The General Assembly 2023 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) was held at the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) in Vienna, Austria and online, from 23-28 April 2023. The EGU General Assembly 2023 brought together over 15,000 geoscientists from across the globe to a meeting that covered all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The MRI was pleased to participate in the conference. There were many interesting and insightful workshops, posters, and presentations. 


MRI Synthesis Workshop On Cryosphere-Groundwater Interactions

Prior to the conference, an MRI Synthesis Workshop on ‘Cryosphere-groundwater Interactions: a Missing Link in Mountain Water Research’ was held. Mountain hydrologists, hydrogeologists, and cryospheric scientists together explored cryosphere-groundwater interactions in mountains across various spatial and temporal scales. This workshop was organised by Marit van Tiel, ETH Zürich, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW); Caroline Aubry-Wake, Utrecht University, Department of Physical Geography; and Lauren Somers, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University. Following a highly productive workshop, the participants intend to generate a joint publication centred around the thematic content of the workshop.

A Full Week of EGU Presentations and Sessions

The annual EGU General Assembly is Europe’s largest and one of the most prominent geoscientific events. The 2023 edition welcomed 18,831 registered attendees, of whom 15,453 came to Vienna from 107 countries, and 3,378 joined online from 105 countries. 16,357 presentations were also given in 938 sessions. 57% of the abstracts were identified as contributions from Early Career Scientists (ECS). The meeting’s sessions covered all disciplines in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The meeting also featured many Union-wide sessions and Education and Outreach sessions.

Pictured above: Attendees at the EGU23 Conference.

Representing the MRI and GEO Mountains was Dr. James Thornton, who presented his poster on “A challenge to the notion that mountains are ‘poorly monitored’ environments?” during a poster session. It was great to meet various collaborators and learn about new datasets, such as “CAMELS-CH” and “Rutor multi-temporal characterisation”. Amongst other activities, Dr. Thornton also followed an interesting session on data interoperability and research infrastructures.

Dr James Thornton at the poster session

Pictured above: Dr. James Thornton at the poster session

Other EGU23 sessions that featured the MRI network included:

A session presented by Zarina Saidaliyeva and co authored by SLC member Maria Shahgedanova

Pictured above: A session presented by Zarina Saidaliyeva and co-authored by SLC member Maria Shahgedanova.

Closing the Week with the Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCV) Workshop

Before the week came to a close, the MRI in collaboration with iLEAPS, a Future Earth global research project, hosted a Workshop on Advancing the Concept of Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs) which made a significant contribution to GEO Mountains during the EGU23 event. The aim of the workshop was to enhance the disciplinary and geographical representation in the consultation processes seeking to establish a set of EMCVs.

The workshop included four short invited talks, prior to the discussion phase. Some of the topics discussed included the extent to which data requirements might be different depending on the particular characteristics of high-elevation or mountain regions (e.g. the Tibetan Plateau vs. more steep and rugged mountain settings), and how as a community we can take a step back from our specific sub-disciplines and regional interests to deliver a collection of general “baseline” of key data across the world’s mountains that can both serve as a starting point for more specific investigations and support activities in which regional intercomparisons are required, such as the IPCC assessment reports. Follow-up activities will be planned with the participants and other interested parties shortly. Read the workshop outcomes here.

The EGU General Assembly will reconvene at the ACV in Vienna & online as EGU24, 14–19 April 2024.

Further Reading

 Cover image by Ricardo Gomez Angel.

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