Monday, 8 April 2013

CEH science at the EGU 2013 General Assembly

Scientists from CEH are joining 11,000 others at the EGU annual assembly in Vienna this week to present progress and results from a range of hydrological and other projects.
The annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, running until Friday 12 April, is the place to meet every kind of earth, atmosphere and ocean scientist and even get the latest data from the Curiosity rover on Mars. It's one of the two largest annual gatherings of geo-scientists in the world, with participants from almost 100 countries.
Hydrology is always a feature, along with volcanology, planetary and earth science, atmosphere, climate, energy and resources. CEH’s hydrology-related presentations and posters will highlight our latest research in floods, droughts and predicting hydrological change.
Chris Taylor is presenting his work that shows afternoon rain is more likely over drier soils (relating to his recent Nature paper) and convening a session on African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis.
Ilaria Prosdocimi will explain a case study based on old Ordnance Survey maps that could take UK flood estimation forward from a steady state model to allow for the effects of increasing urbanisation and climate variability on flood risk.
Jamie Hannaford’s poster describes a unique international dataset, a network of more than 1200 “Reference” catchments (undisturbed by human activities like reservoirs and urbanisation) across Europe and North America where we can identify natural, climate-driven changes in river flow regimes. Jamie and his co-workers will use this broad network to quantify long-term changes in the frequency of major floods (events that occur on average every 25 to 100 years) for the first time on a continental scale.
Ignazio Giuntoli, a PhD student with CEH and the University of Birmingham, will present a poster looking at several models to assess future water security. Early results from two of the models suggest that water deficit is expected to increase in two “hotspots”: Northern Latin America and Southern Europe.
Bob Moore is convening a session on Friday on Hydrological forecasting: challenges in uncertainty estimation, data assimilation, post-processing and decision-making.
Thomas Kjeldsen, a co-author of several presentations on improving our understanding of European flood hydrology, is not attending but has just been appointed an Editor of the EGU journal Hydrology & Earth System Sciences (HESS).
CEH science is also represented beyond hydrology.  In a session on energy, resources and the environment, Niall McNamara reports on initial findings from a project investigating greenhouse gas balances of land use transitions into energy crops, while Andrew Robertson presents on carbon dioxide emissions for a Miscanthus plantation. Meanwhile, Mike Billett and colleagues' research on peatlands and the carbon cycle is also being presented.
Finally, CEH Fellow Professor John P Burrows, formerly our Director of Biogeochemistry and now with the University of Bremen in Germany, delivers the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal Lecture on Wednesday. Professor Burrows receives the medal for atmospheric-earth system research. (Bjerknes was a Norwegian physicist and meteorologist who made a fundamental contribution to electricity working with Hertz and then moved to wave motions, which are the basis of modern weather prediction).

Congratulations and good luck to all those involved this week!

Further information

Read a news story about Chris Taylor's work showing afternoon rain is more likely over drier soils

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