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2013 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union

The programme for the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), a meeting with over 10,000 scientists that covers all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences, is now online. This year's conference features a Great Debate on shale gas and fracking. Press conferences will include presentations on near-Earth objects and the Russian meteor, the latest results from the Curiosity Mars Rover, and the consequences of nuclear accidents, among other topics. The event will be held on 07 April 2013 at the Austria Center Vienna.

Meeting programme online

All sessions (over 700) and abstracts (over 14,000) are now available online and fully searchable. You can access the programme at

Media participants can use the meeting programme to search for abstracts or sessions they find particularly interesting. The programme is searchable by name of a scientist, keywords (e.g., volcano, L'Aquila), session topic (e.g., Energy, Resources and the Environment, Climate: Past, Present, Future), and other parameters. Further, you can select single contributions or complete sessions from the meeting programme to generate your personal programme.

Reporters may also find the list of papers of special interest, selected by session conveners, useful.

Great Debate Shale gas: to frack or not to frack?

Production of shale gas has turned the USA from a major importer of fossil fuels to, in the near future, an important exporter. Some major European countries, in contrast, have banned hydraulic fracturing, the method essential to the extraction of shale gas and other non-conventional fuels. The economy of the USA has continued to grow over the past two years, largely because of shale gas, while that of most European countries stagnates. Reports of pollution of drinking water, the use of unknown and possibly toxic chemicals, the consumption of vast amounts of water, release of radiation, and the triggering of earthquakes appear to have convinced much of the population of Europe that fracking is catastrophic for the environment. Proponents of the production of shale gas argue that fracking has been used for decades for the recovery of conventional gas or geothermal energy and that it can be conducted in an environmentally friendly manner. Opponents of shale gas and other sources of non-conventional fossil fuels argue that their exploitation will merely delay the inevitable passage to renewable energy, with major consequences for global climate. These are some of the issues discussed during the round-table discussion.

More information is available at

Provisional press conference topics

We are planning 10 to 12 press conferences at the EGU General Assembly, which will take place at the press centre located on the Yellow Level (Ground Floor) of the Austria Center Vienna. Provisional topics to be presented to journalists include:

Near-Earth objects and the Russian meteor
Can we undo climate warming?
Latest results from the Curiosity Mars Rover
Percursors: the search for alternative earthquake prediction methods
Consequences of nuclear accidents: Fukushima and Europe
Climate, water, soils: how do they affect human health?
Air quality and urban pollution
Impacts of climate change
Thunderstorms and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes

Please note that the list above is subject to change. A subsequent media advisory will include a full schedule of press conferences with a list of speakers and short summary of the topics covered in each media briefing.


Contact: Brbara Ferreira
European Geosciences Union

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