I’m one of the few of the team (or so it feels) who hasn’t gone to the “AGU Fall Meeting”, which is a huge conference in San Francisco, where geoscientists of all kinds go to share and discuss their work. (AGU=American Geophysical Union.)

Luckily for me, there are many virtual options so I’ve been following things remotely. As I’m stuck at home with a cold (I don’t want to infect anyone else with it!), I’ve actually followed the conference much more than I would have done otherwise. And I thought I’d share some of the Arctic methane and MAMM related virtual options with you.


If you check out the hashtag #AGU13 on twitter, you will see the wide range of science that is available at the conference. If you don’t wish to read thousands of tweets, then you will find MAMM’s very own Sam Illingworth tweeting from the conference. He even managed to live-tweet his own talk yesterday. How’s that for communication skills, talking and tweeting at once?!


Sam is also podcasting with his colleagues on the Barometer Podcast. You can catch up on the past 4 days of the conference in one fell swoop.

Official AGU Virtual Options

AGU have an impressive range of virtual options. You can see lots of talks online at virtualoptions.agu.org once you register. There are live channels, which show some sessions as they are happening. However, I have not managed to get a decent connection to these, and have had to frustratedly abandon trying. Luckily, all the live channels, as well as some other sessions, are being put online afterwards, so they can be watched on demand. So that would be my recommendation. You can also see the AGU Fall Meeting Buzz, which somehow collates a selection of tweets about the meeting. That’s got to be an epic task for anyone!

I have just watched an excellent talk by Euan Nisbet, one of the MAMM team. I would highly recommend it as it’s a nice overview of methane in the atmosphere, including the Arctic, the tropics and globally. If you want to know:

  • What are the top 10 most bovine-populated countries?
  • Why did the American Embassy in Beijing tweet that the air was “crazy-bad”?
  • How good/bad shale gas emissions are relative to other forms of gas for the UK?
  • What does it look like when the northern hemisphere visits the southern hemisphere?

then take a look at Euan’s talk! If you can, I’d recommend higher definition so you can read my name in tiny letters next to some of the figures. That sounds like a pretty good game actually — you can play MAMM bingo too, by looking out for the names of team MAMM who feature. I spotted: Michelle Cain (that’s me), James France, Dave Lowry, Rebecca Fisher, Mathias LanoisellĂ©, Nicola Warwick, Alistair Manning and Andrew Manning (no relation!). I might have missed someone, so post in the comments if I have!

So head on over to Euan’s talk now, and feel free to post comments or questions about it in the comments here. (If the link doesn’t work because you need to register first, the talk is called: U33A-05. Atmospheric Methane In The 21st Century: What Does The Future Hold? (Invited).

–Michelle Cain, University of Cambridge