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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- : The response of surface energy balance components and precipitation to climate forcings
- : Impact of transient aerosol emissions on the European climate of the most recent decades
- : Eddies and Chlorophyll in the Southern Ocean
- : Dynamizing tree height growth improves the simulation of forest productivity under climate change
12th Swiss Global Change Day
As in previous years the Swiss Global Change Day is the platform where the Science Community of all disciplines meets and interacts. Key note speakers encompass topics of the physical climate system, the biochemical and geochemical processes and impacts, biodiversity and the human dimensions of global change. The poster session will reflect the current research activities. There is ample of time to study these posters and to discuss. Seven travel awards honour the most attractive and comprehensive posters.