Public Release: 

EGU 2014 media advisory 3: Full press conference schedule, online registration closing Monday

European Geosciences Union

The schedule of press conferences at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), which includes a briefing on the latest news from the Cassini mission and an update from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is now available. The meeting, which attracts over 11,000 scientists from all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences, will also feature great debates on mining and geoengineering. Journalists interested in attending should register online at by Monday. The event is taking place on 27 April - 2 May 2014 at the Austria Center Vienna.


Press conference schedule
Meeting programme
Union-wide sessions of interest
Media registration

Press conference schedule

Press conferences at the EGU General Assembly will be held at the Press Centre located on the Yellow Level (Ground Floor) of the Austria Center Vienna. All times are CEST.

Monday, 28 April, 14:00

Historically coasts, estuaries and rivers have been prime spots for locating human settlements. Today, these areas have some of the most bustling and economically prosperous cities on Earth, but does rapid urbanisation and population growth come with a price? Researchers in this press conference will discuss their work on sinking coastal cities - such as New Orleans, Bangkok, Venice and Shenzhen - many of which are also at risk from the effects of sea level rise. They will address the measurement of the rate of subsidence and its causes - human or natural - and the strategies we can put in place to mitigate the hazards associated with these sinking cities.


Gilles Erkens
Researcher, Faculty of Geosciences, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Pietro Teatini
Researcher, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova, Italy

Peng Liu [TBC]
Researcher, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Spatial Information Smart Sensing and Services, Shenzhen University, China

Related scientific session: GM1.8

Monday, 28 April, 15:10 (note delayed start)

The availability of freshwater is widely seen as one of the major challenges facing society. Climate change and an increasing demand for water - due to a growing world population and intensive water use - are expected to make the problem worse, contributing to a sharp decline in water security around the world. Changing conditions demand that societies adapt, emphasising the need for more sustainable water-use policies and improved strategies for prevention from, and adaptation to, water-related risks. In areas where water scarcity is or will soon be acute, some even predict conflicts over water use. In this media briefing, a panel of hydrologists will answer questions about the hydrological challenges facing humanity and how recent initiatives plan to address them.


Hubert Savenije
President, International Association of Hydrological Sciences & Hydrologist and Water Resources Engineer, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Gerrit de Rooij
President, EGU Hydrological Sciences Division & Deputy Department Head, Soil Physics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany

Günter Blöschl
EGU President & Chair of Hydrology and Water Resources Management at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Related scientific session: HS1.1

Tuesday, 29 April, 12:00

Polar sea ice is important in many ways: as a climate regulator, critical habitat and a platform for human activities. Rapid loss of Arctic sea ice could threaten these services and pose risks to both coastlines and infrastructure. With increasing changes to average world temperatures, how much do we know about the future of the Arctic sea ice? In this press conference, researchers reveal records of methane emissions during the last deglaciation and what they mean for the Earth's carbon budget. They will also explore the likelihood of an ice free Arctic by 2035 and assess the balance of benefits and risks associated with changing Arctic sea ice cover.


Giuliana Panieri
Associate Professor in Environment and Climate, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway

Jean-Claude Gascard
Oceanographer Emeritus at CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France

Hajo Eicken
Professor, Geophysical Institute and Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks, US

Related scientific sessions: CR4.3, AS4.14/BG7.4/CL3.10, OS1.2

Tuesday, 29 April, 13:00

Humans have changed the face of the Earth like no species ever before. We move more sediment than natural processes such as erosion or rivers, we alter watercourses by building and removing dams, and our large-scale urbanisation has resulted in unprecedented changes in land use and levels of air pollution. But are we truly living in the Anthropocene, the geological age dominated by human influence? This press conference will centre around research into recognising and characterising the Anthropocene, focusing on new results that highlight the extent to which human activities have had a global and significant impact on the Earth's ecosystems.


John Burrows
Professor of Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere, University of Bremen, Germany

Tony Brown
Professor of Physical Geography, University of Southampton, UK

Ronald Pöppl
Senior Lecturer, Geomorphological Systems and Risk Research, University of Vienna, Austria

Jan Zalasiewicz
Senior Lecturer in Palaeobiology, University of Leicester, UK

Related scientific sessions: AS3.7, GM4.1/HS9.12/SSS9.18, SSP2.1

Tuesday, 29 April, 14:00 (may last an additional 30 minutes)

Global warming is an ever more pressing problem that calls for an improved understanding of the Earth's climate. By looking into the past, researchers can better understand how the Earth system will respond in warmer climates and improve predictions of future climate change. In this press conference, researchers representing two projects - Past4Future and the Baltic Paleoenvironmental Expedition of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) - will present their most recent results, which aim to better understand climate change dynamics in the last interglacial period and the last ice age, respectively.


Thomas Andrén
Co-chief scientist of the IODP Baltic Paleoenvironment Expedition & Associated Professor, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Södertörn University, Sweden

Second IODP speaker TBA

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen
Project coordinator, Past4Future & Researcher, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Emilie Capron
Palaeoclimatologist (Ice Cores), British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK

Sarah Bradley
Numerical Modeller for Palaeo Ice Sheets, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK

Related scientific sessions: CL5.7, CL6.8/BG0/GMPV55

Tuesday, 29 April, 15:30

Volcanic eruptions remain one of the most exciting geological processes on Earth and within the Solar System, but they are also one of the most dangerous. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull's eruption in 2010, for example, alerted for the widespread disruption such events can cause. This press conference highlights the hazards that volcanic ash can pose for Europe and what the acoustics of Strombolian eruptions can tell us about their cause. Researchers will also address the evidence for explosive supervolcanoes on the surface of Mars.


Adam Dingwell
Doctoral Student, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden

Jörn Sesterhenn
Head, Computational Fluid Dynamics Group, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Joe Michalski
Aurora Fellow, Earth Sciences Department, Natural History Museum, London, UK

Related scientific sessions: NH2.3/AS3.17, PS2.6, GMPV35

Tuesday, 29 April, 16:30

Ten years ago, Cassini-Huygens, a mission lead by NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), entered the Saturnian System. The Cassini spacecraft became the first orbiter of Saturn in July 2004 and the Huygens probe landed softly on the surface of Titan in January 2005. These events marked the beginning of an era of astonishing discoveries that have revolutionised our understanding of this gas giant, its ring system and its moons. Major findings of the Cassini-Huygens mission include Titan's hydrocarbon seas and lakes, the cryo-volcanic activity of Enceladus, the dynamics of Saturn's rings, Saturn's North Polar hurricane, as well the overall variability of the Saturn's System with the seasons. The press conference will address the newest missions results and will look back at key moments in the exploration of the Saturnian System.


Nicolas Altobelli
ESA (European Space Agency) Cassini Project Scientist

Athena Coustenis
Cassini Team Member, Laboratoire d'études spatiales et d'instrumentation en astrophysique (LESIA), Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France

Linda Spilker
Cassini Project Scientist

Luciano Iess [TBC]
Cassini Team Member, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Tom Krimigis
NASA Principal Investigator, Cassini's Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument & Head Emeritus and Principal Staff, Space Department, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University

Related scientific sessions: PS3.2, PS3.1

Wednesday, 30 April, 9:00

Lightning is a natural and frequent phenomenon on Earth, but how well do we understand it? Volcanic lightning, for example, is hard to measure directly since it occurs when ash-rich volcanic plumes are released by erupting volcanoes. Now, a team of researchers has, for the first time, generated volcanic lightning in the lab. The new method could further studies of the phenomenon and help develop lightning monitoring systems to forecast volcanic ash emissions into the atmosphere. Another team is studying lightning in extrasolar planets to better understand how atmospheres become electrically charged. They hope to find out the role lightning can play in generating the building blocks for life.


Corrado Cimarelli
Researcher in Physical and Experimental Volcanology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany

Christiane Helling
Principal Investigator, LEAP (Life, Electricity, Atmosphere, Planets) Project, University of St Andrews, UK

Related scientific sessions: NH2.3/AS3.17, NH1.4

Wednesday, 30 April, 12:00 (may last an additional 30 minutes)

[Description to be available closer to the date of the event]


Thomas Stocker
Co-Chair Working Group I, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Other participants TBA

Related scientific sessions: US4, CL1.1, CL1.2, CL1.3

Wednesday, 30 April, 13:30

Lunar science and exploration is experiencing a revival with a number of missions under study or planned for launch within the next decade from China, Europe, the US, and other countries. In this press conference, researchers will present new results from recent lunar missions, including updates on the Chinese lander Chang'e 3 and the Yutu rover. They will also talk about the latest research discoveries using data from orbiters such as NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, GRAIL and ESA's SMART-1, the first European mission to the moon. The panel will also discuss key questions relating to future lunar research and robotic and human exploration of the Moon.


Bernard Foing
Senior Exploration Officer, European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), European Space Agency (ESA), and Executive Director of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)

James Head
Professor of Geological Sciences, Brown University, US Other participants TBA

Related scientific sessions: PS2.3

Thursday, 1 May, 10:00

From the sustainable management of Earth's resources to the monitoring of volcanoes and landslides, the geosciences have made important contributions to society. But Earth science applications are far more wide-reaching. In this press conference, researchers will present results highlighting how the study of isotopes in human hair can further investigations of murder cases, and will report on the effects of climate change on grape quality and vine behaviour. Other panelists will explain how biochar made from coffee residues can absorb soil pollutants and how computer games can help map croplands around the globe, essential to improving estimates of future food availability.


Jim Ehleringer
Director, Stable Isotope Ratio Facility for Environmental Research, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, US

Urtzi Leibar
Researcher, Environment Quality Department, Neiker-Tecnalia, Derio, Spain

Kalliopi N. Fotopoulou [may be replaced by co-author Hrissi Karapanagioti]
Researcher, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, Greece

Steffen Fritz
Group Leader, Earth Observation Systems, Ecosystems Services and Management, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Vienna, Austria

Related scientific sessions: SSS0.3, IG1, SSS9.8, ESSI1.8/EOS6

Thursday, 1 May, 11:00

Billions of years ago, cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green algae) transformed the chemistry of our planet, a period known as the Great Oxidation Event. This episode was a pivotal point in Earth's history, opening the evolutionary door to oxygen-breathing animals. Until recently, the event was thought to have taken place 2.3-2.4 billion years ago. But recent results have pushed this milestone back, resetting the date for the origin of oxygen-releasing photosynthesis and highlighting the long-lasting and dynamic nature of the transition from an oxygen-poor to an oxygen-rich world. This press conference explores new research on when and how Earth came to have an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and discusses what the conditions for life in our planet can tell us about the possible habitability of other worlds, particularly of ocean-bearing planets.


Timothy Lyons
Professor of Biogeochemistry, University of California, Riverside, US

Noah Planavsky [TBC]
Assistant Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University, US

Emmanuelle Javaux
Professor, Geology Department, University of Liège, Belgium

Lena Noack
Post-doc, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

Related scientific sessions: BG8.1 , PS8.1/BG8.2

Note that the list above is subject to change. Please check the press conference page, or the information panels at the Vienna press centre, for the most up-to-date information.

Meeting programme

All sessions (over 700) and abstracts (over 15,000) are available online and fully searchable. You can access the programme on the EGU 2014 website at

Media participants can use the meeting programme to search for abstracts or sessions they find particularly interesting. The programme is searchable by scientists' names, keywords (e.g.: volcano, Antarctica), session topics (e.g.: Natural Hazards, Climate: Past, Present, Future), and other parameters. Further, you can select single contributions or complete sessions from the meeting programme to generate your own personal programme.

Reporters may also find the list of papers of special interest, selected by session conveners, or the highlighted sessions/papers selected by the media officer useful.

Union-wide sessions of interest

This year, the EGU 2014 General Assembly programme features a variety of Union-wide sessions that may be of interested to media participants. These include two Great Debates: 'Metals in our backyard: to mine or not to mine' and 'Geoengineering the climate: the way forward?', and two Union sessions: 'IPCC Climate Change 2013/2014: Findings and Lessons Learned' and 'The Face of the Earth', which is dedicated to the theme of this year's Assembly. Also of note is the session on 'The Role of Geoscientists in Public Policy', which will include the participation of Members of the European Parliament and directors of European science organisations, among others. Please check for links with more information about these sessions.

Media registration

Members of the media and public information officers are invited to register for the meeting online, free of charge, at Media registration gives access to the Press Centre and other meeting rooms, and includes a public transportation ticket, the programme book and a USB flash drive with the abstracts presented at the General Assembly. Media participants also have access to high-speed internet (LAN and WLAN) and complimentary breakfast, lunch, coffee and refreshments at the Press Centre. The list of journalists and public information officers who have registered already is available online

Online pre-registration will be available until *31 March*. The advance registration assures that your badge will be waiting for you on your arrival to the Austria Center Vienna, giving you access to the Press Centre and other meeting rooms. You may also register on-site during the meeting.

For information on accommodation and travel, please refer to the appropriate sections of the EGU 2014 General Assembly website.


More information

The European Geosciences Union is Europe's premier geosciences union, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. It is a non-profit interdisciplinary learned association of scientists founded in 2002. The EGU has a current portfolio of 16 diverse scientific journals, which use an innovative open access format, and organises a number of topical meetings, and education and outreach activities. Its annual General Assembly is the largest and most prominent European geosciences event, attracting over 11,000 scientists from all over the world. The meeting's sessions cover a wide range of topics, including volcanology, planetary exploration, the Earth's internal structure and atmosphere, climate, energy, and resources. The 2014 EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 27 April to 2 May 2014. For information regarding the Press Centre at the meeting and media registration, please check

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