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The Make Our Planet Great Again seminar series
The “Make Our Planet Great Again” program is a French – German initiative to foster climate change research and to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Within the “Make Our Planet Great Again” program, researchers from all over the world work together to improve Earth system observations, to detect impacts and suggest strategies to mitigate Climate change and to find new solutions for the necessary Energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources.

The Make Our Planet Great Again seminar series takes place on Mondays from 16:00 to 17:00 Paris/Berlin time. The seminar series is open event at which the Make Our Planet Great Again Laureates will inform about the latest developments in their research area.

You will find a list of the next 10 talks at the bottom of this page.

Recordings of previous talks can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCegK_BEcsgqJt1YOeFsenNg

Seminar organization: Dr. Rainer Kiko (rainer.kiko@obs-vlfr.fr), Make Our Planet Great Again Laureate Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, France

French Make Our Planet Great Again website: https://makeourplanetgreatagain-cnrs.com/

German Make Our Planet Great Again website: https://www.daad.de/en/information-services-for-higher-education-institutions/further-information-on-daad-programmes/mopga-gri/
Sep 20, 2021 04:00 PM
Sep 27, 2021 04:00 PM
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Oct 25, 2021 04:00 PM
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20.9.2021: Vincent Vadez - Turn off the tap! Plant traits that help to prepare for future climates
@Laboratoire Diversité – Adaptation – Développement, Montpellier
Farming in the Sahel is risky because of water limitation. Climate change will only accentuate this constraint, which undermines food security in the region and impedes economic rural development. Harvests fail in dry conditions because the evaporative demand creates an atmospheric moisture stress. Genotypes adapted to these conditions exist and control water losses under high evaporative demand, possibly via hydraulic restrictions at the root system level. They save water and are more tolerant to water stress. Combining physiology, molecular biology, genetics and simulation modeling, we will decipher the mechanisms underlying tolerance, find their genetic basis, and predict where these traits would be the most beneficial. The end products of the project are a better understanding of tolerance mechanisms, their related genetic regions, a predictive knowledge of their effects across agro-ecological zones. These results will guide and feed the crop improvement programs of our partners.
27.9.2021: Anna Possner - Southern Ocean clouds: why understand clouds where nobody lives?
@Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main
Around 40% of the time we observe shallow clouds covering the vast Southern Ocean which surrounds the Earth almost entirely uninterrupted by any land. Some of these clouds organise into distinct patterns, others contain not only liquid water, but a mixture of liquid drops and frozen crystals. All of them reflect a discernible amount of sunlight and act like a semi-transparent parasol shading the ocean surface beneath. We explore whether the composition of these clouds as well as their organisational state are interlinked and how these impact the parasols efficiency at cooling Earth’s surface in this remote region of the world.
4.10.2021: Barbara Ervens - Biological processes in the atmosphere: Effects on aerosol particles and clouds
@Institut de Chimie, Clermont Ferrand
Aerosol particles can interact with solar radiation and – depending on their chemical composition – they can cool or warm our climate. In addition, they can act as condensation nuclei on which water vapor condenses to form cloud droplets. These latter aerosol-cloud interactions represent one of the largest uncertainties in our current estimate of climate change. Chemical and physical processes in cloud water can modify the properties of aerosol particles and therefore their ability to act as ‘cloud condensation nuclei. While they only comprise a small fraction of total aerosol particle loading, biological particles (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi) they exhibit unique properties and undergo biological modification processes that are currently not included in atmospheric models. In my presentation, I will discuss several of such processes and their model implementation, such as the biodegradation of organic compounds by bacteria in cloud water and cloud formation on biological particles.
11.10.2021: R Subramanian - You can't manage what you don't measure: Air quality in urban Sub-Saharan Africa
@Observatoires des Sciences de l’Univers- Enveloppes Fluides de la Ville à l’Exobiologie (OSU-EFLUVE) / Laboratoire Interuniversi
Ambient air pollution is estimated to cause several hundred thousand deaths annually across Africa. Many African cities have very limited or no air quality monitoring infrastructure, hampering urban air quality management. The MOPGA project ‘Make Air Quality Great Again’, in collaboration with African, American, and Australian partners, has established AfriqAir, a transcontinental network of low-cost sensors and reference monitors. Over 50 sensors (calibrated to newly-deployed or existing reference monitors for fine particulate matter mass, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone) have been deployed in Nairobi, Kigali, Accra, Abidjan, and other African cities. Local partnerships ensure that the sensors are well-maintained and deployed in locally-relevant sites. We are training local students and technicians to develop local capacity and ensure network sustainability. Results and learnings for future advancement will be shared in this seminar.
18.10.2021: Lorie Hamelin - Sustainable transition towards a low fossil carbon economy in France
@Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), Toulouse
Achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement requires leaving most fossil carbon resources in the ground, and even induce negative emissions. This implies using less carbon where possible (electricity-related services), and develop sustainable pathways to convert biomass- or atmospheric- carbon to hydrocarbons for the services that cannot be decarbonized. It also implies a more circular use of this carbon. This seminar will discuss the on-going results of the Cambioscop project (https://cambioscop.cnrs.fr/) where a variety of pathways allowing to supply, without fossil carbon, the services demanded by the French economy in 2050 are being built, assessed, and translated into an investment roadmap.
25.10.2021 - Azusa Takeishi: Can we machine-learn the raindrop formation processes?
@Laboratoire d’aérologie, Toulouse
Millimeter-sized raindrops in warm clouds form by condensation and numerous collisions of micrometer-sized cloud droplets. Due mainly to the complexity of the latter process among numerous droplets in various sizes, the rain formation processes are usually parametrized in climate models. This parameterization, however, is often a source of significant discrepancies among models, in terms of rainfall, cloud microphysics, and potentially resultant dynamical conditions as well. We utilize the machine-learning method to obtain a new parameterization that mimics the rain formation processes in a detailed bin model. Although the high computational cost makes it impractical to directly embed the bin model within climate models, this machine-learned parameterization enables the prediction of rain formation processes similar to the bin model.
08.11.2021: Marion Carrier - Biomass Fast Pyrolysis: Kinetics and Thermodynamics
@Centre de recherche en génie des procédés des solides divises, de l’énergie et de l’environnement, Albi
Large volumes of contaminated biomass considered as waste are available and not usefully used. Fast pyrolysis, a thermochemical process, is used to turn those solids into liquids that can be further upgraded to produce advanced liquid biofuels and high-value organics. Liquid yield and quality are dependent on biomass type and the temperature-time history. To ensure consistent production and high quality of those liquids, we propose to establish a dynamic model adaptable to the conversion of different biomasses including kinetics and thermodynamics aspects. A robust methodology on a commercial microreactor combining isoconversional and fitting methods has been developed to determine intrinsic chemical kinetics. Thermodynamics is currently apprehended to predict the vapor-liquid equilibrium of the liquified biomass. This global approach will be presented as a universal alternative to non-empirical models and the use of sophisticated microreactors to optimize pyrolysis.
15.11.2021: Philip Schulz - Beating the Terawatt Challenge: New Materials and Interfaces in Photovoltaics
@Institut Photovoltaique d’Ile de France, Palaiseau
At the core of combating climate change lies the profound transformation of our energy system to reduce CO2 emissions. Solar panels, or more precisely photovoltaics (PV), i.e. the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, became a primary technology to contribute towards this goal. In the past ten years, its growth rates are exceeding those of all competing technologies for power generation, and by the end of 2020 the installed cumulative capacity amounted to more than 750 GW. Today we ask: What does it take to further accelerate this growth and make PV our principal sustainable energy source on a global scale with tens of terawatt installed capacity? To this end, we are working on the next generation of PV panels that offer higher efficiencies at lower production costs. Key to unlocking this approach is the understanding of the fundamental chemistry and physics of novel hybrid materials that act as light absorbers, as well as tailoring the interfaces within the device.
29.11.2021: Ludmila Cojocaru - Sustainable photo-supercapacitors for energy conversion-storage in a single device
@Institut des Sciences Moléculaires, Université de Bordeaux, France
Power conversion efficiencies of solar cells depends on the fluctuation of the solar cells irradiation which represents one of the main limitations of this renewable energy resource. Integration of the solar cells with energy storage devices into single device may solve this problem because of the concomitant electricity storage. To construct such devices the supercapacitors (SCs) can be used as storable part because of their benefit from the cycling stability, good safety and simultaneous use of carbon plates as electrodes for SCs and counter-electrode of solar cell based on perovskite absorber. To obtain carbon materials for both devices, biomass waste can be used as a renewable source which can help us to reduce the non-sustainable use of fossil carbon deposit. In our work, coconut shell has been selected as biomass precursors to obtain carbonaceous materials and then applied as electrodes for SC and electrode for perovskite solar cells.
James Clark - Global tree fecundity and its contribution to twenty-first century forests
@Laboratoire des écosystèmes et des sociétés en montagne, Grenoble
The composition and structure of twenty-first century forests will depend on the seed production needed for tree populations to keep pace with climate change. The decade-scale trends will depend on reproduction by trees of different species and size classes across shifting habitats. Anticipating future forests requires data and modeling approaches that can be used to quantify individual tree responses to climate change and how that translates to reproduction under novel conditions and at regional scales. To address these challenges, the Masting Inference and Forecasting (MASTIF) network, developed by the MOPGA project Forecasting Biodiversity Change (FORBIC), is allowing us to evaluate direct and indirect effects of climate change on reproduction of future forests. I discuss emerging insights from individual-scale processes such as demographic changes, to community consequences for mast-consuming wildlife, to global climate and soil controls on forest migration and resilience.