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Panelists at the first EGU-EFG Dinner Debate

EGU and EFG establish dialogue with policy makers on how the geosciences can help overcome Europe’s societal challenges

  • EGU news
  • 28 September 2018

On 26 September 2018, the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) have jointly convened the ‘Horizon Geoscience: overcoming societal challenges, creating change’ dinner debate. Held at the Royal Academy of Belgium, the event has gathered nearly 80 policymakers from European institutions, media representatives, and geoscience professionals from different sectors and fields of expertise.

Bombing of a factory at Marienburg, Germany, on 9 October 1943

Impact of WWII bombing raids felt at edge of space

  • Press release
  • 26 September 2018

Bombing raids by Allied forces during the Second World War not only caused devastation on the ground but also sent shockwaves through Earth’s atmosphere which were detected at the edge of space, according to new research. University of Reading researchers have revealed the shockwaves produced by huge bombs dropped by Allied planes on European cities were big enough to weaken the electrified upper atmosphere – the ionosphere – above the UK, 1000km away. The results are published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Annales Geophysicae.

Crevassed Thwaites ice

Glacial engineering could limit sea-level rise, if we get our emissions under control

  • Press release
  • 20 September 2018

Targeted engineering projects to hold off glacier melting could slow down the collapse of ice sheets and limit sea-level rise, according to a new study published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere. While an intervention similar in size to existing large civil engineering projects could only have a 30% chance of success, a larger project would have better odds of holding off ice-sheet collapse. But study authors Michael Wolovick and John Moore caution that reducing emissions still remains key to stopping climate change and its dramatic effects.

Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, USA

Deadline for climate action – Act strongly before 2035 to keep warming below 2°C

  • Press release
  • 30 August 2018

If governments don’t act decisively by 2035 to fight climate change, humanity could cross a point of no return after which limiting global warming below 2°C in 2100 will be unlikely, according to a new study by scientists in the UK and the Netherlands. The research also shows the deadline to limit warming to 1.5°C has already passed, unless radical climate action is taken. The study is published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Earth System Dynamics.

Highlight articles


Contrasting biosphere responses to hydrometeorological extremes: revisiting the 2010 western Russian heatwave

Northern forests enhanced their productivity during and before the 2010 Russian mega heatwave. We scrutinize this issue with a novel type of multivariate extreme event detection approach. Forests compensate for 54 % of the carbon losses in agricultural ecosystems due to vulnerable conditions in spring and better water management in summer. The findings highlight the importance of forests in mitigating climate change, while not alleviating the consequences of extreme events for food security.

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

The importance of small artificial water bodies as sources of methane emissions in Queensland, Australia

Artificial water bodies are a major source of methane and an important contributor to flooded land greenhouse gas emissions. Past studies focussed on large water supply or hydropower reservoirs with small artificial water bodies (ponds) almost completely ignored. This regional study demonstrated ponds accounted for one-third of flooded land surface area and emitted over 1.6 million t CO2eq. yr−1(10 % of land use sector emissions). Ponds should be included in regional GHG inventories.

Earth System Dynamics

The climate of a retrograde rotating Earth

Model experiments show that changing the sense of Earth’s rotation has relatively little impact on the globally and zonally averaged energy budgets but leads to large shifts in continental climates and patterns of precipitation. The retrograde world is greener as the desert area shrinks. Deep water formation shifts from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific with subsequent changes in ocean overturning. Over large areas of the Indian Ocean, cyanobacteria dominate over bulk phytoplankton.

Geoscience Communication

Building a Raspberry Pi school magnetometer network in the UK

As computing and geophysical sensor components have become increasingly affordable over the past decade, it is now possible to build a cost-effective system for monitoring the Earth’s natural magnetic field variations, in particular for space weather events, e.g. aurorae. Sensors available to the general public are ~ 100 times less sensitive than scientific instruments but only 1/100th of the price. We demonstrate a system that allows schools to contribute to a genuine scientific sensor network.

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