Dear reader,

Introduction IMAU newsletter by Rupert Holzinger

Photo of Rupert Holzinger

The day I write this is another warm autumn day in November 2022. The COP27 climate summit is about to start in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. As so many, I am not overly optimistic about the chances of success. In the current geopolitical situation, confrontation and mistrust minimize the ground for common action against the evolving climate crisis. Nevertheless, we should not forget the two major achievements of the past years. Firstly, a decarbonized society is already possible with available technologies, and secondly, it is now mainstream understanding that quick decarbonization is an urgent necessity. Both these statements would have been perceived as science fiction rather than reality 20 years ago. Moreover, with the current pace of innovation and deployment, sustainable technologies will soon outperform fossil technologies in all relevant aspects.

So, let us move on with what we are doing – researching the climate system, communicating our results, and convincing more and more people about the necessity of change. Mainstream leadership is important but not sufficient. We need to reach all communities in our societies! There will be a tipping point. At some stage the resistance will dissolve, and we will move quickly towards a sustainable planet Earth.

IMAU researchers are working hard and with passion for these goals! Check out the latest news, e.g. an excellent short movie by David Bonell Fontas about the Cloud Roots Campaign in the Amazonian rain forest, the findings of Roderik van de Wal about the high-end estimate of sea level rise, or the floating nanoplastic in the Wadden Sea. We are also proud of recognitions that IMAU researchers receive! Read about the Balzan Prize for Hans Oerlemans and the EMS Outreach and Communication Award 2022 for the podcast De Weerman by Peter Kuipers Munneke. Or read about the moves of our former student Sjoerd Groeskamp, the ICOS conference in Utrecht, the excursion of our current Climate Physics master students to southern France, and the special citation that Leo Maas received.

We hope that you will enjoy this newsletter!

Rupert Holzinger

Introduction IMAU newsletter November 2022