Dienstag, 14. Juni 2022, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

The Weakening of the Gulf Stream

Past, Present, and Future of Europe


Online Event

[VISESS Big Picture Talk] The Weakening of the Gulf Stream: Past, Present, and Future of Europe, 14 June 2022, 17:00-19:00, online (Zoom)


Will the weakened Gulf Stream impact the European climate? How did society react in the past when faced with similar big scale challenges? What are the potential drivers of change that social movements ask for consideration by politicians? These are a few of the questions that we asked ourselves when we started to think about the topic of the talk. The event will cover the Gulf Stream weakening as a starting point. The Gulf Stream, as part of the global ocean circulation system (AMOC, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation), is a 100 km wide and 800-1200m deep ocean current. By leading warm, saline water to the North-eastern Europe (Nord Atlantic current) and Western Africa (Canary current), it brings substantial warming to our latitudes. The weakening of the Gulf Stream will bring major disruptions from our current living conditions, and we use it as a climatic event leading to the broader societal issues that we are facing. The talk aims specifically to examine the societal effects of environmental change and how to deal with them from perspectives of three scientific fields including, natural science, history, and social movements.




17:00–17:05 Welcome speech

17:05–18:10 The societal effects of the weakening Gulf Stream and related environmental change

• The effect of Gulf Stream changes on the climate in North West Europe | David Thornalley, University College London

• The effects of previous climatic changes on humanity | Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Austrian Academy of Sciences

• The effect of climate change events on civil society - how can we exchange the roles? | Claire Lejeune, Sciences Po Paris

18:10–18:15 Short break

18:15–18:55 Panel discussion followed by Q&A | Harald Sterly, University of Vienna (Moderator)

18:55–19:00 Summary and concluding thoughts


The event will be held in English. Participation is free and open for everybody who is interested.


Register here: visess.univie.ac.at/activities/big-picture-talks/


The public talk is organised by PhD students of the Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences:

Christine Kroisleitner, Coline Garcia, Lemlem Fitwi Weldemariam, Mongkon Thongchaithanawut, and Reena Tadee




VISESS "Big Picture" Talk Series


The “Big Picture” talk series is organised by VISESS, the "Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences", which is offering an internationally oriented training to current and future doctoral students at the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy of the University of Vienna. As humanity is facing grand challenges such as climate change or resource depletion, this new doctoral school is addressing these challenges through inter- and transdisciplinary academic research connecting the cosmos with planet Earth, itʼs environment and the anthroposphere. With the Big Picture Talks organised by VISESS-students, the doctoral school aims to present current topics of scientific and societal interest to the interested public.

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Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences

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Martina Egger
Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences