EGU 2017: Start of the conference

Here we are. My fourth time at the EGU and as always there is a new record in the number of participants (somewhere around 14,000). The last time I attended this conference was 2014 and so a lot has changed. A symbol for this are the tents on the former meeting area in front of the main building, which are really a pity (I certainly will complain about it a lot this week ;)). My personal contributions will be all on Friday, so I have some days to look around and enjoy some chit-chat in the poster sessions.

This year I got over to Vienna by night train, which is a nice change to the filled up flights from all over Europe who hit town on Sunday. As always, the conference started with the ice breaker, here called “opening reception”. It was quite busy and you could hear a lot that many were happy that there were enough drinks, after last years troubles in the poster sessions. So we will see what the performance on this will be this year.

The temporal conference buildings in front of the conference centre

The first day I hopped a bit through the sessions. Starting with some talks on the North Atlantic and coastal erosion for the starter. The discussions in the latter on beach evolution and probably failed policies on saving the coasts were really intriguing. Next up were the GIA session, which incorporated many important names in the field. Interesting was the question by one of the presenters on who in the room of roughly 150 scientist understands the Bayes’ Theorem. All in all roughly six hands went up, which was certainly not representative, but shows that there might be still a lot of work to be done to bring more statistical ideas and philosophies to some disciplines.

After lunch I went to a talk on the uncertainties of proxy data and followed it with some stratospheric meteorology. Indeed, the stratosphere is often sidelined by many meteorologist, but it gets more important as ever when we talk on teleconnections and possible predictability on a timescale of months. The final presentation session of the day were back at the North Atlantic session, before an interesting poster session followed. My day ended with a medal lecture on ice sheets, which was not interesting but also showed a view on the observational side of the problem of declining ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, which not often brings positive news.

All in all it was a great first day and I am looking forward to the next four days of hopefully a lot of more interesting talks and posters.

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