What’s new at EGU23?

What’s new at EGU23?

EGU23 is back with longer talks, posters and PICO sessions! While EGU is always great to catch up with colleagues in classical sessions offered every year, here, we want to highlight some new sessions that will premier at EGU23. We have selected a few from each Subdivision to show the broad range of topics covered.

General Biogeosciences

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The PICO session “It’s all about migration!” focuses on migrating species, whether they migrate naturally or are forced to migrate by anthropogenic factors. All research on terrestrial, marine and freshwater species on the move is welcome! Forensic geosciences can support criminal investigation of outdoor crime scenes or ground concealments. The session “Criminal investigation and scientific methods applied to geological evidence: the contribution of Forensic Geology, Botany, and Entomology to the judicial system” calls for contributions on earth sciences that take a holistic approach in solving criminal cases.

Methods in Biogeosciences

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Co-organized with the soil science division is the session “Agrogeophysics: understanding soil-plant-water interactions and supporting agricultural management with geophysical methods”. This session aims to showcase geophysical methods used to improve agricultural management, from hand-held to drones and satellite tools. The molecular complexity of organic matter and how to assess its composition is the focus of the session “Opening the black box of NOM: Novel analytical techniques reveal the multifaceted nature of Natural Organic Matter in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems ”. Contributions ranging from analytical method development to interdisciplinary approaches linking molecular and microbial data types are welcome.

Terrestrial Biogeosciences

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The subdivision of Terrestrial Biogeosciences features many new sessions this year. Tropical peatlands are an important carbon reservoir, which becomes more and more affected by human activities. The session “Tropical peatlands: Past, Present, Uncertain Future” highlights impacts and feedbacks of tropical peatlands with the carbon cycle and the climate system. The terrestrial biogeosciences cover topics from the ground to the treetops: Vegetation canopies play a crucial role for exchange processes at the Earth’s surface. The session “Canopies in the hydrologic system: Patterns, processes and interactions at the soil-atmosphere interface” centers around interdisciplinary approaches in observing and modelling related to the role of canopies in ecosystems.

Marine & Freshwater Biogeosciences

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Observational platforms on commercial ships can substantially increase oceanic data bases. The session “Ships-of-Opportunity: A valuable tool for sustained ocean observations” calls for contributions based on data from these platforms, as well as novel methods that can potentially be implemented. The patterns and underlying processes of dissolved organic matter in marine and freshwater systems is the topic of the session “Microbial-DOM interactions from molecular to basin-wide scales”. The session aims to bring together scientists with physical, biogeochemical and microbial backgrounds to gain insights into the microbial-molecular interactions at the small scale that determine DOM cycling on basin-scales.


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Past intervals of rapid global warming, so-called hyperthermal events, have severely impacted past ecosystems. The session “Biotic responses to past hyperthermal events” invites contributions on large-scale biological responses to these events.
The interaction of climatic and biogeological processes on large time scales are the focus of the session “Nonlinear variability in deep time: space-time scaling processes in the megaclimate, macroevolution and tectonics”. Contributions on data analysis and modelling of nonlinear phenomena in the field of geology, climatology and evolution are welcome.

Geomicrobiomes and their function

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The alternating thawing and freezing in cryosphere habitats make these ecosystems unique, but at the same time vulnerable to climate change. The session “Cryobiomes in a warming world” calls for contributions from icy habitats around the world, including permafrost and sea ice regions. Not only in the cryosphere, but across all biomes are viruses affecting microbially-controlled biogeochemical cycles. Viruses with bacterial or archaeal hosts from environmental systems like soils, aquous habitats or constructed systems are the topic of the session “Geovirology: Environmental viruses and their impacts on biogeochemistry, microbial ecology and ecosystem health”.

Extraterrestrial and Extreme Environment Biogeosciences

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The session “Early Earth: Dynamics, Geology, Chemistry and Life in the Achaen Earth” is back. Contributions on new approaches and models that improve the understanding of the evolution of the Earth System during the first two billion years of Earth’s history are welcome.

Biogeosciences, Policy and Society

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Blue carbon is the carbon stored in marine and coastal ecosystems such as sea grass meadows or mangrove systems. The session “Beyond Green Carbon — Climate Change Mitigation with Blue Carbon: biologically-driven carbon fluxes and storage in coastal areas, small islands, and marine ecosystems” is dedicated to research and policy contributions in this field. Similarly at the science-policy interface is the session “What does policy engagement look like for scientists from energy and resources, soil, atmospheric, ocean, and biogeoscience disciplines?” , which aims to highlight successful examples of scientists interacting with policy, helping to make informed decisions.

Earth System Remote Sensing and Modelling

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While more and more large geoscientific data sets are becoming available, the underlying processes determining their variability may be difficult to interpret with statistical tools alone. To bridge this gap between data and processes, the session “Reconciling process-based modelling and machine learning in biogeochemistry” calls for contributions on the combination and application of both methods and identifying drivers of biogeochemical processes by causal inferences. The combination of large data sets and modelling approaches is touched upon by several new sessions (see also “Coupled Data Assimilation, Observations, and Uncertainties in the Earth System”). For a specific application to georeferenced data sets, the session “Large-scale mapping of continuous environmental variables by combining ground observations, remote sensing and machine learning” invites contributions for regression-based mapping methods from a variety of disciplines.

Did we forget your favourite new session? Post it in the comments below!

Sinikka is Scientific Officer for the Marine Biogeosciences Subdivision. She is head of the group Biogeochemical Ocean Modelling at University of Oldenburg. In her research, she uses models from theoretical box models to global ocean circulation models to understand microbial interactions in the ocean and their role in controlling dissolved organic matter, one of the largest reservoirs of organic carbon on the planet.

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