Earth on the edge

Earth Science (IUGG)

CSIRO media release 13 October 2009

Reference: 09/185

Thousands of scientists will meet in Melbourne in mid-2011 to discuss the state of the Earth, including its climate and atmosphere, water resources and oceans, volcanoes and polar regions.

Launching the conference today during the 90th anniversary celebrations for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), the first Australian to be elected President of the IUGG, CSIRO’s Dr Tom Beer, said this will be only the second time that the IUGG General Assembly will have been held in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The conference – Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet – will bring together the eight earth science associations of the IUGG,” Dr Beer said.

“These foster collaborative research and information exchange between scientists in 66 countries and the application of this research to societal needs such as mineral resources, mitigation of natural hazards, and environmental preservation.

“In publicly launching the IUGG 2011 General Assembly, I invite the international earth science community to come together to make this, the 25th General Assembly, a ‘silver’ assembly that will shine like gold.”

Some of the world’s leading earth scientists are in Melbourne today for CSIRO’s Priestley Lecture and to present the latest research into ice ages, volcanic activity, polar regions, and climate change in the Southern Ocean.

Priestley Lecturer, Professor Lawrence Mysak from McGill University in Canada, has reconstructed long-term changes in climate, sea ice, ocean properties and wind to examine the climate during the Little Ice Age.

“Interestingly enough, unlike in the Northern Hemisphere where there was substantially more sea-ice cover (in area and volume) during the Little Ice Age, in the Southern Hemisphere there was a similar amount of ice cover during the Little Ice Age as today,” Professor Mysak says.

Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet will be held from the 28 June to 8 July 2011 at the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. See

Contact Information

Science Contact

Dr Tom Beer

Program Leader, Climate Variability and Change
Marine & Atmospheric Research
Phone: 61 3 9239 4546
Fax: 61 3 9239 4444
Media Contact

Dr Simon Torok

Communication Manager
Wealth from Oceans Flagship
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
Phone: 61 3 9239 4645
Alt Phone: 61 409 844 302
Fax: 61 3 9239 4444