With more than 600 abstracts received from scientists and experts from over 40 countries, the Conference will set the stage for new research addressing water resources and extreme water events, such as droughts and floods.
The theme of the conference is “Trending Now: Water.” It recognizes that fresh water is essential for society. It is irreplaceable: there is no substitute. Yet there are increasing demands from the burgeoning population around the world, and there are changes in the natural water cycle clearly evident, from drought in California to floods in Pensacola, Florida, so that water is surely “trending now.” Recent floods in the Balkans, in Christchurch, New Zealand, in Afghanistan, and the extensive flooding in the United Kingdom earlier in 2014, as well as the exceptional downpours in Florida, highlight that we can have too much of a good thing. Yet other parts of the world are suffering from droughts, heat waves and wildfires. There is no doubt that human-induced climate change plays a role, but so too does natural variability and chance.
The 7th International Scientific Conference celebrates 25 years of Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges (GEWEX) Project research and sets the stage for the next phase of research addressing water resources, extremes in water such as droughts and floods, and new analyses from observations and data sets, studies of the processes involved; weather climate and hydrological model development and exploitation, applications of the information, technology transfer of new research into operational results, and research capacity development and training for the next generation of scientists.
The abstracts were received from multidisciplinary scientists, as well as users of information, and decision and policy makers. Presentations will include major advancements occurring in observations, understanding, modeling, and product development for water resources, climate extremes, and other aspects of climate that will enable a wide range of climate services and inform decisions on water resource management and practices.
Topics in the Conference will include:
- understanding, modeling, and predicting all aspects of the water and energy cycles and the climate system as a whole;
- land-surface feedbacks, including effects of land and water management;
- hydrological impacts and prediction;
- process studies involving clouds, rainfall, water vapor, aerosols, atmospheric dynamics, radiation, and land-atmosphere interactions;
- observations and GEWEX data sets, including satellite observations; and
- phenomena such as monsoons, storms, convective cloud systems, intra-seasonal variations, surface fluxes, the boundary layer, and their impacts on society.
Dr. James Syvitski, from the University of Colorado and the Chair of the International Geosphere Biosphere Project Scientific Committee, will give a keynote talk on “The Global Water Cycle in the World of the Anthropocene.” Wim Kuijken, Commissioner of the Dutch Delta Programme, will speak on recent planning to protect the Netherlands from high water in the century ahead while ensuring a sufficient supply of freshwater. Dr. Eric F. Wood of Princeton University will lecture on “The Challenges of Developing a Framework for Global Water Cycle Monitoring and Prediction.” Kevin Trenberth from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Colorado will summarize the Earth’s energy imbalance and implications for water changes, while Howard Wheater, University of Saskatchewan, Canada will provide an overview of water and society.
The GEWEX Vision is as follows: water and energy are fundamental for life on Earth. Fresh water is a major pressure point for society owing to increasing demand and vagaries of climate. Extremes of droughts, heat waves and wild fires, as well as floods, heavy rains and intense storms increasingly threaten to cause havoc as the climate changes. Other challenges exist on how clouds and aerosols affect energy and climate. Better observations and analysis of these phenomena, and improving our ability to model and predict them, will contribute to the information needed by society and decision makers for future planning.
The Conference will highlight the challenges ahead in dealing with “trending water” and provide the wisdom from established scientists and leaders in the field. We need their new ideas on how to broach and resolve long-standing problems that will lead to better information systems on water and climate variations and change.