CVAS seminar series 2: Juerg Schmidli

Contact person:
Kira Rehfeld, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Climate Variability Across Scales (CVAS) working group will run its second online seminar series in conjunction with the PalMod project from November 2020 to March 2021.

The series is called "Climate variability across scales: from the butterfly's wings to the age of the Earth."


Since the formation of planet Earth 4.54 billion years ago, the interplay between its solid, liquid and gaseous compartments has led to variable conditions as a backdrop to the evolution of life.

Today, weather observations from ground and space allow to reconstruct and project surface climate with unprecedented precision, and to attribute local to global-scale meteorological changes to human-made greenhouse gases.

Yet, there are outstanding research challenges in climate, and one of them is the spectrum of climate.

In 1976 John Murray Mitchell jr, an American climatologist, published the paper "An Overview of Climatic Variability and Its Causal Mechanisms" (Quat. Research, 1977,

In this seminal paper he sketched a variance spectrum for the climate system spanning from timescales of hours (10–4 years) to the Age of the Earth (109 years), identified relevant processes and postulated their interactions.

Today we have evidence from paleoclimate data that allow to reconstruct the spectrum and see that the interactions between timescales are stronger than Mitchell envisaged. Theoretical understanding and modeling capacity of this spectrum are, however, still lacking.

This series of eight lectures is organized by CVAS, 44 years after Mitchell's paper, and brings together experts on timescales from minutes to millions of years, to review the state of knowledge on Earth surface climate variability across timescales.

Today's presentation

Tuesday 10 November 15:00-16:00 UTC
Juerg Schmidli – IAU Frankfurt, Germany. "Variability at sub-daily time scales – from seconds to hours."

> Watch the recording on PAGES YouTube channel


The link to the online meeting (Zoom) will be given to registered participants.

For registration and technical questions, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the mail header "CVAS lecture series".

The link will be sent to the first 75 registrations on the day prior to each talk (generally at around 17:00 UTC)

Further information

> Watch the recording on PAGES YouTube channel

Go the official seminar series website:

Contact Kira Rehfeld: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See the full list of speakers in this second seminar series:

Find out more about the first seminar series:

All recorded sessions will be available on PAGES YouTube channel, on the CVAS Seminar series playlist