Actualités

Dernières nouvelles Campus Durable

Act for Change Food

Du 12 au 30 novembre, l’EPFL invite tous les étudiants, enseignants et collaborateurs à participer au Challenge Act for Change. L’idée est, par des actions simples, d’expérimenter un mode de vie plus durable sur le campus. Cett

Prochains évènements

Prof. Reto Knutti, ETHZ
Export event

12:15

13:00

GR C0 01

EESS talk on "Success stories and challenges in simulating future climate"

Abstract:
As our understanding improves, more observations become available, and computational capacity increases, climate models continue to increase in complexity to synthesize all that knowledge. They have become the standard tool for predicting future climate change, and the hope is that as more and more processes are considered at greater realism and higher resolution, the models will converge to reality. But are they really, how do we know, and indeed should they? What is the purpose of current global climate models? Are they built to understand processes, to quantify past changes, or to predict the future, and do all of those require the same models?
There are many success stories in climate modeling, but open questions remain. What is the purpose of these models? How do we quantify uncertainty? Climate projections are often summarized as multi model means, assuming that the average of models is better than a single model. Yet averaging models is problematic, because the models are not independent and share biases and code, and the models may not span the full uncertainty range. A seemingly obvious step is to select individual models based on how well they simulate the past and present climate. But metrics of model performance and model weighting is a thorny issue. The lack of verification of the actual climate projections means that we do not know, or cannot agree on which metrics are most relevant to identify a good model.
An overview of the performance and limitations of current climate models is given, along with projections to 2100, with a focus on recent coupled model intercomparisons, and a discussion of major challenges in interpreting the results. Model agreement with observations continues to improve, but uncertainty in climate projections is difficult to quantify, and has not decreased significantly in the past few years, partly as a result of irreducible climate variability. Progress in model evaluation as well as statistical methods to interpret and combine model projections is urgently needed, in particular as more models of different quality and higher complexity, including perturbed physics ensembles and ensembles with structurally different models become available

Par:Dr Reto Knutti, professor, Climate Physics Group, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Dept. of Environmental Systems Science, ETHZ - is Associate vice president for sustainability of ETH Zurich and the president of ProClim, the Forum for Climate and Global Change of the Swiss Academies. The activities in research and teaching of the Climate Physics group are directed towards understanding changes in the global climate system caused by the growing emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The main goal is to understand the 20th century climate change, to quantify the human contribution to it, and to use that information to improve projections into the future and to quantify the projection uncertainties arising from uncertainties in scenarios, climate feedbacks and the carbon cycle.

Dr Alice Aubert, EAWAG
Export event

12:15

13:00

GR C0 01

EESS talk on "Decision making: a serious game!"

Abstract:
Recently, many call for public participation to support environmental decision-making. Methods enabling structured and transparent decision-making when facing complex problems need to evolve. Environmental Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is such a decision-making method. Urban wastewater management (UWM) is a good example of a complex decision that would benefit from citizens’ participation. The reason is that UWM relies on public investments, and alternative UWM options can induce changes in the daily life of end-users. Knowing the preferences of stakeholders and ideally of many end-users would facilitate decision-making.
So far, applications of environmental MCDA mostly fit the deliberative democracy framework, where selected stakeholders are included in decision-making. However, one could use environmental MCDA in a participatory democracy framework, involving many citizens, as well. However, this raises the following question: How to elicit reliable preferences from many citizens?
Gamification and serious games are nowadays pervasive. Increasingly more people use them to communicate about the complexity of the real world with simplified models. Gamification and serious games trigger psychological factors, which in turn have behavioural impacts, such as enhancing participation, and learning. However, scientifically rigorous evaluations of their actual benefits and possible drawbacks are scarce.
During the talk, I will discuss the gamification of environmental MCDA for online preference elicitation, based on experimental results. The first prototype tested with students produced encouraging results. The online-gamified preference elicitation tool helped participants to learn about UWM, and to construct preferences. The prototype requires improvements, and complementary experimental testing.

Par:Dr Alice Aubert, SNSF Ambizione fellow in the Cluster of Decision Analysis, Dept Environmental Social Sciences, EAWAG

received in 2018 a 4-year SNSF Ambizione grant for an interdisciplinary project on citizen involvement in complex decision-making, in particular for wastewater infrastructure. The focus is on gamification and behavioural operational research. Initially trained as an environmental scientist, she carries out the research at Eawag – the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.

Dr S. Jaccard & D. Rod
Export event

12:15

13:00

GR C0 01

EESS talk on "Polar Amplification, Sea-Ice Melt and Ocean Circulation changes: A Few of the Many Reasons to Understand the Arctic Better"

Abstract:
The Arctic region  - and Greenland in particular - have both been considerably affected by global warming. As a result of polar amplification, temperatures have increased by more than 2-3 °C within the last decades - well above the globally averaged temperature increase of 1°C.  One of the most dramatic manifestations of warming in the Arctic relates to the substantial decrease in sea-ice cover affecting oceanic heat uptake and marine biological production.
Furthermore, increasing temperatures contribute to accelerate glacier melt both in the Arctic realm and in Greenland with meltwater contributing to sea-level rise and measurable large-scale ocean circulation changes. Increased nutrient and sediment supply associated with glacial runoff modify coastal and open ocean ecosystems, with shifting phytoplankton communities affecting the entire food chain, including birds and mammals. The warming environment also presents major challenges to local communities, notably affecting natural resources and infrastructures.
From this perspective, furthering our understanding underlying the complex interactions between the terrestrial biosphere, the cryosphere, the ocean and atmosphere will offer opportunities to better preserve these unique ecosystems in the future. The Greenland Circumnavigation Expedition, GLACE, will take scientific teams from all over the world on a complete circumnavigation of Greenland over a two-month period in August and September 2019.
 

Par:Dr Danièle Rod is the Executive Director of the Swiss Polar Institute. She studied political science and economy. Previously, she was Head of Division for International collaboration at SNF and Science and Technology Counsellor at the Swiss Mission to the EU in Brussels. Dr Samuel Jaccard is SNF professor at the Institute of Geological Sciences and the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of Bern. Samuel Jaccard is a geochemist with interests in unravelling the links between polar ocean biogeochemistry and climate on various timescales, ranging from the past million years to the present. In particular, Jaccard is using a range of stable and radiogenic isotope methods to quantify biogeochemical fluxes, both at the land-ocean interface and in the ocean.