Public Release: 

European Geosciences Union meeting: Press conference, online registration

EGU 2018 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 new results from ESA and NASA missions, what's at risk from coastal hazards, and the 2017 wildfire season, among other topics. The EGU General Assembly also features a Union session on challenges for the geosciences, and debates on low-risk geoengineering and on threats for life on Earth. For the first time this year, there will also be an EGU Public Lecture, held in parallel with the EGU General Assembly. The meeting is taking place on 8-13 April at the Austria Center Vienna and is expected to attract more than 14,000 scientists from around the world. Journalists interested in attending should register online by tomorrow:

*Press conference schedule*

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

PC1: Eavesdropping on the ocean and cities (Tuesday, 10 April, 10:00-11:00)

PC2: Earth from Space: ESA's latest satellite data (Tuesday, 10 April, 11:30-12:30)

PC3: Contaminated waters: pollutants in rivers and groundwater (Tuesday, 10 April, 13:00-14:00)

PC4: From droughts to war: forests under pressure (Wednesday, 11 April, time TBC)

PC5: Shape of things to come? The 2017 wildfire season (Wednesday, 11 April, 12:15-13:15)

PC6: Hazards in the wake of climate change (Wednesday, 11 April, 14:00-15:00)

PC7: Latest results from NASA's Juno mission at Jupiter (Wednesday, 11 April, 15:00-16:00)

PC8: What's at risk from coastal hazards? (Thursday, 12 April, 11:30-12:30)


Tuesday, 10 April, 10:00-11:00

In this press conference, we look at results from unconventional research. We will learn how we can use seismology to eavesdrop on a city - or, more specifically, to monitor road traffic and cultural activities. In another presentation, we will find out how super-silent ocean gliders are helping researchers build an underwater soundscape, that can be used to measure sea-surface wind speed, monitor storms, and to eavesdrop on marine life. A third and final presentation will focus on how ocean acidification is increasingly interfering with marine-animal communication.


Jordi Diaz
Researcher, Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera of the Spanish Scientific Research Council, Barcelona, Spain

Pierre Cauchy
PhD Student, Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

Germaine van der Sanden
Trainee, European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, The Netherlands (previously at VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Related scientific sessions: SM4.03, OS4.4/BG3.8, OS3.4/BG1.39

Tuesday, 10 April, 11:30-12:30

ESA's series of Earth Explorers satellites and the Copernicus Sentinel missions use a wide range of space technologies to further our scientific understanding of many different aspects of how Earth works and how it is changing. The Swarm Earth Explorer mission, for example, is used to study the magnetic field while the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor mission focuses on air pollution. The newest findings from Swarm give the most detailed view of Earth's magnetic field ever produced. Swarm data are allowing scientists to gain greater insight into dynamics occurring deep inside the planet and why our magnetic field is weakening as well as new insight upper-atmosphere processes where the magnetic field interacts with charged particles in solar wind. The mission has even sensed the weak magnetic field of our oceans. The Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite is being commissioned as it was only launched last October. Even though it is still being prepared for operations, the first data on ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and more demonstrate the potential for using this new satellite for monitoring air quality and climate change, both regionally and globally. This is a unique opportunity to witness the first findings from this latest Copernicus satellite.


Josef Aschbacher
ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes

Sentinel-5P mission manager and the core processing and development team

Related scientific sessions: EMRP2.2/ST3.10, AS3.15


Tuesday, 10 April, 13:00-14:00

Over 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water around the world. Aside from impacting human health, water pollution can also kill plants and animals, disrupt the food chain, and affect human activities such as agriculture and industry. In this press conference we will hear the preliminary results of a study of 10,000 river (sub)basins to find out how much sewage systems have contributed to water pollution around the world. We will also find out where the hotspots for river pollution are and how many rivers around the world might be polluted by sewage by 2050. Another presentation will focus on the fate of pharmaceuticals in freshwaters, looking to answer questions such as: how are the world's rivers affected by these human and veterinary contaminants? And how much will this environmental threat increase in the future? A final presentation will focus on the Amazon basin and on how natural contamination of groundwater with arsenic and other trace elements is becoming an emerging health concern in this region.


Francesco Bregoli
Postdoc Researcher, Department of Water Science and Engineering, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

Maryna Strokal
Postdoc Researcher, Water Systems and Global Change group, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Caroline de Meyer
Researcher, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Related scientific sessions: HS2.3.6, HS5.5, NH8.1/HS5.13/SSS13.60


Wednesday, 11 April, time TBC

Global climate change and local droughts in the Amazon over the past few years are taking a toll on the world's largest tropical rainforest. A presentation at this press conference will look into the evidence pointing to the drying of the Amazon rainforest. Another talk will focus on the increase in tree mortality in the region and what that might mean for the forest's potential to act as a carbon sink in the future. A third presentation will provide a more global overview of tree mortality. It will focus on using lidar surveys to produce 3D maps of changing canopy in tropical, temperate and boreal forests. A final presentation will look into the past, and a different type of pressure on forests: war. The talk will show how one military encounter in the Second World War continues to leave a visible legacy in the northern forests of Norway more than seventy years later.


Sassan Saatchi
Senior Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States

David Galbraith
Lecturer, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Douglas Morton [TBC]
Physical Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, United States

Claudia Hartl [TBC]
Research Associate, Department of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Related scientific sessions: BG2.32/SSS13.8, BG4.12/GI2.26, BG2.23, CL1.07


Wednesday, 11 April, 12:15-13:15

In 2017, record wildfires burnt across the Earth's continents. In Greenland, highly unusual open fires burnt on peat lands left vulnerable by permafrost thawing. Wildfires in Portugal were the deadliest and most extensive ever recorded, resulting in more than 100 fatalities and a burnt area over four times larger than the average of the previous 10 years. California had the most destructive and costly wildfire season on record. In British Columbia in Canada, 2017 wildfires burnt a record large area and, on 12 August 2017, violent thunderstorms generated by fire heat injected smoke particles into the stratosphere at an unprecedented level in the modern era. In this press conference, we will hear about research on these destructive wildfires, including how powerful the British Columbia smoke and dust plumes were and what the fires on and near Greenland mean for ice melting in the region. The press conference will also focus on how the season can be a harbinger of future changes, and how countries can better adapt to changing wildfire patterns.


David Peterson
Researcher, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA

Andreas Stohl
Senior Scientist, NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Department of Atmospheric and Climate Research (ATMOS), Kjeller, Norway

António Ferreira
Researcher, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra College of Agriculture, Coimbra, Portugal

Etienne Tourigny
Researcher, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Earth Sciences, Spain

Related scientific sessions: AS3.4/BG4.10/NH7.4, SSS8.3, CL3.04/NP5.6, BG4.2


Wednesday, 11 April, 14:00-15:00

Could more volcanic eruptions happen in a warmer world? At this press conference we will hear about how a chain of events, made more likely due to climate change, has the potential to trigger volcanic eruptions. In another presentation, we will find out about another chain of events that starts with a changing climate and ends with the increased fragility of Europe's road and rail infrastructure, a crucial part of Europe's economy. Another critical contributor to Europe's prosperity is its agriculture. At this press conference we will also hear results from a new study that determines the duration and area of future droughts all across the continent at various levels of warming. Another new study, also presented at this press conference, focuses on winter storms in the Euro-Atlantic area and how they will affect Europe, especially the British Isles and Northern Scandinavia, in a warmer world.


Gioachino Roberti
PhD Student, Université Clermont Auvergne, Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, Clermont Ferrand, France -and- Simon Fraser University, Earth Sciences, Burnaby, Canada

Matthias Schlögl
Researcher, Transportation Infrastructure Technologies, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Vienna, Austria

Luis Samaniego
Deputy Head of the Computational Hydrosystems Department, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany

Monika J. Barcikowska
Researcher, Environmental Defense Fund, New York City, United States

Related scientific sessions: GMPV4.8/CL1.34, NH9.4, HS2.1.1, HS7.5


Wednesday, 11 April, 15:00-16:00

Summary to be made available later


To be confirmed

Related scientific session: PS3.2


Thursday, 12 April, 11:30-12:30

From tsunamis to floods and storm surges, coastal areas are particularly prone to natural disasters. This press conference looks at the effects from hazards we can expect to impact the world's coastlines. One presentation will focus on the tsunami risk for the world's most prominent beaches and the impact tsunamis can have on beach-related tourism. Another presentation will look into how climate change and socioeconomic factors will affect the number of people exposed to coastal flooding in the future. Other presentations will focus on the Mediterranean region and on how coastal hazards associated with sea-level rise are putting UNESCO World Heritage sites at risk.


Andreas Schaefer
PhD Student, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Geophysical Institute, Karlsruhe, Germany

Michalis Vousdoukas
Researcher, Joint European Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

Lena Reimann [TBC]
PhD Student, Kiel University, Department of Geography, Kiel, Germany

Marco Anzidei
Researcher, INGV - National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy

Related scientific sessions: NH9.10/GMPV6.10/HS11.42/SM3.16/SSS13.62, NH5.4/AS4.29/CL3.10/HS11.32/OS2.11, GI3.3/EMRP4.10/NH9.23/PS4.10

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.

*Meeting programme online*

All sessions and side events (over 950) and abstracts (around 18,000) are now available online. You can access the programme on the EGU 2018 website:

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

*Programme highlights*

The EGU 2018 General Assembly programme features a variety of Union-wide sessions that may be of interested to media participants. This year, we are organising sessions on challenges for the geosciences, the fifty years of international ocean drilling and on the future of Earth and planetary observations from space, among others. The conference will also feature great debates, including 'Low-risk geo-engineering: are techniques available now?' and 'Natural versus anthropogenic threats for life on Earth'.

Closer to the time of the meeting, the EGU press officer will select number of sessions that include presentations media participants may wish to check while searching for newsworthy research to report on:

Reporters may also find the list of papers of media interest, selected by session conveners, useful:

*EGU Public lecture*

For the first time this year, the EGU is organising a side event aimed at the wider public in Vienna during the EGU General Assembly. Stefan Rahmstorf, Climate Scientist and Head of Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of Physics of the Oceans at the University of Potsdam, will be the inaugural lecturer and his talk will focus on climate change and the Paris climate agreement. The event will be held in German at the Vienna Natural History Museum on Thursday 12 April. For more information, please check the museum's website:

*Media registration*

Members of the media, public information officers and science bloggers (conditions apply) are invited to register for the meeting online, free of charge. Media registration gives access to the Press Centre, interview rooms equipped with noise reduction material, 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 list of journalist and public information officers who have registered already is available online at

Online pre-registration is open until tomorrow, 6 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 This website will feature a full programme of press conferences closer to the date of the meeting, which will also be announced in later media advisories. For information on accommodation and travel, please refer to the appropriate sections of the EGU 2018 General Assembly website:


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