Having studied meteorology and doing therein statistics lead me always back to sessions, which are not directly connected to my current research focus. Like today, where I started with statistical methods applied on precipitation data. It was in fact a very diverse session, since precipitation data, due to their properties, are quite complicate to handle. Afterwards, I spend my time in a session about ensemble methods, which mainly focused on supermodels. Therein within a multi model ensemble each model is not calculated independently but the models are allowed to communicate with each other. This seems to be an intresting approach, even if there is to proof that the result is really benefitial over indepently run models on a large scale. Nevertheless, the first results looked quite promissing.
The whole day was dominated by the large sessions on the current IPCC AR and so I took a look into one of their sessions in the early afternoons. Afterwards, it was time for the great medal lecture by Olivier Talagrand. He got quite quickly through his work of his own and his collaborateurs, which was nice to see. All the different data assimilation techniques in one hour was interesting and remembered me of a lot of lectures during my studies. A worthy medal recipent. At the end stand the traditional poster session.
In general I like the medal lectures, since they really allow to cover a whole theme in a little bit more detail and give a good overview over a topic (which depends of course on the abbility of the presenter). The traditional 12 minute slots can be sometimes quite tiring and so it is good to have some alternatives on the menu.
There are days at conferences, where you want to view four sessions in parallel (like yesterday) and days where you struggle to fill the schedule with “must see” stuff (like today). The first type is definetely the case for the majority of days, at least for me, who usually sits around in several different subdivisions to see some interesting new stuff. Nevertheless, to a successful conference week belongs to make the best of the days of the second type.
But lets start with the beginning. I started today with the GIA session, which delivered me some valuable insight into the relatively new parts of my current work. The problem on how the ice sheets were configured in the past and how the present is able to tell us about it, is complicate and fascinating at the same time. A mix of data and model analysis is used in many different ways to learn more about the past and present world. The rest of the day I spend my time with several interesting discussions to fill my little gap within the “must see” sessions. During the poster sessions I had also some interesting insights even when the other days have for me personally a much more interesting program for the late sessions.
The more interesting part of the conference will start for me tomorrow, before the end of the week will be dominated by my own contributions.
After the reception yesterday the day today has started with the first day of real scientific program. I started with a visit to an session about interglacials, which was quite interesting. I personally work on the sea level during the last interglacial, but seeing the background apart from the sea is always quite enlightening. Especially a talk, which involved a particle filter for sea ice modelling was quite nice to see, since I will apply similar methods for my sea level analysis.
The second session was the CORDEX session, which lead me back to my roots in meteorology. Multi-model analysis and reanalysis are quite interesting topics, even when I am currentely do not really perform much research in that area.
In the afternoon I tried my first PICO session at the EGU. The idea is in general that after a short introduction of about 10 presentations (named 2 minute madness) something like a interactive poster session will be done. I personally found it, as the passive part of this exercise, not really ideal. The short introduction was good, but the display part was much to crowdy. When 20 people stand in front of a display and have not enough space to breath, the science do not get much better. As an active part I would probably like it, since I prefer to talk more freely and explain things in detail, without acting like an actor on a stage as it is often the case during a talk. It is better to see people directly into the eyes, without time pressure and answer even stupid questions, as long as it helps the recipents to understand my topics. So there is surely room for improvement for this sessions, but alternatives to pure talks and posters are always welcome.
The end of the day was the daily poster session, which led to a lot of nice discussions. All in all it was a great first day and I think this will be just the start to a great week.
Austria Centre Vianna is hosting the EGU 2014
There it is: welcome to Vienna, welcome to the EGU 2014. Once again we have a wonderful weather here in the west of Austria and an interesting week ahead of us, full of talks, posters and of cause discussions. The first action of the event was the registration, which was like the past times quite straight forward. Of cause, doing it at sunday is an advantage, before all the late comming people turn up on monday. The reception was also quite nice, enough to drink and some breads and rolls, which was in the end more than I had expected. Yes, smaller conferences have usually more to offer, but when you share an event with 12,000 people, compromises have to be made. Nevertheless, it is not the meals the scientists are comming for, it is the atmosphere within the next days. So let’s start this nice event in style with the early morning session on the monday.
Less then a week away until the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014, short EGU 2014, starts in Vienna. I will visit the conference with more than 10,000 visitors for the third time and it will be once again a great oportunity to see new things, people and ideas. Once again I will have the opportunity to contribute with two entries to the program and I would like to introduce them in the following with a short overview.
This talk will present a statistical approach to estimate the sea level history during the last interglacial. It bases on a massive ensemble approach, which are evaluated with bayesian statistics. The presentation will show some preliminary results and its uncertainties. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated how the shown uncertainties can be explained.
What have to be done to make data publications comparable to traditional publications? This is the question which this contribution tries to answer. We think one main factor will be an effective peer review scheme. A propable candidate will be described and illustrated with an application on data of a meteorological climate station.
So I am looking forward to an intersting week and hope for some nice discussions. When time and WiFi permit I will write on some impressions of the conference at this place. Until then: See you in Vienna!