26-28 Sept 2017, Paris, France

This year, CRESCENDO’s General Assembly (GA) was held by Project Partner CNRS-IPSL at the Ecole Normale Superiore in Paris, France. Special thanks go to Laurent Bopp (Fig. 1A) and Nada Caud and Yves Balkanski (Fig. 1B) for acting as local organisers and for all their help to run a successful meeting. The annual meeting ran over three days (26, 27 and 28 Sept 2017) with around 90 attendees from all CRESCENDO partners, International Advisory Board members and several International Collaborators (Fig. 1C). The GA was preceded on the 25 Sept by a one-day practical workshop for early and mid-career researchers in CRESCENDO to gain knowledge of the science of climate change communication, and the confidence to apply this knowledge in practice with non-academic audiences (to read more about this workshop click here).

All presentations from the GA2017 and full version of the meeting minutes and post-meeting survey results have now been made available for project members on our Intranet.

Figure 1. Photos from the GA2017 in Paris: A) Laurent Bopp, B) Yves Balkanski and Nada Caud, C) the lecture theatre during the meeting, D) students from the Ecole Jeanine Manuel after their performance of ‘2100 The Musical’, and E) poster advertising the Mini-conference for the undergraduate students of the Ecole Normale Superieure.

The GA2017 consisted of a mixture of science talks and results from senior members and young researchers as well as discussions and presentations concerning Workpackages (WP) progresses, scientific updates in the different Research themes (RT) by RT leads, and current status of the project including its management during the last year of CRESCENDO. Short-term plans for the different tasks across the project WPs were well defined and discussed among project members. On the last day of the main meeting, Science Steering Committee (SSC) and International Advisory Board (IAB) meetings were also held.

During the three days of the meeting, around 20 posters by projects members and collaborators were displayed in the hall at all times. On day 1 the poster presenters had the opportunity in a 2-3 min flash presentation on plenary to introduce and highlight their poster results before the poster viewing + lunch break session. On day 1 also, CRESCENDO held a special Mini-conference organised by Laurent Bopp for the undergraduate students of the Ecole Normale Superieure (Fig. 1E, Poster advertising the event). Around 50 attendees came and three talks were presented by members of CRESCENDO: 1) ‘Developing future socio-economic development and associated greenhouse gas emission scenarios’ by Keywan Riahi (IIASA); 2) ‘The global carbon cycle, and how it affects future projections of climate’ by Chris Jones (MOHC); and 3) ‘Communicating the risks and opportunities associated with Global Environmental Change’ by Helena Martins (SMHI). Talks were followed by an interesting panel Q&A session with the students attending.

On day 2, the meeting had a special session in the form of a performance by the students of the Ecole Jeanine Manuel (Fig. 1D, our CRESCENDOschools network Partner in Paris). The school pupils with the help and support from scientists at IPSL-CNRS, in turn, decided to do a musical on climate change – ‘2100 The Musical’, including composing all of the music themselves, writing the script, and doing the choreography. They performed it for the attendees of the GA, including parents and school representatives invited. It was really excellent, very well received by CRESCENDO members and received some great feedback. This special session was followed by our GA2017 project dinner.

Day 3 the group reconvened to report back from break-out sessions held on day 2 and RT near-term plans across the project discussed and agreed during these three days in Paris. These include:

  • Metrics readiness, model outputs requirements and new metrics for the ESMValTool;
  • Overview of tasks, models, deadlines and current state of offline and online simulations;
  • Joint experiments and evaluation of data sets;
  • Implementation of new WP related diagnostics in the ESMValTool;
  • Scenario data availability for ESM teams;
  • Future workshops and policy guidance documents, and public online resources on the methodologies and process of building Earth system models and projections.

After the GA a post-survey was run using the Surveymonkey.com platform in order to gain insight into attendee’s opinions and hence improve subsequent meetings. Everybody who attended was invited to participate. 41 out of 94 attendees took the survey. This is 43% of the total attendee’s number, which supposes an increase of 4% of responses from the previous GA’s survey. Regarding the (i) Scientific content, (ii) location, venue and facilities, and (iii) length of the meeting and time for discussions, results were excellent and showed a general improvement in most instances compared to our previous GA (see Fig. 2 below). In this post-GA survey, attendees had also the opportunity to make any comment, criticisms and let the Project Office know any aspect of the meeting they would like to see improved/changed in future meeting. Some very useful comments that certainly will help improve future GAs.

Furthermore, this post-GA survey allowed us to compile travel information from the attendees to get an estimation of the Carbon footprint for this meeting and compare it with the past GA.  The total number obtained of tonnes of CO2 was 0.504 t/per person in the CRESCENDO GA2017, being most of the travel emissions again generated by our flights (96% of the total produced). This estimation however showed a fantastic reduced by 0.124 tonnes of CO2 per person at the GA2017 compared to GA2016. However, it is important to stress that the obtained figure is a rough estimate as the results came from only 42% of the participants at this meeting. Nevertheless, our estimated were in agreement with the initial aim of bringing this meeting to a more central European location (e.g. Paris) in order to minimise the carbon footprint of the GA2017.

Figure 2. Results from the GA2017 feedback survey, including how these compare to the previous GA2016 post-meeting survey results.

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