EGU 2018: Final day

And here it is: The end of the EGU 2018. The final day is always a quite relaxed one. Many scientists have already left Vienna and so everything is a bit more relaxed. Anyway, for me the day was quite busy as there were many sessions of interest for me running in parallel.

In the two morning sessions I spend my time in a session on climate archives and proxies, which was quite interesting. The topics were quite diverse and so it was a nice mix for the start. After lunch two sessions on sea-level were on the schedule. The first was on ice sheets during the Quaternary, which was mainly focused on the European Ice sheets during the last glacial maximum. The second one was on sea level from minutes to millennia, which was dominated by talks on the creation of sea level index points. And finally there was of course the poster session, as always some kind of a highlight of the day with many interesting discussions.

So the EGU is over and it was again a very interesting conference. When I look back I have to say some things have changed this year. For examples I had the impressions that the queues for the free coffee were much longer. Also the poster boards, on which I had complained a lot earlier this week were new. Over the days, the problem with the hiding place of the poster tubes got certainly better, as most tables beside the boards got loose and it was possible to take them away to open the hiding place. For the whole week we had great weather  and most stuff was well organised, but in my impression most sessions were too full. It seems that the Conference Centre in Vienna got to its limit and when the EGU should grow even more I doubt it is still the right place to host the event.

So all in all, for me it was a successful EGU. Let’s see whether I manage to get here next year and how I manage the other conferences coming up this year. So long, bye bye Vienna

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EGU 2018: Let’s start

And here we go! Another EGU has started today, all in all my fifth. It is always nice to spend some days in Vienna at the start of spring, so also this year the Austrian capital is offering us some sun for the start. Again I took the night train to Vienna, this time with a massive delay (5 hours).

After the reception last night the conference really started today with the first sessions. I started with an interesting time series analysis session. The talks switched a bit through the topics, some quite mathematical, some very detailed in their methodology. Next stop was the big data and machine learning  session, which was really busy. Much too many scientists wanted to get in, which is understandable how these topics are hyped currently.

After lunch it was time for the sea level sessions with great talks. As this is still a topic of much interest for me I always enjoy an interesting session on that topic. The last presentation session of the day was for me the one on dynamical extremes, before the day was closed with the poster session.

The conference centre

So all in all a quite statistical day at the start, the  next day will certainly look a bit different. My contributions will come up on Wednesday with a poster and on Thursday with a talk, also both times quite statistical topics, but more on that closer to the mid of the week.

EGU 2017: Final day

It’s over. Five days of interesting talks, posters and discussions are finally done and the EGU 2017 has reached its end. The final day was for me the only one where I had some contributions on my own and so it was a busy one.

After I have hung up my posters (yes, I had two to cover today), I went to a palaeo-session and listened to many talks about ice sheet modelling and data collection in Antarctica. After lunch I had the session in which I had to give my talk on the seasonal prediction of the SNAO.

The session lasted two slots long and the final talk on the supermodel reminded me of the SIRF I applied in my last paper. Interesting to see it applied to a full-scale model. Finally the day ended with the poster session, but this time I had my two posters and a lot of talking to do (and yeah, EGU finally retweeted a tweet of mine ;)).

So all in all it was a great conference. I enjoyed Vienna once again, met many interesting people and saw so many interesting talks and poster that I look forward to the next time. The hottest topic in my view was the warning of the observationalist that there is really a problem building up in Antarctica. I saw two medal lectures on this topic and the claim that models currently underestimate the potential sea level rise are quite worrisome. The thing I was not so happy about was the provisional building in front of the main building as it covered the meeting place and changed the atmosphere of the breaks. But to answer the question of my first post from this years EGU, it seemed as the resources for beers and wine for the poster sessions were alright, as the complaints were relatively quite during the days. At the end it is time for me to say goodbye from Vienna (I will do that with another day here) and taking all the new ideas home and hopefully having the time and opportunity to make something out of them.

EGU 2017: Preparation for the last day

It was the fourth day and at this time a conference gets a bit exhausting. I started the day with a visit to statistical post-processing and walked then on to the sea level session for the rest of the morning. As I have worked in my past position in sea-level science the topic is still very familiar for me. Especially the large range of topics, from palaeo-reconstructions to engineering advice makes a visit to such a session always an interesting adventure. After lunch I switched to the precipitation databases session, which was after the break followed with homogenisation approaches. The end of the day was as always filled with the poster session.

Tomorrow, I will finally have the opportunity to show my own work. In the afternoon I will have my talk on seasonal prediction and in the evening a poster on past sea-level change. Traditionally, the friday tends to be quite empty and it is usually not so good to have the contributions so late in a conference, but I am sure it will still be an interesting final day.

EGU 2017: Complications of interdisciplinarity

The third day of the EGU is over and my day got busier than yesterday. It started with a look into a sea-ice session with an interesting view of predicting its decline. A key is not to look at the time as the decisive variable, but on the development of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The second half of the first session I went into a more applied geological session, which mainly asked questions about how boulders get onshore. Quite interesting were the implications on potential storm climate during the last interglacial. The second session I paid a visit to precipitation its retrieval and the resulting products. Precipitation is one of the most complicated variables to predict as well as to measure and has therefore always interesting developments to offer.

After lunch my next stop was again a medal lecture, this time on chaos and the presenter had some really nice examples. The remaining session was on ENSO, before I decided to visit the open session on ocean science. Some interesting talks, for example on the uncertainty of deep ocean heat content made it an interesting session. The final of the day was as always the poster session.

Conferences like the EGU are always great for researchers like me, who prefer to take look into different fields (as I personally focus on the developments of statistical methodologies, which do not require to stick to one field). Unfortunately, this leads even more to the problem that you have to decide what you would like to see. While often schedulers take care to give a consistent schedule for one discipline (even when it does not really work every time),  having several different divisions to follow needs some extra care. When I look onto the first three days, I have visited sessions of the following divisions (only the first division on the list): OS, GM, G, CL, AS, GI, CR, NP and NH. I am not quite sure, which division I belong to myself, but I have learned that it would be simpler to stick to one division only. Often the computer systems/apps are not designed to assist in the search of session of many (or all) divisions and it requires some extra work to do it properly. There is always a session you felt you have missed. Anyway, it is worth the effort and everyone has problems to get their ideal scheduling done. The current app is a nice feature, but there is still the question on how it will get better to really assist every type of scientist at such a huge conference.

EGU 2017: Medal lectures

The second day of the conference was a quiet day for me, as no must see sessions were scheduled for me today. It started again with the North Atlantic session, which this time focussed more on the oscillations, like NAO. Afterwards, I visited a medal lecture on SAR. This topic is quite far away from my daily work, but such conferences are always a chance to see things you are usually not confronted with. Important for me was the statement that in times in which data can be generated in huge numbers, data management gets more and more important. Big data requires new ideas on workflows, might have to include cloud services and poses new questions on data availability.

After lunch I visited a palaeo session on the common era, which also addressed in many points the long-term variabilities of our climate system. In a last session another medal lecture was scheduled and again the southern ocean was the topic. This time it was the circular current and a good overview on the methods used to understand this important part of the global circulation was illustrated in this talk. A good thing about medal lectures is that you can see in a compact way a whole topic. Even when you now bits and pieces about it, it helps to get deeper into it to by getting it introduced by a real expert of the research field. The final stage of the day was then the traditional poster session. Tomorrow will be half time, and it will start the busy part of this week for me.

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. Continue reading