Nowadays, discussions about climate change are almost a guaranteed part of any scientific or academic forum. Tropentag 2011 is no exception. It is not only that climate change had one thematic session and two posters sessions dedicated to it, but the topic was constantly mentioned in other sessions such as Food Security, Ecosystem Services, Soil Fertility, Crop Production, Water and Irrigation, and Forests. I am not implying that climate change is THE ISSUE, but it seems clear that it was one of the key issues connecting the theme of marginality.
If you follow the “whereabouts” of climate change (as I do!), you won’t be surprise to hear that nothing really new came out the Tropentag 2011. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of useful new data, nice climatic models, experimental results and adaptation activities; but they were in most cases, an improved version of what we saw in previous gatherings dealing with the issue -nothing really new-.
Where the heat comes from?
I was actually surprised to see that during the thematic session, the large lecture room was overflowing with people. It was probably the most attended session apart from the plenary session on Wednesday 6 October, clearly indicating that visitors to Tropentag 2011 considered climate change as one of the hottest issues at the conference.