Experts on natural disasters in town

Earth Science (IUGG), Media bulletins

Till next Thursday, 7 July, Australia is hosting a conference earth scientists who will be providing the most up-to-date information on the Japanese tsunami, the safety of nuclear installations, the Christchurch earthquake, Cyclone Yasi, the ash clouds and more.

Earth on the Edge is the 25th General Assembly of the International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy (IUGG) and has attracted almost 4,000 delegates from around 100 countries.

Here are a just a few of the speakers and topics:

  • Get an overview of the breadth of science being presented: Ray Cas, a volcanologist at Monash University and Chair of the IUGG conference organising committee.
  • Risk management, climate change and biofuels: Tom Beer, CSIRO and the first Australian to hold the role of President of the IUGG. Tom can also talk generally on the conference program.
  • Internal structure of the Earth, ocean, inland waters and climate: Anny Cazenave, French space agency CNES and deputy director of the LEGOS space geophysics and oceanography research laboratory at the Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees in Toulouse, France (
  • Ice-sheet change in Antarctica and Greenland plus protecting out coastal communities and infrastructure: while we have made notable progress in monitoring change in the ice sheets, we are still some way off knowing how to predict the future.

    And our planners are not getting the projections they need: David Vaughan, British Antarctic Survey.

    David is leading the efforts to measure ice fields and deliver global sea-level rise projections for the next 200 years.

  • A prize for mixing
    Tasmania’s Dr Trevor McDougall will receive the Prince Albert 1 Medal today for his research into the role of the oceans in our planet’s climate.

    How oceans mix and the nature of salt water itself, are two of the key questions that Trevor is answering.  are key questions in defining Dr McDougall’s research is concentrated on fundamental issues in the field of ocean mixing and particularly how the known conservation equations should be properly averaged and included in ocean models.
    Dr McDougall’s research, on the full range of oceanic scales – from centimetres to giant (~100 km) eddies – is having a major impact on our understanding of mixing and contributing to the computer models that help us understand our changing climate.

  • Venus Express –what’s the weather forecast for Venus today.
    Dmitriy Titov was science coordinator for Venus Express, a spacecraft that’s been studying the atmosphere of Venus for more than five years. He can talk about the harsh climate on Venus and its implications for our planet.

And on Friday

  • Prehistoric Pacific tsunamis – there’s been some big ones
  • The Russian heatwave and other recent climate extremes
  • Climate engineering  – can we stop climate change with geoengineering?
  • More on sea level rises.

Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Conference program available at:

Follow the IUGG conference on twitter – #IUGG2011

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