5th VAO-Symposium Bern, Switzerland

From 4 to 6 February 2020, the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) will host an international symposium to present its latest findings and encourage networking activities. The symposium will be held in Bern, Switzerland, and will include presentations about new results from science and technology as well as about new project initiatives.

Alpine high altitude research stations contribute significantly to the monitoring, understanding, and forecasting of processes in the Earth system. Their exposed location creates almost ideal conditions for the investigation of many physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere, geosphere, cryo- and hydrosphere, as well as biosphere. The Virtual Alpine Observatory supports the research activities of European high altitude research stations by aggregating their measurements and performing joint research projects. VAO is contributing to the Alpine Convention and to EUSALP. Access to other data and to high performance computing facilities creates rare research opportunities.
The symposium provides an ideal forum for obtaining up-to-date information about the latest developments, exchanging ideas, identifying future trends, and networking with the international high altitude research community.
The symposium is supported and co-organized by Schweizerische Kommission für Atmosphärenchemie und -physik (ACP) and the International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat (HFSJG).

Scientific topics

  1. The special focus of the symposium will be on the following topics:
    Atmospheric and climatic variability
    Understanding the coupling mechanisms among atmosphere, clouds and land surface and their changes in view of impact on the greenhouse effect / Understanding the impact of the Alps (mountains) on atmospheric dynamics in the middle atmosphere (10-100km height) / Understanding if there is an impact of climate change on the characteristics of cosmic radiation and environmental radioactivity in the atmosphere / Monitoring and understanding of the contamination of the Alps / Impact of meteorological extremes in the Alps and surrounding regions on natural hazards
  2. Climate impact on Alpine environment, hazards and risks
    Understanding the dynamics of the Alpine vegetation in response to climate (change) / Interrelation of the environment with seismic activity
  3. Alpine water cycle
    Understanding the Alps as a water tower for the pre-Alpine regions under climate change conditions
  4. Environment and human health Understanding the impact of pollutants, radiation and meteorological stress on human health
  5. Improving the Infrastructure
    Specific questions concerning the maintenance of buildings/locations located on permafrost / Improving the validation of satellite-based measurements through combined in-situ and remote sensing measurements

Symposium details