Media Events at AGU Fall Meeting 2021
AGU Media Relations hosted a series of press events for registered press online in Zoom, Monday-Friday, 13-17 December 2021.
Find recordings of the press conferences, briefings and roundtables on AGU's YouTube channel in the AGU Fall Meeting 2021 Press Events playlist or click the direct links to the recordings in the event descriptions below. Presentation slides and other materials are available to registered press in the AGU21 press information exchange, which will remain open through February 2022. Access this forum using your AGU login credentials. For questions about access, please email [email protected].
Press conferences present new scientific advances. Press briefings and informal media roundtables provide background on newsworthy topics, projects and missions. Scroll below the schedule overview for descriptions and links to attend the events.
Events are listed in Central Standard Time (UTC-6:00 hours).
Monday, 13 December
- 9 a.m Press Conference: The Threat from Thwaites: The retreat of Antarctica’s riskiest glacier
- 11 a.m. Press Briefing: Climate Science 2021: The latest from the IPCC
- 1 p.m. Press Briefing: NASA’s 2022 Earth Science launches
- 3 p.m Media Roundtable: Canine oil spill detection: Using odor signatures to improve detection on land and water
Tuesday 14, December
- 9 a.m. Press Conference: NOAA Arctic Report Card 2021
- 11 a.m. Press Conference: Major discoveries as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe closes in on the Sun
- 1 p.m. Press Briefing: Why we need to go carbon negative and how we can get there
- 3 p.m. Media Roundtable: Interstellar Probe: A bold idea to explore the space between the stars
Wednesday 15 December
- 9 a.m. Press Conference: Explaining the extreme events of 2020 from a climate perspective
- 11 a.m. Press Conference: Ten months of Perseverance: Jezero science
- 1 p.m. Media Roundtable: Launching the new U.S. Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026: A bold strategy for a changing Arctic
- 3 p.m. Media Roundtable: “Taming” the wild Mississippi River Delta
Thursday, 16 December
- 9 a.m. Press Conference: Rising heat in a changing climate
- 11 a.m. Press Conference: Intensifying storms and flooding in a changing climate
- 1 p.m. Press Conference: Wildfire in a changing climate
- 3 p.m. Media Roundtable: Borehole observatory networks: Taking the pulse of earthquake generating faults
Friday, 17 December
- 11 a.m. Press Briefing: Latest science from the biggest story in solar system: NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter
The Threat from Thwaites: The retreat of Antarctica’s riskiest glacier
Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier is the largest fast-changing glacier in the world. It is thinning rapidly, has already retreated over eight miles, and has doubled in speed, in the last five decades. The vulnerable glacier is the size of Florida, and if it melts, global sea levels could rise by nearly 10 feet—putting millions of people living in coastal cities in danger zones for extreme flooding. Join experts from the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration as they explore questions such as: Why is the glacier weakening? How soon before it begins its rapid collapse and accelerates sea level rise? And what can be done to slow its collapse?
- Ted Scambos, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
- Erin Pettit, Oregon State University
- Peter Washam, Cornell University
- Peter Davis, British Antarctic Survey
- Lizzy Clyne, Lewis and Clark College
- Anna Crawford, University of St Andrews
Climate Science 2021: The latest from the IPCC
The first installment of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, released in August 2021, showed that changes observed in the climate system are widespread, rapid, and unprecedented. The report finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach. Panelists will present the latest climate science advances in the IPCC report and highlight the new regional information available in the report, with a focus on North and South America.
- June-Yi Lee, IBS Center for Climate Physics (Korea)
- Vaishali Naik, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (U.S.)
- Alex Ruane, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (U.S.)
- Daniel Ruiz-Carrascal, Columbia Climate School International Research Institute for Climate and Society (U.S)
NASA’s 2022 Earth Science Launches
NASA and its partners will be launching four Earth Observing missions in 2022. These missions come in different shapes and sizes, from a fleet of tiny CubeSats monitoring hurricanes (TROPICS) to an instrument on the International Space Station tasked with mapping sources of mineral dust and aerosol travel in the atmosphere (EMIT). They include two Earth Observing satellites: JPSS-2, which will continue to monitor fires, floods, stratospheric ozone, night lights, and more that contribute to weather prediction and long-term climate records; and SWOT, or Surface Water Ocean Topography, which will fill in the final puzzle piece of the current generation of hydrology and ocean monitoring satellites by providing measurements of the height of oceans, rivers, and lakes. At this roundtable, the principle investigators will give a brief overview of each mission, as well as insights into the science questions and societal needs they are trying to help solve.
- William J. Blackwell, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
- Robert O. Green, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Lee-Lueng Fu, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Satya Kalluri, NOAA
Canine oil spill detection: Using odor signatures to improve detection on land and water
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Oil spills significantly damage ecosystems and economies, but current detection technology for subsurface oil is labor-intensive, slow and provides limited coverage. Professional canine detection teams have shown in recent experiences that their oil detection capability exceeds the requirements to develop specific operational treatment criteria. In this AGU 2021 media roundtable, researchers will discuss how canines are used in oil spill detection, the search for understanding the chemical properties that allow the canines to work, and how they hope to improve canine training methods for oil detection based on their findings.
- Lauryn DeGreeff, Florida International University
- Stephanie Vaughan, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
- Paul Bunker, Chiron K9
- Ed Owens, Owens Coastal Consultants
- Steven Tuttle, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
NOAA Arctic Report Card 2021
Now in its 16th year, NOAA’s 2021 Arctic Report Card catalogs the numerous ways that climate change continues to transform and disrupt the polar region, with impacts on weather, climate, fisheries, indigenous communities and national security. Arctic environmental change does not stay in the Arctic: it impacts weather, climate and ocean resources far beyond the region. The rapid changes in the Arctic, many of which are occurring faster than anticipated, heighten the importance of improved observations to inform decisions and forecast future change.
- Rick Spinrad, Administrator, NOAA
- Twila Moon, National Snow and Ice Data Center
- Lawrence Mudryk, Environment & Climate Canada
- Gabriel Wolken, International Arctic Research Center (IARC)
- Kaare Sikuaq Erickson, Ikaaġun Engagement
Major discoveries as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe closes in on the Sun
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018 to study the Sun’s biggest mysteries. Now, the spacecraft is gathering new close-up observations, allowing us to see the Sun like never before. In this panel, mission scientists will share a big announcement and several discoveries made during Parker Solar Probe’s latest flights around our star. The findings are helping researchers answer fundamental questions about the Sun.
- Nicola Fox Director, NASA Heliophysics Science Division
- Nour Raouafi, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Stuart Bale, University of California, Berkley
- Justin Kasper, BWX Technologies, Inc.
- Kelly Korreck, NASA
Why we need to go carbon negative and how we can get there
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
It has become increasingly clear that halting greenhouse gas emissions will not be sufficient to limit total global warming to less than 1.5 or 2°C over pre-industrial levels – we also need to remove the CO2 that’s already been emitted. The National Academies of Sciences has projected a need to capture and store about 20 gigatons of CO2 per year to limit catastrophic global warming. Panelists will discuss the policy and science landscape of carbon dioxide removal (or negative emissions technologies), with a focus on removing ambient CO2 in the atmosphere and durably storing it in the Earth or converting it into products. This briefing will cover the national policy landscape associated with carbon dioxide removal, and scientists will discuss their work on key Earth-based strategies for carbon dioxide capture and storage, including geologic carbon sequestration, soil carbon sequestration, and enhanced weathering.
- Noah Deich, Carbon180
- Bill Collins, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Whendee Silver, UC Berkeley
- Hang Deng, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Jens Birkholzer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Additional contributors for the Q&A:
- Blake Simmons, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Matthew Dods, UC Berkeley
Interstellar Probe: A bold idea to explore the space between the stars
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
A team led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has completed the most comprehensive and detailed study yet of an Interstellar Probe mission that includes proven and available (or soon-to-be available) technology and techniques. Study team members from APL will discuss the major aspects of this important work, including a launch technologically possible in the 2030s that would propel an Interstellar Probe farther and faster than any spacecraft before it, leading to new and inspiring exploration across heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science.
- Ralph McNutt, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Elena Provornikova, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Pontus Brandt, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
- Alice Cocoros, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Explaining the extreme events of 2020 from a climate perspective
Explaining Extreme Events of 2020 from a Climate Perspective is the 10th annual special issue of the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society to present new, peer-reviewed research that analyzes the role of anthropogenic climate change in the intensity and evolution of extreme weather events from the previous calendar year.
This edition includes research papers that examine the influence of climate change on 18 extreme weather events in 2020, including the extreme droughts in the Southwest U.S. and East Africa, extreme heat in Europe, China, South Korea and Russia, along with an analysis of the massive Siberian wildfires. The panel presentation will explore perspectives on the development and application of rapid climate attribution methods in the context of 2020 extreme weather events.
- Stephanie Herring, NOAA
- John Nielsen-McGammon, Texas A&M University
- Andrew Hoell, NOAA
- Frederieke Otto, Imperial College London
Ten months of Perseverance: Jezero science
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has spent the 10 months since its landing exploring two very different geologic units on the Jezero crater floor. After exploring and taking its first two samples from the Crater Floor geologic unit, Perseverance entered Séítah geologic unit in October. The rover has spent the last several months analyzing multiple outcrops of Séítah, allowing the science team to begin to understand the relationship between these unique geologic units and their place in the geologic history of Jezero. What scientific discoveries have Perseverance’s on-board investigations made to date, and what explorations are still to come – in Séítah, and down the road at the crater’s intriguing ancient river delta?
- Ken Farley, California Institute of Technology
- Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College London
- Briony Horgan, Purdue University
- Eva Scheller, California Institute of Technology
- Kelsey Moore, California Institute of Technolog
Launching the new U.S. Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026: A bold strategy for a changing Arctic
Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC)
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee will release the new Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 at AGU. The Arctic is the most rapidly changing region on Earth, and the new Arctic Research Plan outlines a bold five-year vision for federal agencies to address emerging research questions about this vital region.
- Jane Lubchenco, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Nikoosh Carlo, Interagency Arctic Research CNC North Consulting
- Michael Falkowski, NASA Terrestrial Ecology
- Erica Hill, NSF Arctic Social Sciences
- Roberto Delgado, Program Director, NSF Arctic Observing Network
- Katia Kontar, International U.S. Global Change Science Lead, U.S. Global Change Research Program
“Taming” the wild Mississippi River Delta
Louisiana State University
The Mississippi River and its delta are rapidly changing in response to natural and manmade factors, including stronger and more frequent severe storms as well as climate change-induced phenomena. For example, in 2020, Louisiana had a record five named storms make landfall and this year, Hurricane Ida made landfall in coastal Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane. Researchers from Louisiana State University (LSU), the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences and the U.S. Naval Research Lab will offer some of the latest insights into the dynamic Mississippi River Delta.
- Jeffrey Obelcz, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
- Kendall Valentine, College of William & Mary
- Samuel Bentley, Louisiana State University
Rising heat in a changing climate
July 2021 was the hottest month on record, according to NOAA. Five heat domes hit the Northern Hemisphere, including record heat in Asia and a prolonged, severe and deadly heat wave that broiled the North American Pacific Northwest from late June into July—a once in thousand years event that may become much more common as a result of human-caused climate change. Panelists will discuss global trends in increasing heat extremes, compound impacts of heat, drought and humidity, and risks for agricultural workers.
- Nick Bond, University of Washington and Washington’s state climatologist
- Connor Dunn Diaz, Columbia University
- Kristie Ebi, University of Washington
- Ashok Mishra, Clemson University
- Cassandra Rogers, Washington State University, Vancouver
Intensifying storms and flooding in a changing climate
Tropical cyclones have delivered more rain in recent years, resulting in record-breaking flooding. Data and climate models indicate warming is already bringing more intense storms—and greater volumes of precipitation regardless of storm strength. Panelists will discuss trends in storm intensity, rain, and where flooding from extreme weather is forcing people to move, how researchers predict dangerous rapid intensification of tropical cyclones and how NOAA is gathering data and video from inside hurricanes.
- Gregory Foltz, NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
- Kaoru Kakinuma, Shanghai University and Tohoku University
- Christian Meinig, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle
- Eric Shearer, University of California Irvine
Wildfire in a changing climate
Longer fire seasons and bigger, more intense blazes are a rising concern around the world. Panelists will discuss connections to climate, fire-generated weather and consequences for air quality, human health and post-fire ecology.
- Meiyun Lin, Princeton University and NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
- Dave Peterson, Naval Research Laboratory
- Hailong Wang, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Borehole observatory networks: Taking the pulse of earthquake generating faults
University of Texas at Austin
Borehole observatories – drilled directly into subduction zones – offer a way to monitor and learn about earthquake generating faults from the inside. At this roundtable, scientists will discuss a new network of observatories beneath the seafloor monitoring two “Pacific Ring of Fire” subduction zones in Japan and New Zealand, what we’re learning about the earthquake cycle (including implications for hazard forecasting and slow slip events), and where they expect breakthroughs to be made.
- Demian Staffer, University of Texas at Austin
- Laura Wallace, GNS Science / University of Texas at Austin
Latest science from the biggest story in solar system: NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter
NASA’s Juno mission recently completed its 38th close-up pass of Jupiter. Briefing will include the latest results on the gas giant’s Great Blue Spot, polar cyclones, magnetosphere, rings, interior and the sounds of Ganymede’s magnetosphere. The imagery contributions of the mission’s citizen scientists will also be highlighted.
- Scott Bolton, Southwest Research Institute
- Jack Connerney, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Lia Siegelman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Heidi Becker, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory