Highlights from the ESSP Open Science Conference in Beijing

From 9 to 12 November 2006 the ESSP Open Science Conference: Global Environmental Change – Regional Challenges is being held in Beijing. Here we feature news, highlights and impressions from the Conference.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

WCRP Chair John Church is giving a speech at the 25th anniversary. Photo Courtesy: C. Arndt

With a grand reception, the WCRP celebrated its 25th anniversary at the ESSP Open Science Conference in Beijing, China. The WCRP Director, Ann Henderson-Sellers, welcomed all conference participants and the organizing committee to join the celebration. Speeches given by Qin Dahe, Director of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the deputy Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Yan Hong, on behalf of the WMO Secretary General, Mr Michel Jarraud, and Thomas Rosswal, Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU), underscored the great progress the WCRP has made in its long history in climate research and climate predictability. In his closing speech, John Church, WCRP Chair, highlighted the many opportunities that evolve from building on the WCRP success story and the ESSP partnership.

Friday, 10 November 2006

The global growth in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 4 times greater in the period between 2000 to 2005 than in the preceding 10 years, say scientists gathering in Beijing today for an international conference on global environmental change.

Despite efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the global growth rate in CO2 was 3.2% in the five years to 2005 compared to 0.8% in the period 1990 to 1999, according to data soon to be published by the Global Carbon Project a Joint Project of the Earth System Science Partnership. Please read our press release: “New global analysis shows 400% increase in carbon dioxide emissions growth“.

The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) today launched a new research initiative on “Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)”. The project, co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation, aims to create an international network of researchers who can identify and quantify health risks posed by global environmental change, and develop adaptation strategies that are cost effective for reducing health risks. Please read our press release “ESSP Launches Project on the effects of global environmental change on human health“.

Already this year the Asian monsoon system has brought unusually heavy rains to some regions, resulting in extensive and expensive floods. In other places, very late rains made harvesting of crops impossible. According to a recent study by China Agriculture University, water shortages are considered a growing concern to China as it copes with the challenge of feeding a population that is expected to peak at 1.6 billion by 2030.The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) has recently launched a Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS). The initial science plan of the Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study was officially presented during a side event at Friday evening. Please read our media alert: “ESSP launches new Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study“.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

In a grand ceremony the ESSP Open Science Conference was opened today in the Beijing International Convention Centre, Beijing, China. In their opening remarks, Dr Qin Dahe, Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), and Professor Gordon McBean from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, both Co-Chairs of the Conference, welcomed about 900 experts from around the world including one Nobel Laureate and young scientists specialised in various Earth System science disciplines, funding agency representatives, exhibitors, media representatives, and government officials from China and elsewhere.

About 40 Chinese and 10 foreign correspondents from Reuters and other news agencies from around the world have been following the science updates and discussions on global environmental change at the ESSP Open Science Conference. Leading experts in the diverse fields of Earth System sciences have been available for interviews. The Weather Channel from the China Meteorological Administration devoted a news programme to the ESSP Conference including life broadcasts and interviews.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

One day before the conference and everybody is busy! The conference center is getting ready for the big event: Rooms going to be prepared, brochures and posters have to find their places, registration packages need to be packed, and thousand other things have to be organized by the China Meteorological Administration as the local organizer, the International Organization Committee of the ESSP OSC, the communication team, and the employees of the Beijing International Convention Center. It is a long day, but all are looking forward to welcome the participants and start the Open Science Conference tomorrow morning.