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12th Swiss Global Change Day - Meeting Report

On 19th April 2011 the Swiss global change research community met for the 12th time on the Swiss Global Change Day in Bern. About 310 participants attended the event and about 90 posters were presented, giving an overview of global change research activities in Switzerland.

Teaser: 12th Swiss Global Change Day - Meeting Report
Image: Gilbert & Oleg anlässlich der "Surprise" am SGCD

Following the introduction by Heinz Gutscher, chair of the ProClim- steering committee, six key note speakers presented highlights and challenges in the broad field of global environmental research:

Ilan Chabay from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, talked about the changes required in the learning processes in order to be able to stimulate behavioral changes in society. Chabay emphasized the importance of considering all kinds of models, because models were fundamental to our thinking. He therefore suggests using appropriate models at all levels of education, from elementary school through university and beyond. (--> Presentation, 2.5 MB)

Lucas Bretschger from the Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich examined the cost of emission reductions. One of the central questions regarding this issue is how to decouple energy use and income. Based on his simulations, Bretschger suggests that adjustments to much lower energy use do not cause significant income losses, provided that prices guide the process continuously. (--> Presentation, 1.5 MB)

Dave Thompson from Colorado State University examined the anthropogenic influence on atmospheric circulation. Thompson showed that ozone depletion and increasing CO2-concentration were the main factors of the current trends in atmospheric circulation in the Southern hemisphere. He also confirmed that regional climate change was strongly influenced by changes in atmospheric circulation and circulation changes were more important for regional climate than the average global processes. However, he conceded that the mechanisms of anthropogenic forcing on atmospheric circulation were still rather unclear. (--> Presentation, 2 MB)

Rolf Weingartner from the University of Berne dealt with the consequences of global change on water availability in Switzerland. How can we achieve to take the step from understanding to action? Weingartner looked at the effects of climate change on the water cycle on the global, the national and the regional scale. At all levels, he sees a gap between science and understanding. However, Weingartner suggests that the more local the level, the larger the gap between science and understanding. (--> Presentation, 2.6 MB)

Anne Magurran from the University of St Andrews examined the question of whether we look at the right measures to examine biodiversity. She suggested looking at the turnover instead of counting the number of species in a certain area. The turnover refers to the change of abundance through time and can be judged by considering the immigration and local extinction of species. Magurran concludes from her studies that species turnover appears to have increased in recent years. (--> Presentation, 2 MB)

Jürg Beer from the Department of Surface Waters Research and Management of EAWAG, Dübendorf, talked about fading solar activity similar to that of a the 'Little Ice Age'. Beer gave an overview of the variation and the patterns in solar activity. From the comparison of current with past data he expects a minimum in solar activity over the next decades. The climate trend will still be dominated by the anthropogenic greenhouse effect but the reduced solar activity may lead to a slight damping of the warming until 2100. However, after this period global warming will speed up all the more. (--> Presentation, 9.9 MB)

In the poster session the best posters in each of the fields of WCRP, IGBP and IHDP were selected by a jury and honoured with a travel award of 1000 Swiss francs each. The following posters were awarded:

WCRP (awards were sponsored by the ACP, the Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, SCNAT):

IGBP (awards were sponsored by the Swiss IGBP Committee, SCNAT):
IHDP (awards were sponsored by the SAGW):
  • 12th Swiss Global Change Day - Meeting Report
  • Zuhörer 1
  • Zuhörer 2
  • Dialog
  • Heinz Gutscher
  • Ilan Chabay
  • Lucas Bretschger
  • Dave Thompson
  • Dave Thompson 2
  • Rolf Weingartner
  • Anne Magurran
  • Jürg Beer
  • Clowns 1
  • Clowns 2
  • Mensa
  • Salatbuffet
  • Nathalie Schaller
  • Elias Zubler
  • Ivy Frenger
  • Livia Rasche
  • Anne-Kathrin Faust
  • Kateryna Holzer
  • 12th Swiss Global Change Day - Meeting Report1/22
  • Zuhörer 12/22
  • Zuhörer 23/22
  • DialogImage: Urs Christ und Martin Grosjean,4/22
  • Heinz Gutscher5/22
  • Ilan ChabayImage: Ilan Chabay,6/22
  • Lucas BretschgerImage: Lucas Bretschger,7/22
  • Dave ThompsonImage: Dave Thompson8/22
  • Dave Thompson 29/22
  • Rolf Weingartner10/22
  • Anne Magurran11/22
  • Jürg Beer12/22
  • Clowns 113/22
  • Clowns 214/22
  • Mensa15/22
  • Salatbuffet16/22
  • Nathalie Schaller17/22
  • Elias Zubler18/22
  • Ivy Frenger19/22
  • Livia Rasche20/22
  • Anne-Kathrin Faust21/22
  • Kateryna Holzer22/22