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Trending Now: Water

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 a growing population, and changes in the natural water cycle are clearly evident. Recent floods in the Balkans, in New Zealand, Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom, as well as exceptional downpours in Florida, USA, 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. Human-induced climate change plays a role, but so too does natural variability and chance. The increasing demand for fresh water and the impacts of climate change on extreme events and water availability highlight why water is of major global importance and is “trending now.”

The Conference also celebrates 25 years of Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges (GEWEX) Project research, and sets the stage for the next phase of research on water resources, extremes, and climate sensitivity through observations and data sets, their analyses, process studies, model development and exploitation, applications, technology transfer to operational results, and research capacity development and training for the next generation of scientists.

GEWEX research has long focussed on the physical climate system, but its Scientific Steering Group and wider research community are also cognisant of the increasing importance of ensuring that research is usable and relevant to societal needs.

Conference abstracts have been received from multidisciplinary scientists, as well as users of information, and decision and policy makers. Presentations will include major advancements occurring in observations, understanding, modelling, 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.

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. 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 Conference will highlight the challenges ahead in dealing with “trending water”, and will bring together the best scientific knowledge to foster 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.
More information on the conference is available online.