The conference this Thursday and Friday (2 and 3 October 2008), entitled “Tough Choices – Land Use under a Changing Climate” will be attended by more than 80 American and German researchers from a variety of disciplines. Lectures, case studies and workshops, held by representatives from the geosciences, agricultural sciences, climate studies and hydrology as well as from the social sciences and economics, will discuss initial research findings and explore the opportunities for joint research projects on this topic, which is as far-reaching as it is uninvestigated to date.
There is a two-fold connection between land use and climate change, which provides the focal point of the conference in Berlin. On the one hand, the increasing use of land worldwide is contributing to climate change to a considerable extent due to the exploitation of natural resources and the release of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, global warming and other phenomena related to climate change are having an increasingly detrimental effect on land and the resources it provides. These mutually exacerbating developments have led to a significant drop in the amount of land surface available worldwide in recent years.
The issue of the use of land and natural resources in the light of these conditions brings with it a number of conflicts of interest and of objectives, indicated in the title of the conference by the reference to “Tough Choices”. Should land use primarily be dedicated to food production, or to the production of fuel and other sources of energy? Or does the preservation of biodiversity and ecological balance take top priority, above either of those options?
“Answering these questions is of paramount scientific, ecological, economic and social interest”, emphasised Professor Matthias Kleiner, the President of the DFG, who will open the conference in Berlin on Thursday, together with Thomas Rachel, the parliamentary secretary of state at the BMBF, and Dr. David Lightfoot, assistant director of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. How serious the conflicts of objectives are was revealed for the first time in recent months, with the debate on “biofuels” and their impact on the global food supply and the development of greenhouse gas emissions.
In contrast to the calculation and modelling of developments and progress of climate change, for example, research on land use and climate change is still in its infancy. “We are only just beginning to understand how intimately linked these two factors are, and how much they impact our own lives”, said Kleiner. This also makes this an ideal subject for the DFG, as Germany’s largest research funding organisation, to expand scientific cooperation between German and American scientists and researchers. The DFG, the BMBF and the NSF place their hope, in particular, in young scientists, of whom about 30 from both countries will be participating in the conference in Berlin.
In addition to generating sound scientific insight, the discussion of the initial research findings and research projects agreed there, it is hoped that the conference in Berlin will also result in options for action in politics and by other decision makers. “This allows the scientific community to meet its responsibility for solving the global issues of the future”, emphasised the President of the DFG, Matthias Kleiner.
The idea for the German-American conference was born during talks by the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Dr. Annette Schavan and Professor Kleiner in Washington last year. The two day meeting was prepared by a high-ranking Steering Committee chaired by Professor Wolfram Mauser from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, representing Germany, and Professor Dan Brown from the University of Michigan representing America. The DFG and the BMBF intend to further expand their funding activities in this field in Germany.
Jutta Hoehn | alfa
A genetic map for maize
24.02.2020 | University of Delaware
Computer vision is used for boosting pest control efficacy via sterile insect technique
24.02.2020 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo
The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices
The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.
After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
12.02.2020 | Event News
16.01.2020 | Event News
15.01.2020 | Event News
24.02.2020 | Life Sciences
24.02.2020 | Materials Sciences
24.02.2020 | Earth Sciences