Public Release: 

European Geosciences Union meeting: Press conferences, registration closing tomorrow

EGU 2016 media advisory 3

European Geosciences Union

The schedule of press conferences at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) is now available. It includes presentations on methane release from the Arctic seafloor, on finding out how ancient organisms moved and fed, and on the latest developments from ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission, among other topics. The EGU General Assembly will also feature a debate on economic growth and climate change, a session on the Anthropocene, and a talk by astronaut André Kuipers. The meeting is taking place on 17-22 April at the Austria Center Vienna and is expected to attract some 13,000 scientists from around the world. Journalists interested in attending should register online by tomorrow.


Press conference schedule
Meeting programme
Programme highlights
Media registration


Press conferences at the EGU General Assembly will be held at the Press Centre located on the Yellow Level 0 (Ground Floor) of the Austria Center Vienna. All times are CEST (local time in Vienna).

Monday, 18 April, 12:00-13:00

Natural hazards, from floods and droughts to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, often have consequences for people's lives and livelihoods. In this press conference, researchers will talk about a century of flood losses in the UK, look into how floods can affect the real estate market in the US and Slovenia, and reveal the economic costs of global natural disasters from 1900 to 2015. They will also look into what areas of Europe will be affected the most by climate-related hazards in the future.


Giovanni Forzieri
Researcher, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Climate Risk Management Unit, Italy
Stefan Rimkus
Catastrophe Risk Analyst, SCOR Global P&C, Zurich, Switzerland
James Daniell
Researcher, Geophysical Institute & Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
Mitja Brilly (or Klaudija Sapac)
Professor, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Related scientific sessions: CL3.03/AS4.27, HS7.5/NH1.21, NH9.2

Tuesday, 19 April, 09:00-10:00

From the time of the Mayas and Romans to the early medieval ages and more recent periods, civilisations have had to resist and adapt to natural changes in their environment. What role did drought play in the fall of the Ancient Maya civilisation? What was the impact of long-term changes in temperature and rainfall on Roman agriculture and trade? Did drought contribute to famine, disease and violence in early medieval Europe? And what role did volcanic eruptions play in the climatic changes that may have destabilised societies in Europe and central America? These are some of the questions that researchers at this press conference hope to answer.


Francis Ludlow
Lecturer, Department of History & Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Brian Dermody
Researcher, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Matthew Toohey
Researcher, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Linda Kuil
PhD Candidate, Centre for Water Resource Systems, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
Kees Nooren (TBC)
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Related scientific sessions: CL1.07, HS5.4

Tuesday, 19 April, 11:00-12:00

While bones, teeth and shells dominate the fossil record, in the past few years palaentologists have started to rely on different fossilised remains and techniques to discover more about extinct animals. A team in Liverpool recovers information about the movements of dinosaurs by studying their tracks, while researchers in Leicester are studying rare fossilised soft tissues, such as livers, guts and gills, to investigate how decay influences fossilisation. Meanwhile, scientists in Oxford are using computer models to shed light on how ancient organisms moved and fed. Researchers will share these and others exciting developments in palaeontology at this press conference.


Peter Falkingham
Lecturer, Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Thomas Clements
PhD Student, Department of Geology, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Imran Rahman
Research Fellow, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, United Kingdom

Related scientific session: SSP4.2

Tuesday, 19 April, 12:30-13:30

The Arctic contains much of the natural methane on Earth, trapped in permafrost and under the seafloor. As temperatures in the region rise, this powerful greenhouse gas is being slowly released, first into the ocean and eventually reaching the atmosphere. In this press conference, researchers will reveal how structures such as giant craters signal marine methane release, and what high concentrations of methane might mean for seafloor fauna. A team will also present results relating methane release from the seafloor with methane increase in the atmosphere.


Malin Waage
PhD Candidate, CAGE - Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, Department of Geology, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Emmelie K.L. Åström
PhD Candidate, CAGE - Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, Department of Geology, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Cathrine Lund Myhre (TBC)
Senior Scientist, NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway

Related scientific session: BG5.2

Wednesday, 20 April, 12:00-13:00

ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) will, if approved, travel to the Didymos binary asteroid system, scheduled for its relatively close Earth encounter in 2022. AIM will perform the first detailed studies of a binary asteroid, including studies before, during and after the impact of the accompanying NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impactor spacecraft into Didymoon, the smaller of the two asteroids in the system. The main purpose of the DART mission, if approved, is to demonstrate and test for the first time the kinetic impact technique for deflecting an asteroid from its course. The impact of the DART spacecraft will measurably change the orbit of Didymoon around its primary body. This press briefing will provide new results on research about the impact experiment, the detailed design of AIM's micro-lander, and many new scientific and technical investigations.


Michael Küppers
AIM Project Scientist, European Space Astronomy Centre, Science Operations Department, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
Ian Carnelli
AIM Mission Manager, European Space Agency, HQ, Paris, France
Patrick Michel
Chair of the AIM Investigation Team, Lagrange Laboratory, Université Côte d'Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Nice, France
Andy Cheng
DART Lead Investigator, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel MD, United States

Related scientific session: PS1.5

Thursday, 21 April, 11:00-12:00

On 6 January 2016, the monitoring stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) picked up an unusual seismic event in North Korea. Experts at National Data Centers around the world confirmed the event to be an explosion, with properties consistent with those of previous nuclear tests at the same location. However, at the time of writing, scientists have not yet confirmed that the event was a nuclear explosion: any detection of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere has to be analysed to determine whether they were released by a nuclear test or other sources. In this press conference, researchers from the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources and the CTBTO will provide updates on how seismological and atmospheric analysis can help determine the properties of clandestine bomb explosions, such as North Korea's.


J. Ole Ross
Researcher, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover, Germany
Lars Ceranna
Researcher, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover, Germany
Martin Kalinowski
Head, Scientific Methods Unit, CTBTO

Related scientific sessions: SM1.2

Thursday, 21 April, 12:00-13:00

The Arctic has been experiencing record high air temperatures and record low sea-ice extent. This decline in sea ice is expected to continue in the future, which could open up new, more efficient, shipping routes, but might also have profound impacts in the region as well as further afield. In this press conference, researchers will present and discuss the latest data on Arctic sea-ice thickness from in-situ and satellite measurements. They will also discuss how well models represent the observed decline of Arctic sea ice, and what some of the consequences of diminishing sea ice in the region might be.


Alexandra Jahn
Assistant Professor, Department for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, CU-Boulder, Colorado, US
Marcel Nicolaus
Sea Ice Physicist, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
Mikhail Dobrynin
Research Scientist, University of Hamburg, Germany

Related scientific sessions: CL5.14/AS2.5/OS1.14, IE4.6/CL3.02/AS1.18/CR1.9/OS1.8, IE4.2/CL4.03/CR1.11/OS1.15, CR6.1/OS1.25

Thursday, 21 April, 13:30-14:30

At the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first legally binding global climate deal. A key point of discussion was the issue of responsibility. This press conference presents new research assessing the extent to which some developed and developing nations are to blame for climate change, from emissions to temperature increase contributions. This media briefing will also shed light on what the Paris agreement, and its global mean temperature limit of 2°C, means for the Earth system, from glacier mass change to sea-level rise.


Mario Krapp
Climate Scientist, Climate Analytics, Berlin and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany
Erwan Monier
Principal Research Scientist, MIT, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Cambridge, MA, United States
Robert DeConto
Professor, University of Massachusetts, Geosciences, Amherst, MA, United States
Ben Marzeion
Professor, Institute of Geography, University of Bremen, Germany

Related scientific sessions: CL0.01/EOS8, CR1.2/CL4.19, CR1.4

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


All sessions (close to 900) and abstracts (over 16,500) are now available online and fully searchable. You can access the programme on the EGU 2016 website at

The programme is searchable by name of a scientist, keywords (e.g.: Greenland, giant), session topic (e.g.: climate, atmospheric sciences), and other parameters. Further, you can select single contributions or complete sessions from the meeting programme to generate your personal programme.


The EGU press officer has selected a number of sessions that include presentations media participants may wish to check while searching for newsworthy research to report on. Sessions featured in the list include debates, such as Is global economic growth compatible with a habitable climate? and Plan it Earth: is there enough resource for all? Is it just a matter of planning for the future?, as well as other Union-wide sessions. Find out more at


Members of the media, public information officers and science bloggers (conditions apply) are now invited to register for the meeting online, free of charge at

Media registration gives access to the Press Centre, interview rooms - which are equipped with noise reduction material in 2016 - and other meeting rooms, and also includes a public transportation ticket for Vienna. At the Press Centre, media participants have access to high-speed Internet (LAN and wireless LAN), as well as breakfast, lunch, coffee and refreshments, all available free of charge.

The online list of journalist and public information officers who have registered already is available online at

Online pre-registration is open until 17 March. The advance registration assures that your badge will be waiting for you on your arrival to the conference venue, the Austria Center Vienna. You may also register on-site during the meeting.

Further information about media services at the General Assembly is available at Closer to the date, this website will feature a full programme of press conferences, which will also be announced in later media advisories. For information on accommodation and travel, please refer to the appropriate sections of the main EGU 2016 General Assembly website at


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