Stephan Matthiesen

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Two conference sessions at EGU Vienna 2013

The programme committee has now approved two conference sessions, on "Taking the surface temperature of the Earth" and on the "Impact of boreal wildfires on tropospheric chemistry", which I had submitted to the General Assembly of the European Geoscience Union (EGU). EGU conference sessions need at least 20 talks and posters; I will now, together with the co-conveners, advertise these widely in my networks and look for contributors. The conference takes place on 7-12 April in Vienna.

The session "Impact of boreal wildfires on tropospheric chemistry" is a spinoff of the BORTAS project, but the session has a broader scope and should be interesting for all researchers who work on the emissions of boreal fires worldwide. Every summer, huge forest areas mainly in Canada and Northern Eurasia burn, often started by lightning. The media usually report on these fires only when they are an immediate danger to humans (think of the fires around Moscow in summer 2010!), but they also emit large amounts of miscellaneous organic substances into the atmosphere where they can be transported for thousands of kilometers and may have health impacts even far away from the burning region. As climate change may also alter the occurance of wildfires, there is significant interest, and we expect a very exciting and relevant conference session.

The idea for the session "Taking the temperature of the Earth: Temperature Variability and Change across all Domains of Earth's Surface" came up in the EarthTemp project which brings together researchers from all over the world who investigate the surface temperatures of Earth from different perspectives. The term "surface temperature" may refer to different quantities even at a single place on Earth, e.g. the air temperature or the temperature of the sea surface,and it can be measured by different means, e.g. directly with thermometers or remotely by satellite, using infrared radiation. These different temperatures are not identical, but related to one another by physical processes. The conference session will help to bring these different approaches together to increase our understanding of surface temperatures. This is not only important for measuring global warming; good temperature measurements are also essential for a range of practical applications - agriculture in developing countries can benefit, as can the health services in cities affected by heat waves.

I'm already excited about both sessions. Talks and posters can be submitted from 10 October to 9 January on the conference website. The EGU General Assembly is the largest conference for geosciences in Europe, last year it was attended by more than 11,000 scientists from 95 countries. A good opportunity to meet many acquaintances - if you, dear reader, happen to be in Vienna around the 7-12 April 2013: Perhaps we can meet?

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