2022 Climate Physics excursion to France

Climate Physics excursion 2022 group picture
The Climate Physics excursion 2022 participants.

From 30 August to 8 September 2022, 29 Climate Physics students went on a study excursion to France, under guidance of Willem Jan van de Berg. The first stop was Grenoble, where the group visited a snow research field site (without snow) of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRS). Marie Dumont, the head of the research group, gave an excellent overview of the various measurement techniques, from automated temperature and snow height measurements to highly sophisticated meltwater runoff measurements in the field to micrometer-scale snowflake shape and size observations in the on-site cold lab. Next the group visited the ice core analysis labs of the Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement (IGE), with a continuous flow measurement setup. Along with a similar device in Denmark, this represents the state-of-the-art in high-precision ice core analysis. The lab visit was followed by a tour of the Glacier de la Girose, where glacier guides led the group safely around the crevasses, and showed how much the glacier had thinned in the past year.

Next stop was Marseille for a three-day visit to the Institut Méditeranéen d’Océanologie (MIO) under guidance of local researcher Vincent Rossi. The visit to MIO was full of scientific exchange, talks and posters and a demonstration of the airplane-sized experimental setup to generate wind and shallow water waves. The group also visited the oldest tide gauge of France, the Marégraphe de Marseille, and all were amazed by the ingenious way this mechanical device measures mean sea level height. Finally, all participated in a short three-hour cruise to experience first-hand the MIO offshore observation program, including monitoring profiles of temperature, salinity, oxygen and the abundance of micro-organisms at a fixed location. Yes, this second Climate Physics excursion new style was a great success!

Willem Jan van de Berg

Students visiting a snow research field site of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques
Visit to a snow research field site of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (photo: Abhi Khanal).
Glacier guides leading the group of master students accros the Glacier de la Girose
Guided tour on Glacier de la Girose (photo: Abhi Khanal).