the SDGs should lead to a decrease in climate-related risks, strengthening resilience to climate extremes, and contribute to the supply and equitable distribution of ecosystem services.
Model regions for sustainable development, such as UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserves established by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme and UNESCO designated Geoparks, bring the opportunity to study this interplay between global goals and local resilience. Such local activities can show solutions to strengthen resilience to climate extremes and ecosystem services in line with SDGs, e.g. by. using ecosystem-based approaches.
In addition, long-term observational datasets such as NEON, ICOS, FLUXNET, Copernicus data can be used to monitor climate extremes and changes in ecosystem services thus contributing to the assessment of resilience in these regions.
In this transdisciplinary session we welcome research focusing on this interplay between sustainable development, ecosystem services and resilience to climate extremes. We want to invite abstracts that focus on 1) conceptual frameworks and tools to assess how sustainable development can strengthen climate resilience and/or ecosystem services 2) transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on sites in various regions such as UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserves and Geoparks that showcase solutions and 3) long-term observations that are used to assess resilience to climate extremes and changes in ecosystem services.
The Importance of Being Global – Globally coordinated Research Infrastructures to support the UN system
The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an urgent call for a global partnership for action. The new paradigm of the Paris Agreement puts additional responsibility on scientists to provide data and knowledge to inform climate action for the benefit of society. Together with the other UN conventions (on biological diversity and on disaster risk reduction), these frameworks are highly dependent on evidence-based information derived from geosciences. After having developed crucial capacities on the regional level, Research Infrastructures and other data providers need to upgrade their cooperation efforts and coordinate their actions on the global level. They must ensure a sustainable production of data, products and services in line with the demands of the decision-makers. To deliver on the expectations of the UN system in support of policy-makers, actors from different disciplines (observation, modeling, reporting…) have to intensify their collaborative efforts.
In this session, we welcome abstracts presenting the recent developments in international cooperation efforts, global integration of data sets, initiatives to support climate services and especially the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification mechanism of the Paris Agreement. We also wish to stage the role of disciplines belonging to the human and social fields in achieving the objective.
ITS3 – Earth system stability, thresholds and resilience
Tipping Points in the Earth System
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 multidisciplinary 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
Climate extremes, biosphere and society: impacts, cascades, feedbacks, and resilience
Extreme climate and weather events, associated disasters and emergent risks are becoming increasingly critical in the context of global environmental change and interact with other stressors. 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.
Mountains and global change: inter- and transdisciplinary geosciences research in mountain contexts
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 including thresholds and resilience under global change. 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 the formulation of future research agendas and coordination of research collaborations in mountain regions, worldwide.
Integrating sudden and extreme changes in the anthropogenic and biogenic greenhouse gases
Climate change is causing abrupt changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) cycles, either by altering biogenic fluxes, or changes in anthropogenic emissions as witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, we need to integrate all feedbacks taking place between the climate system and the GHG cycles. While the Covid-19 shutdown led to 17% reduction in daily global CO2 emissions, large forest-fires erupted across the Americas, Australia and the Arctic circle in 2019 and 2020, releasing greenhouse gases and destroyed forests which take up CO2. Global warming leads to early, long summers causing droughts and forests fires. 2018 was one of the driest summers in Europe, resulting in forest carbon sinks decreasing or even turning forests into sources in some cases. Anomalously high solar radiation also led to extreme algal blooms in the Baltic Sea. Thus the feedbacks between the climate system and GHG cycles are multi-dimensional and complex, and need inter-disciplinary research.
For this session, we invite abstracts from observational and modeling studies examining and integrating extreme changes in GHGs (biogenic and/or anthropogenic) and their feedbacks to the climate system. For example (but not limited to):
1. Aftermath of COVID-19 lockdown, emerging into the new normal.
2. Effect of forest fires in 2019 and 2020 on regional to global scale.
3. Warm and wet winter of 2019/2020 and its impact on terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
4. Dry and hot European summers and subsequent droughts since 2018.
Learning from the past? The role of extreme events and natural hazards in the human past
Extreme events and natural hazards are frequent occurrences on our unstable planet. They are predicted to become more common, severe and costly in the future and this session explores their role in human prehistory and history. In order to understand the potential of contemporary and future extreme events to impact human societies, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of how they may have occurred in the past, and elucidate their effects. This session invites contributions from across relevant disciplines. Global in scope and not limited to specific types of extreme events or natural hazards, we hope to compare and contrast differing methods and datasets that address the character and role of extreme events in the human past. Ultimately, we also seek to discuss how the evidence base of Pleistocene and Holocene calamities can be brought into play in the discussion about sustainability and disaster risk reduction in the Anthropocene, as well as to explore how extreme events may have shaped our past.
Volcanic Plumes: Insights into Volcanic Emissions and their Impacts on the Environment and Health
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 into the atmosphere, potentially exerting a strong impact on the Earth’s radiation budget and climate over a range of temporal and spatial scales. Strong explosive volcanic eruptions are a major natural driver of climate variability at interannual to multidecadal time scales. Quiescent passive degassing and smaller-magnitude eruptions on the other hand can impact on regional climate system. Through direct exposure and indirect effects, volcanic emissions may influence local-to-regional air quality and seriously affect the biosphere and environment. Volcanic gases can also present significant hazards to populations downwind of an eruption, in terms of human, animal and plant health, which subsequently can affect livelihoods and cause socio-economic challenges. 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/climatic processes, as well as laboratory experiments, are fundamental to the interpretation of 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 contributions on all aspects of volcanic plumes science, their observation, modelling and impacts. We welcome contributions that address issues around the assessment of hazards and impacts from volcanic degassing both in crises and at persistently degassing volcanoes.
Navigating the Anthropocene: Human agency in global society-environment interaction assessments and modelling approaches
The pressure of human activities on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental changes can no longer be excluded and gradual changes are accelerating at alarming rates. Simply continuing established political efforts to “decouple” GDP from resource use and GHG emissions will not suffice to achieve the absolute reductions required to avoid catastrophic climate change and reduce rising pressures on ecosystems. Hence, a socioecological transformation of resource use patterns is required that will imply significant non-linear deviations from past trajectories.
The question then arises, to what extent and how societies actually have agency to actively shape, accelerate and steer such a required transformation? Human agency refers to the ability to shape one’s life, or the collective ability to change the course of social action. Individual agency is reflected in individual choices and the ability to influence one’s life conditions and chances. Collective agency refers to situations in which individuals pool their knowledge, skills, and resources, and act in concert to shape their future.
Complex systems, such as our planet and human societies, cannot be fully controlled and their behaviour cannot be predicted. Nevertheless, some authors argue it possible to imperfectly navigate such systems. The questions that we are going to discuss in the session include:
i. How to navigate the humanity in the Anthropocene?
ii. What are the relevant dimensions of human agency to study human-environment system interactions?
iii. Which concepts and research methods are relevant for the research on human agency?
iv. How to operationalize human agency in global human-environmental system modelling efforts?
We are in particular interested in new approaches that would go beyond the rational choice and equilibrium paradigms. Such approaches should be able to explain and demonstrate system evolution pathways, system transitions, tipping points, and tipping interventions. They should be able to include human agents who operate under the conditions of resource scarcity and conflicting interests, and take decisions in the presence of high risk and uncertainty.
Geochemistry and human health: fundamentals and approaches towards improvement of risk assessments and practical recommendations
Homo sapiens as product of the natural evolution of the biosphere , was created as a species in the geochemical conditions of the virgin biosphere. After successful colonization of the adverse environmental conditions around the whole world, he started its transformation first by land cultivation, urbanization and now by creation a new habitat exclusively for man. All these have led to a significant geochemical transformation of the virgin biosphere. Nowadays, a growing variety of anthropogenic sources of pollution requires, not only a constant monitoring of the chemical state of soil, water, air and food products, but also the development of spatially differentiated approaches to assessing the health risk by evaluation of diseases’ provocation. To solve this problem, it is necessary to develop effective approaches towards interpretation of spatially related geochemical and medical information. In this way we propose to discuss: 1) the global trends of health transformation in geochemical environment of actual noosphere; 2) different approaches to assess the risk of diseases of geochemical nature in different countries; 3) criteria for determining pollution level depending on geochemical constrains and health effects; 4) the problem of mapping of risk zones, related to negative medical effects due to both excess and deficiency of certain chemical elements or compounds.
Demonstrating scientific research across the environmental disciplines: Use cases, challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinarity
The Earth is a highly complex system, formed by a large variety of interacting subsystems, such as the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and lithosphere. Our capacity to understand the system depends on our capability to observe, analyze, and model these subsystems and their interactions. A holistic understanding is needed to deal with the rapid global change in, for instance, climate, biodiversity, food production, sustainability, and energy supply. Such holistic understanding is only possible if we study complex phenomena across the science fields, i.e. enable interdisciplinary research.
This session aims at discussing science cases, campaigns, or science demonstrators where several Earth system scientific disciplines were brought together to create new interdisciplinary insights.
We seek a breadth of contributions focusing on:
- the process from starting to think across boundaries to the actual implementation of the interdisciplinary science campaign,
- current conditions, opportunities and/or obstacles for realizing an interdisciplinary research,
- initiatives supporting the interdisciplinary research including concrete examples of their activities (technological, policies, funding schemes, etc.),
- Cases of successful interdisciplinary research collaborations showing results that were achieved by this collaboration.
Geochemical and isotopic methodologies for traceability and food security
Food traceability is an important issue in food security and quality control.
The possibility of tracing the origin of food stuff is assuming an increasingly important role at the legislative level, as a tool that may allow to prove on product authenticity and to control adulteration.
Establish geochemical and isotopic analytical approaches to trace food play a key role to ensure food safety.
Toxic Floods – anthropogenic impacts on sedimentary systems
River floods, storm surges and tsunamis are natural events and a part of the natural water cycle. Floods have accounted for economic losses, infrastructure damages, human fatalities, and to immense changes of natural environments due to the interaction with human activities in the past. In order to understand fundamental processes behind dispersion and accumulation of harmful or even toxic substances, the corresponding environmental ecotoxicological effects and socio-economic consequences of toxic floods can be assessed by the joint inter- and multidisciplinary effort including the determination of a flood’s toxicity, processes of transport, distribution, deposition, dilution, and enrichment by riverine and marine flood events.
Therefore this session focusses on (i) chemical pollution as one of the main drivers of ecosystem deterioration, the flood-induced transport paths, temporary storage, sequential remobilization and final deposition of toxic pollutants, and particularly their effect on biodiversity loss; (ii) the effects of anthropogenic climate change on increasing frequency and intensity of future flood events; and (iii) human activities in river basins and coastlines that will accelerate the quantities and spreading of toxic agents, and will also increase the vulnerability of the local society.
Atmosphere – Cryosphere interaction with focus on transport, deposition and effects of dust, black carbon, and other aerosols
Atmosphere and Cryosphere are closely linked and need to be investigated as an interdisciplinary subject. Most of the cryospheric areas have undergone severe changes in last decades while such areas have been more fragile and less adaptable to global climate changes. This AS-CR session invites model- and observational-based investigations on any aspects of linkages between atmospheric processes and snow and ice on local, regional and global scales. Emphasis is given on the Arctic, high latitudes and altitudes, mountains, sea ice, Antarctic regions. In particular, we encourage studies that address aerosols (such as Black Carbon, Organic Carbon, dust, volcanic ash, diatoms, bioaerosols, bacteria, etc.) and changes in the cryosphere, e.g., effects on snow/ice melt and albedo. The session also focuses on dust transport, aeolian deposition, and volcanic dust, including health, environmental or climate impacts at high latitudes, high altitudes and cold Polar Regions. We include contributions on biological and ecological sciences including dust-organisms interactions, cryoconites, bio-albedo, eco-physiological, biogeochemical and genomic studies. Related topics are light absorbing impurities, cold deserts, dust storms, long-range transport, glaciers darkening, polar ecology, and more. The scientific understanding of the AS-CR interaction needs to be addressed better and linked to the global climate predictions scenarios.
Open-access research data in Earth Sciences: technology, challenges and future prospecting
Research data are of critical importance to modern research and decision-makers. Regardless of their disciplinaries, researchers collect their observations and measurements (i.e., research data) in databases with different structures. The history of open-access can be traced back to the end of the 20th century when the university librarians around the world faced a problem known as the “serials crisis”. Before 2003, the term “open-access” was related only to free access to peer-reviewed literature (e.g., Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002). In 2003 and during the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities”, the definition was considered to have a wider scope that includes raw research data, metadata, source materials, and scholarly multimedia material. Increasingly, access to research data has become a core issue in the advance of science. With the advanced technology in digitalization and cloud storage, the scientific society had moved forward to reach an important milestone in the support of open research data.
The current session welcomes abstracts dealing with and presenting issues related to policies, technology, challenges, and future prospecting of open-access research data. Existing research data and data repositories cover different geographic areas are welcomed to be presented. As data collected from the Polar Regions are of critical importance to monitoring the changing in the Earth’s environment, we particularly welcome abstracts presenting research data or repositories with a focus on Polar Regions.
ITS4 – Robotics and artificial intelligence in the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences
Bringing Geosciences out of Earth: a general approach towards long term use of outer space activties
The aim of this active proposal is to bear a focus towards critical issues for the International community concerning
perspectives on geosciences, while space exploration initiatives are supposed to be already facing them beyond the Karman Line. Integrated and transdisciplinary level of research, both purely scientific and humanistic (space sciences and international space law) is herein provided to directly engage with the logical framework of analysis, which gives concerns to: a) Outer Space Mining Initiatives, as a new rising interest for mineral resources exploitation, in light of growing demand of energy and the increasing lack of rare elements for high-tech oriented industry; b) Cosmic Hazard reliefs, dealing with planetary defense issues and deeper understanding of space situational awareness. The first issue brings to the necessity of complying with provisions already laid down in international treaties and
international customary law, with particular reference to the concept of “res communis omnium”, as well the legitimacy of interests for developing countries. As a legal matter of facts, these features shall rely on the establishment of an international regime on space mining initiatives, recalling the application of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), with particular reference to terms of agreement displayed under Part XI, section 2 (article 136 to 148). The second issue, planetary defense measures against hazardous space circumstances, shall be carried out by emphasizing the application of international space law and regulations thereto. The Earth is subject to a frequent infall of cosmic matter in the form of centimeter to decameter sized meteoroids. This issue constitutes part of the so called Cosmic Hazard: any other outer space activities will have to encounter with these risks. Technological accomplishments have already made fundamental steps towards eventual anti-impact activities and space debris mitigation. Moreover, this matter of facts definitely deals also with higher and complex level of decision making: a comprehensive consensus within the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) shall adequately take into utmost account ad hoc responses under the implementation of the UN Charter. In addition, this issue shall bear also attention to the provisional liability of States in outer space activities, with reference to the International Liability Convention for Damages caused by Space Objects (1971)
Machine Learning in Planetary Sciences and Heliophysics
The increasing amount of data from an increasing number of spacecraft in our solar system shouts out for new data analysis strategies. There is a need for frameworks that can rapidly and intelligently extract information from these data sets in a manner useful for scientific analysis. The community is starting to respond to this need. Machine learning, with all of its different facets, provides a viable playground for tackling a wide range of research questions. Algorithms to automatically detect and classify special features in time series data of the solar wind or in 2D images of planetary surfaces are examples of where machine learning approaches can support and improve existing models. Further, modern learning methods can encode properties of interest in lower dimensional space, and thus making them more searchable.
We encourage submissions dealing with machine learning approaches of all levels in planetary sciences and heliophysics. The aim of this session is to provide an overview of the current efforts to integrate machine learning technologies into data driven space research, to highlight state-of-the art developments and to generate a wider discussion on further possible applications of machine learning.
Smart monitoring and observation systems for hazards, including satellites, seismometers, global networks, unmanned vehicles (e.g., UAV), and other linked devices, have become increasingly abundant. With these data, we observe our Earth’s restless nature and work towards improving our understanding of hazard processes such as landslides, debris flows, earthquakes, floods, storms, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. The large amount of data we have now accumulated with diverse measurements presents an opportunity for earth scientists to employ statistically driven approaches that speed up data processing, improve model forecasts, and give insights into the underlying physical processes. Such big-data approaches are supported by the wider scientific, computational, and statistical research communities who are constantly developing data science and machine learning techniques and software. Hence, data science and machine learning methods are rapidly impacting the fields of geohazards. In this session, we will see research into hazards spanning a broad range of time and spatial scales.
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.
Unsupervised, supervised as well as reinforcement learning are now increasingly used to address Earth system related challenges.
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
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