Friday, September 11, 2009

SASAS Conference

South African Society for Atmospheric Scientists (SASAS) host an annual conference to bring together the Atmospheric Scientists and interested parties (agriculture, atmospheric chemists, hydrologists, oceanographers) a chance to meet and present their current research.

This year Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) were tasked with running the conference. SASAS was held at Waterval in Tulbagh, a team building and conference venue just outside the picturesque wine producing town. There was snow on the mountains and fog in the mornings..nice and chilly.

The theme this year was BEYOND THE BOX. Trying to slowly shuffle atmospheric scientists from the traditional methods to the innovative. The conference structure changed to include 2 new sections; Grill the Climatologist and Beyond the Box.

Grill the Climatologist consisted of thought provoking questions put before a panel of three scientists. The questions were anonymously submitted to the chairman of the session. They included geoengineering, why we bother running more simulations when we can't cope with what we have already and carbon trading.

Beyond the Box was split into 2 sections, a short introduction by four scientists on what they think is the future of atmospheric science. These presentations highlighted the current failures and their visions of hope. The second section expanded on these ideas and included a few extra presentations on innovative approaches to climate science.

A few take home messages from this conference are that carbon trading is a disastrous idea, geoengineering is not a solution and that we need to stop looking to new and better models and tell a story with the data we already have.

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