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The CRESCENDO General Assembly 2016, 27-29 Sept, Rome, Italy: Highlights and feedback survey results

27-29 Sept 2016, Rome, Italy

This year, CRESCENDO’s General Assembly was held by Project Partner CNR at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. Special thanks go to Jost von Hardenberg for acting as local organiser for this meeting. The annual meeting ran over two full days (27-28th sept) plus an extra day (29th Sept) with optional attendance dedicated to a half-day scoping meeting focused on “Potential CRESCENDO contributions to the 1.5/2C warming Special Report” with around 50 attendees. It was a very successful meeting with over 80 attendees from all CRESCENDO partners, plus one representative, Pier Luigi Vidale from the H2020 project PRIMAVERA and one representative, Wilfran Moufouma-Okia from the IPCC Working Group I.

All presentations from the meeting and full version of the meeting minutes and post-meeting survey results have now been made available on our Intranet (https://www.crescendoproject.eu/intranet/member-account-page/members-login-page/).

Day 1 of the meeting was oriented around the current status of the project, including management, scientific updates from each Research Theme (RT) and ESM readiness for CMIP6 by the different modelling groups. Pier Luigi Vidale also gave a talk on the current status of the H2020 project PRIMAVERA and its possible interactions and synergies with CRESCENDO. Break-out sessions started and continued during the morning of the following day. Day 2 was focused on updates from RT4 (New scenarios and projections), continuation of the break-out sessions and finally discussions and near-term plans across the project. In RT1 and RT2 names and project tasks have been assigned for the next 12 months; all groups are aware of what they need to do. Protocols for forced runs were re-assessed with an aim to re-confirm and fill any remaining gaps or requirements as well as initial ideas for implementation into the ESMValTool discussed. RT3 reported on discussions around WP7 and the development of the ESMValTool; it is still too early to define which diagnostics will go into the tool. WP8 contributors will circulate a list relating to how this workpackage can contribute to the tool. RT4 reported on their discussion about when data will be made available (likely by March 2017), and some test runs will be done (likely by May). The activity on the RCP1.9 in WP10 related to the IPCC SR 1.5/2 warming is progressing well. In WP11 discussions were made on resolution traceability across ESMs in the Project and in WP12 around Tier 1 ScenarioMIP simulations. All groups have funds to carry out these simulations however, discussions can be made within a group regarding specific model configurations per MIP. In RT5-WP13, discussion around several topics included: (i) Policy information-sheet and the upcoming briefing in the European Parliament to present the Part 1 of the CRESCENDO contributions to the 1.5/2 warming IPCC SR; (ii) the novel initiative CRESCENDOschools with three Schools (France, Sweden and UK) where we aim to engage science students (16-17 years old) with the science behind climate change and Earth system modelling; and (iii) the public-faced website on ESM.

During the two full days of the meeting, we had the opportunity to see around 24 excellent posters presented by Project members. Poster viewings were divided into two sessions during the extended lunch. The quality of the works presented was extremely high and everybody could have a glimpse of what the posters were about during the 1 min flash-presentations sessions, where poster authors in 1 single slide showcased the highlights of their posters and invited the audience to come and learn more about their research.

A special Q&A session on ESMValTool, for those team members using the tool or interested to use it in the future, was held.  This started with a presentation from Alex Loew. His presentation and all relevant documents and guidelines on the ESMValTool are also now available on our Intranet.

Also on day 2 we had a special seminar by Peter Cox (UNEXE) on the paper published online that day in Nature: Projected land photosynthesis constrained by changes in the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2. Sabrina Wenzel, Peter M. Cox, Veronika Eyring & Pierre Friedlingstein. Nature (2016), Doi:10.1038/nature19772. This was recorded and made available online on our website later that day: https://www.crescendoproject.eu/doubling-of-co2-will-cause-global-plant-photosynthesis-to-increase-by-a-third-study-from-crescendos-scientists-conclude-wenzel-et-al-2016-nature/. The online post was also advertised and shared on our social network accounts and was well-received by the public with a pick of around 400 page visits to our website during the next 24h following its online release.

Day 3 was orientated around CRESCENDO members defining and discussing the potential contributions that we as a project could make to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°/2°C warming. Colin Jones (Project Coordinator) stressed in this session our recent communications with the EC and their willingness to help reorganise our tasks, deliverables, etc should we wish to contribute in this respect. It would be possible therefore to introduce these changes in our Grant Agreement by an amendment to be launched early after this meeting. We had a range of excellent presentations around this topic by project members. Our follow up discussion revealed that three potential and relevant contributions to the IPCC 1.5 SR report could be made:  (i) Improved constraints on global, multi-model TCRE (Transient Climate Response to cumulative carbon Emissions) (lead Chris Jones and Peter Cox); (ii) Land use and BECCS (Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage) (lead Sonia Seneviratne); and (iii) Development of the IAM scenario RCP1.9 (land use + emissions for RCP1.9 will be made available probably February 2017 as an intermediary product – this should be labelled very differently from other scenarios final product available in June) (lead Keywan Riahi and Detlef van Vuuren). A potential new project deliverable on the provision of the RCP1.9 scenario data to the CMIP6 modelling community may occur. It is important to note that this deliverable will only cover delivery of the RCP1.9 data, not a report on the scenario itself. This will come later within the context of the 1.5C SR. Additionally, our first policy maker information sheet (Deliverable 13.2) will now be occur around this topic with a parallel policy briefing at the European Parliament (by the end of Feb 2017).

After the GA2016, a post-meeting feedback survey was run using the Surveymonkey.com platform in order to gain more insight into the attendee’s opinions and hence improve subsequent meetings. Everybody was invited to participate. 33 out of the 85 attendees took the survey; this is a 39% response from attendees. A summary figure is shown below, where it is also shown the results from the travel information survey and an estimated calculation of the meeting’s Travel carbon footprint. Full results are included in the Meeting minutes document available in our intranet.

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