SPARC community meets in Queenstown, New Zealand

Today, a total of 300 scientists is gathering at the opening of the Fifth SPARC General Assembly in Queenstown, New Zealand.

This 6-day conference takes place approximately every five years attracting atmospheric and climate physicists and chemists, climate modellers, water cycle and cloud specialists and other experts from across the world. A traditional Maori welcome dance opened the conference followed by a warm welcome by Prof. Jim Metson, Chief Science Advisor at New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

In his address SPARC co-chair and conference convener Greg Bodeker welcomed the growing community, which is increasingly focusing on the troposphere as well as the stratosphere. In particular he welcomed the new delegates to these "family reunions", saying that "here it is where we share our latest research results and our passion for what we do. SPARC is a vibrant organisation and the value that you can derive from SPARC will, in a large part, be determined by your contribution to SPARC. So have a good week. Talk a lot. Have fun. Learn a lot. You can sleep next week."

The dense programme is organised around plenary sessions with invited lectures, poster sessions with one-minute pitches to introduce presenters and their research topics, and a series of side events. Some 80 early-career and developing country scientists sponsored by partners to the conference are attending the assembly. Sponsors include: the World Climate Research Programme; the World Meteorological Organisation and its research programmes WIGOS, GAW, and WWRP; the US National Science Foundation; the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research; the Canadian Space Agency; NIWA; the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence for Climate System Science; ESA; Antarctica New Zealand; the Committee on Space Research COSPAR; Bodeker Scientific; TOF Werk; Aerodyne Research Inc.; Macquarie University; University of Otago; and the sponsors of the SPARC International Project Office including the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich; the Federal Office for the Environment, and the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology.

Find the SPARC General Assembly website.