Webinar Archive

Past GEC Webinars

All Global Environmental Change Section webinars are recorded and available via the AGU Youtube channel. If you have any questions about our past webinars or want to suggest new webinar topics, please contact GEC section leadership via AGU Connect.


Global Environmental Change Section presents this webinar series to highlight the outstanding work of early-career researchers on mitigation and adaptation research. We invite all AGU community members to join us for this lecture series.

Global Environmental Change Early Career Award Webinar Series – I

The first lecture in the 2022 series features Dr. Nathan Mueller of Colorado State University and his research group. Dr. Mueller is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. His work explores agricultural sustainability and climate change impacts using spatial data science at regional to global scales. Dr. Mueller is a recipient of the 2020 Global Environmental Change Early Career Award. In this webinar, we will also hear from members of Dr. Mueller's group about their research on adapting agriculture to climate change. The presenters include Dr. Eva Kinnebrew (Post-doc), Eunkyoung Choi (Ph.D. student), Avery Driscoll (Ph.D. student), and Lena Kabeshita (former group member).

Adapting Agriculture to a Changing Climate

Abstract: Climate change threatens agricultural livelihoods and food security around the world. Yet impacts are determined not only by changes in climate but also by the ways in which agricultural systems respond and adapt. In this presentation, members of the Agricultural Sustainability and Climate Impacts Lab at Colorado State University will share their research on climate risks to agricultural systems and mechanisms of adaptation. We will propose a conceptual model to separate agricultural adaptation into three different modes: in situ adaptation (i.e., changes in on-farm management), system choice and adaptive migration, and changes in infrastructure and support systems. We will provide examples of our research examining climate risks and these different modes of adaptation, including work on hydrologic hazards to rainfed crops, temperature and humidity effects on dairy production, adaptation through crop migration, wildfire risks to agriculture, changes in snowmelt runoff for irrigation, and adaptation-mitigation tradeoffs. 

Global Environmental Change Early Career Award Webinar Series – II

The second webinar in the 2022 series features Dr. Ning Lin of Princeton University and her research group. Dr. Lin is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, where she has affiliate appointments with Princeton School for Public and International Affairs, Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment, and High Meadows Environmental Institute. Dr. Lin leads the Hurricane Hazards and Risk Analysis Group at Princeton. Her group integrates science, engineering, and policy to study hurricane-related weather extremes (strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges), how they change with changing climate, and how their impact on society can be better mitigated. In this webinar, we will also hear from members of Dr. Lin's group about their research on the risk of hurricane hazards in a changing climate. The presenters include Dr. Dazhi Xi (Post-doc), Avantika Gori (Ph.D. student), and Karui Feng (Ph.D. student).

Hurricane Hazards and Risk in a Changing Climate

Abstract: Hurricanes cause much damage and loss of life worldwide. The impacts of these storms may worsen in the coming decades because of rapid coastal development coupled with sea-level rise and possibly increasing hurricane activity due to climate change. Here, we present a holistic framework of modeling hurricane hazards and risks in a changing climate. First, we introduce a new probabilistic hurricane model that can be used to generate large numbers of synthetic storms with physically correlated characteristics under projected climate conditions. Second, we discuss hurricane wind, rainfall, and surge hazard modeling and the coupling with the hurricane model to estimate individual and compound hazard probabilities in a changing climate. Then, we discuss the modeling of hurricane impact on infrastructure systems, particularly hurricane-blackout-heatwave compound risk.


Global Environmental Change Section Presents three Early Career Awards and Piers J. Seller Mid-Career Award each year to recognize the outstanding contribution from early/mid-career section members in the field of global environmental change. This Award Lecture series will feature and celebrate award recipients’ work. We invite all AGU community members to join us for this lecture series.

Global Environmental Change Early- and Mid-career Award Webinar Series – I

The first lecture series features two 2021 Global Environmental Change Early Career Award recipients – Dr. Alexandra G. Konings (Stanford University) and Dr. Kimberly A. Novick (Indiana University Bloomington). 

"Microwave Remote Sensing of Plant Water Stress Response" (Dr. Alexandra Konings)
Understanding how vegetation responds to increasingly frequent and intense droughts is a fundamental prerequisite for characterizing the response of the global carbon cycle to a changing hydroclimate. However, doing so is challenging because of the large diversity of relevant vegetation traits (including root, xylem, and stomatal properties) within species, within ecosystems, and across the globe. In this talk, I will describe how microwave remote sensing of vegetation – which naturally integrates over these sources of variability and provides data across the globe - may be a useful tool for better understanding plant water stress response. I will describe how microwave observations of vegetation water content are conceptually related to both biomass and leaf water potential. Although several unknowns limit the ability to directly invert leaf water potential from microwave remote sensing observations, I will illustrate several approaches for nevertheless being able to use these datasets to characterize plant responses to water stress. I will discuss several applications, including determining ecosystem-scale plant hydraulic traits (including isohydricity, stomatal closure, P50, and xylem closure) and their link to spatial variability in photosynthesis responses to water stress, estimating drought-driven tree mortality rates, and understanding how vegetation water stress response affects wildfire risk.

"Opportunities for more robust assessments of Nature-Based Climate Solutions in the United States" (Dr. Kimberly Novick)
Most pathways for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change require removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, for example with managed alterations to ecosystems including reforestation and crop diversification. These so-called “Nature-Based Climate Solutions” (NbCS) have growing private and public sector support, despite being characterized by substantial mechanistic uncertainty. This talk will identify knowledge gaps surrounding NbCS that may be confronted, over the short term, with pre-existing data and analysis tools that have long been used to understand the mechanisms driving ecosystem carbon cycling. 

Global Environmental Change Early- and Mid-career Award Webinar Series – II

The second lecture features two 2021 Global Environmental Change award recipients – Dr. Bin Zhao (Tsinghua University) and Dr. Charles Koven (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab). 

"Aerosols in the climate system: from the initial formation to the impact on clouds" (Dr. Bin Zhao)
Aerosol pollution is responsible for over three million premature deaths annually around the world. However, many processes governing the formation and evolution of aerosols, such as new-particle formation, particle growth, and the production and aging of organic aerosol compositions, are still inadequately understood and poorly represented in atmospheric models. Besides, aerosols many have important effects on clouds and the Earth’s climate, which are however still subject to large uncertainty. In this talk, I will describe some recent work to understand and model the chemistry processes governing aerosol formation, as well as their impacts on cloud condensation nuclei and convective and ice clouds in various environments.
Bio: Dr. Bin Zhao is an Assistant Professor at the School of Environment, Tsinghua University. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Tsinghua University in 2010 and 2015, respectively. He worked as a postdoctoral scholar and Assistant Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles during 2015–2019 and subsequently worked as an Earth Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from 2019 to June 2021. His research focuses on the sources and formation processes of atmospheric aerosols, and the interactions and coordinated control of aerosol pollution and climate change. 

"The long tail of the carbon cycle: permafrost and big trees in a changing world" (Dr. Charles Koven)

Most of the world’s carbon resides in long-lived carbon reservoirs within soils and plants, with permafrost-affected soils and the trunks of large trees as the largest carbon pools in each of these domains. In contrast, much of the historical focus of terrestrial carbon cycle models has been on faster-cycling ecosystem components such as leaves that determine the bulk of the exchange between the land surface and atmosphere. In this talk, I’ll describe some efforts to understand and model the specific dynamics that govern these longer-lived carbon pools, and how consideration of them may change our understanding of carbon cycle feedbacks from the terrestrial system.

Bio: Dr. Charlie Koven is a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the 2021 recipient of Piers J. Sellers GEC Mid-Career Award. He studies the role of terrestrial ecosystems in governing climate feedback.


Toward “solution” science: Lessons learned from a decade of dialog between a practitioner and a scientist - David Behar & Dr. Philp Mote   

This webinar features a conversation between a climate scientist and a climate adaption practitioner on how to make scientific research relevant to societal challenges and inform the decision-making process. David Behar, an at-large member of the AGU Council, is the Climate Program Director at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), founder of the Water Utility Climate Alliance, and former chair of the Sea Level Rise Committee for the City and County of San Francisco. Dr. Philip Mote is the President of AGU’s Global Environmental Change section, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Oregon State University, and former co-leader of the NOAA-funded Climate Impacts Research Consortium for the Northwest.

Transmission Dynamics of Influenza and SARS-CoV-2: Meteorological Drivers, Inference, and Forecast - Dr. Jeffrey Shaman    

Dynamic models of infectious disease systems are often used to study the epidemiological characteristics of disease outbreaks, the ecological mechanisms and environmental conditions affecting transmission, and the suitability of various mitigation and intervention strategies. In recent years these same models have been employed to generate probabilistic forecasts of infectious disease incidence at the population scale. In this webinar, Dr. Shaman presented research describing the investigation of the meteorological determinants of influenza transmissibility and development of model systems and combined model-inference frameworks capable of simulation, inference, and forecast of disease outbreaks with a particular focus on influenza and SARS-CoV-2.

Two approaches for mitigating global climate change: Solar Radiation Management and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction - Drs. Alan Robock & Marilyn Brown  

In this webinar, Drs. Alan Robock and Marilyn Brown discussed two different approaches to mitigate global climate change at regional and global scales. 
In Dr. Robock's presentation -  "Stratospheric Sulfur Geoengineering – Benefits and Risks", he presented the current results from the ongoing Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project which is using climate model experiments with standard stratospheric aerosol injection scenarios.
In Dr. Brown's talk - "Translating a Global Emissions Reduction Framework for Sub-National Climate Action: A Case Study from the State of Georgia", she described a process that considers (1) Georgia’s baseline carbon footprint and trends, (2) the universe of Georgia-specific carbon-reduction solutions that could be impactful by 2030--including both mitigation and natural carbon sinks, (3) the greenhouse gas reduction potential of high-impact 2030 solutions for Georgia, and (4) associated costs and benefits including "beyond carbon" priorities, such as job creation, public health, environmental benefits, and equity.


Drought and Water Security in the West: Highlighting the roles of scientists in the 21st Century - Dr. Jonathan Overpeck

Water security is a huge issue facing the Western United States and beyond. In this webinar, Dr. Jonathan Overpeck discussed the crucial role scientists play in addressing water scarcity. Dr. Overpeck is a Samuel A. Graham Dean and William B. Stapp Collegiate Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.

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Climate extremes in present and future: How can we avoid the worst? - Dr. Sonia Seneviratne

In this webinar, Dr. Sonia I. Seneviratne discussed climate extremes in the present and the future and how we can avoid the worst. Dr. Seneviratne is a Professor at the Institute for Atmosphere and Climate Science at ETH Zürich and was elected an AGU Fellow in 2013.

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Climate Findings from a 40-Year Satellite Record of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice - Dr. Claire Parkinson

A few weeks after the Arctic sea ice reached its minimum coverage for 2019, Dr. Claire L. Parkinson shares the story of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice as revealed from a 40-year satellite record and how the sea ice relates to the rest of the climate system. This webinar was originally presented on 23 October 2019.

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Climate Change and Inequality: Distributional Impacts and Dynamic Vulnerabilities - Dr. Julie Silva

Different regions are experiencing the impacts of climate change differently. Please join Dr. Julie A. Silva for a discussion about climate change, inequality and the drivers of differential vulnerability. Dr. Silva is an associate professor of the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. This webinar was originally presented on 15 November 2019.

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