European Geosciences Union meeting: Press conferences, media registration

March 16, 2017

The schedule of press conferences at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) is now available. It includes presentations on Cassini's grand finale, food security, and screaming clouds, among other topics. The EGU General Assembly also features a Union session on how scientists can stand up for science, and debates on global opportunities and threats from Arctic environmental changes, on the 2°C climate target, and on great extinctions. The meeting is taking place on 23-28 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 Sunday.

Press conference schedule
Meeting programme
Programme highlights
Media registration


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).

Monday, 24 April, 10:30-11:00

In this press conference we will learn how the spectacular colours of bright, mother-of-pearl clouds inspired a famous painting.


Helene Muri
Researcher, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
(presenting on behalf of Svein Fikke, Meteorological Consultant, Lørenskog, Norway)

Related scientific sessions: AS1.34

Monday, 24 April, 13:00-14:00

Cities are usually warmer than their surrounding areas, an effect known as urban heat island. Roads and buildings absorb and trap more solar radiation than the soil and vegetation more prevalent in rural locations, which causes temperatures in cities to increase. In addition, human activities such as heating, cooling and transportation, add to this effect. How will climate change affect urban areas, and what can we do about it? In this press conference, we'll find out how much global warming will worsen the urban heat island effect, and how weather, air pollution and future climate can affect an essential service in cities: ambulances. We will also hear which techniques are best to fight increasing urban temperatures, from a 17th century Japanese practice to more modern methods, including green roofs or reflective surfaces.


Hendrik Wouters
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leuven, Belgium

Francis Pope
Lecturer, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Anna Solcerova
PhD Researcher, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Konrad Andre
Research Assistant, Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Austria

Related scientific sessions: NH9.7/AS4.33/CL2.28/HS11.34, CL3.07/AS4.27, CL2.02

Tuesday, 25 April, 09:00-10:00

Coastlines are often impacted by storms, with low-lying coastal areas being particularly prone to flooding. This risk is expected to increase in a warmer world, as sea-level rises and storms become more intense and frequent. In this press conference we will hear about a 300-year storm record and how it can help people living in European coastlines better prepare for future storms. Another team will present a map of global coastal flood hazards, which will make it easier for coastal populations to understand their flood risk and how it might change in the future. Moving from the coast inland, we'll hear about another water-related hazard: threats to freshwater resources. The final presentation at this press conference will focus on how drought and wars in the Middle East have affected water bodies in the region.


Paolo Ciavola
Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Italy and Consorzio Futuro in Ricerca, Italy Dirk Eilander
Researcher, Deltares, Inland Water Systems, The Netherlands

Mejs Hasan
PhD Student, Department of Geology, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, United States

Related scientific sessions: NH9.10/SM10.10, NH9.1/CL2.26, HS6.3

Tuesday, 25 April, 10:00-11:00

The polar regions, at the north and southern extremes of our planet, are some of the most unique and fragile areas on Earth. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, with drastic consequences for the sea-ice cover in the region, which hit its lowest annual extent on record in 2016. A talk at this press conference will look into what 2016 Arctic sea ice can tell us about future sea-ice conditions in the region. We will also hear about how future Arctic sea-ice cover will differ for 1.5 and 2°C, the two global warming limits in the Paris Agreement. Moving south, another presentation will look into the impact that warm winds (Foehn winds) are having on the weather, climate and ice shelves in Antarctica, specifically Larsen C. This ice shelf is located in the Antarctic Peninsula, the fastest warming region on Earth in the late 20th century, and is at risk of collapse. This press conference will end with the presentation of a new seabed map of the polar regions, an atlas of submarine glacial landforms with stunning images.


James Screen
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Julienne Stroeve
Senior Research Scientist, University of Colorado, National Snow and Ice Data Center, United States

Jenny Turton
PhD Student, British Antarctic Survey and University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Kelly Hogan
Marine Geophysicist, British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom

Related scientific sessions: CL3.04, CR2.1, CL4.07/AS1.14/BG9.18/CR1.7/HS11.3, CL1.23/BG9.14/CR6.3/OS2.5

Tuesday, 25 April, 11:00-12:00

In modern societies, plastic has uses in thousands of products, from food packaging and clothing to furniture and electronics. Because of how prevalent its use is, millions of tons of plastic debris end up in landfills every year around the world. When plastic waste is not properly managed or disposed, it can pollute soils, rivers and the oceans, affecting the natural environment, including animals and humans. This press conference will feature a presentation about how microplastics can accumulate in the terrestrial food chain. Another presentation will reveal how much plastic is delivered by rivers into the sea. Finally, we will hear about what plastic debris washed up in coastal areas can tell us about past storms.


Esperanza Huerta
Researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Agroecologia, Campeche, Mexico & Guest Researcher at Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Christian Schmidt
Researcher at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Hydrogeology, Germany

Lasse Sander
Researcher at the Wadden Sea Research Station, Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Related scientific sessions: OS4.7, SSP4.7/CL1.08/NH2.9/SM1.4, NH1.5/AS4.37/CL4.19/HS11.27/SM10.9/SSS10.16

Tuesday, 25 April, 15:30-16:30

On 22 April, the final close flyby of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, will propel the Cassini spacecraft across the planet's main rings and into its Grand Finale series of orbits. This marks the start of the final and most audacious phase of the mission as the spacecraft dives between the innermost rings of Saturn and the outer atmosphere of the planet to explore a region never before visited; the first of 22 ring plane crossings occurs on 26 April. The mission will end on 15 September 2017 when the spacecraft plunges into Saturn's atmosphere and burns up, in order to protect moons of Saturn that could have conditions suitable for life. During this press briefing, a panel of Cassini scientists will discuss what to expect during Cassini's Grand Finale, as well as presenting some science highlights from the mission, including updates from the ring-grazing orbits that began in November 2016.


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

Luciano Iess
Cassini Team Member, Università La Sapienza, Rome

Nicolas Altobelli
ESA (European Space Agency) Cassini Project Scientist

Related scientific sessions: PS3.1

Wednesday, 26 April, 10:00-11:00

What can we learn about human history and evolution, and its impact, by analysing rocky caves, sediments, or features in the landscape? Research featured at this press conference explores a newly discovered rock shelter in Spain. The Abrigo del Molino holds clues for when the last Neanderthals occupied the Iberia Peninsula, which could help us find out if they mingled with anatomically modern humans. Another presentation will look into how soils are affected when we bury the dead underground: What can the chemical signals of decomposed human remains tell us about different mortuary customs? And how can nutrients of human origin affect the local ecology? A final presentation will go into how battles can leave long-term scars in landscapes. The research focuses on the First World War Verdun battlefield, in France, and how - 100 years on - flora and fauna are taking over shell craters, trenches, shelters and gun sites.


Martin Kehl
Researcher, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany

Ladislav Smejda
Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic

Rémi De Matos Machado
PhD Researcher, Geography Laboratory, University Paris-Diderot, France

Related scientific sessions: SSP4.7/CL1.08/NH2.9/SM1.4, GM7.3/CL1.09/SSS3.11, SSS3.4

Wednesday, 26 April, 11:00-12:00

Many of the goods consumed in Europe, including staples such as coffee or rice, are produced outside its borders, making Europe's economy dependent on water resources elsewhere in the world. Researchers have studied how vulnerable some key products are to drought and water scarcity, which climate change and weather extremes are making more likely in many of the regions where European goods originate from. They will outline their findings during the press conference. Another team has looked into the question: How can countries mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions in agriculture without compromising food security? Researchers will detail some of the options at the press conference. Finally, we will hear about how climate change and other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, storms or fires, affect the production of one of Europe's most popular drinks: wine.


Ertug Ercin
Project Manager, Water Footprint Network, The Netherlands

Stefan Frank
Research Scholar, Ecosystems Services and Management, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

James Daniell
Researcher, Geophysical Institute, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Related scientific sessions: NH9.1/CL2.26, HS4.6/CL3.02, SSS9.14/BG9.46/CL3.13

Wednesday, 26 April, 12:30-13:30




Related scientific sessions: PS3.2

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 (over 950) and abstracts (over 17,500) are now available online and fully searchable. You can access the programme on the EGU 2017 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 a Union-wide session titled 'Make Facts Great Again: how can scientists stand up for science?', with panelists including Christiana Figueres, Sir David King and Christine McEntee. The conference will also feature great debates, namely, 'Arctic environmental change: global opportunities and threats', 'Is 2degrees possible without relying on carbon storage and capture?', as well as discussions on great extinctions, open science and next-generation cities.

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

Members of the media, public information officers and science bloggers (conditions apply) are invited to register for the meeting online, free of charge, by 19 March (Sunday) at

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 advance registration assures that your badge will be waiting for you on your arrival to the conference venue, the Austria Center Vienna. You can pick up your registration pass, or register on-site, at the EGU Info Desk in the main entrance hall on Sunday 12:00-20:00, or in Hall X5 (main registration area) during the rest of the week.

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

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 2017 General Assembly website,

Since two major events are taking place in Vienna in parallel with the EGU 2017 General Assembly, we recommend booking your accommodation as soon as possible.

European Geosciences Union

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