IRTG Travel Grants Programme

PhD researcher Andreas Walbröl joined the AGU fall meeting in San Francisco, USA

With the (AC)³ IRTG Travel Grant, I had the opportunity to visit the largest Geoscience Conference in the world, the AGU Fall Meeting 2023. The conference took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (USA) from 11 to 15 December 2023. A mixture of oral, poster and e-lightning sessions across a wide field of topics (atmosphere, remote sensing, geophysics, cryosphere, informatics, …) on each day resulted in a busy schedule.

I had new insights about research related to the changing Arctic climate which was conducted outside of (AC)³. It was fascinating to see the improvements of observational systems. For example, a single-photon-counting lidar capable to observe clouds at submeter resolution was introduced. Also combinations of differential-absorption-radar and –lidar for improved water vapour profiling inside and outside of clouds were presented. Machine learning approaches for various problems were quite prominent in different fields. For example, I learned that image-post-processing ideas with Neural Networks can enhance the vertical resolution of retrieved temperature and humidity profiles. Physical and machine learning techniques are combined for computational efficiency while being physically consistent and having error estimates at the same time.

At my poster, I had a nice discussion with one of the developers of the MERRA-2 reanalysis (Richard Cullather) about the biases of water vapour in the central Arctic. I will stay in contact with him for my upcoming publication on the evaluation of water vapour products of reanalyses (and satellites) in the central Arctic.

All in all, the AGU Fall Meeting 2023 was a great event to get to learn about new machine learning methods for remote sensing and get to know the current state of research in atmospheric physics, environmental sciences, and of course many more fields.

A list of all funded travel grants can be found on the IRTG page here.