Background and Conference History
The insight that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) perturb climate with far-reaching implications for natural and socio-economic systems has led to a series of scientific meetings to improve the understanding of the carbon cycle and of its interactions with the Earth System.
The ICDC series, initially called the “Bern CO2 Symposium”, was initiated by Hans Oeschger, Uli Siegenthaler and Charles David Keeling in 1981. A second meeting followed in 1985 in the village of Kandersteg in the Bernese Alps. By the 1990s, the seed of these pioneers had matured and the scope of the conference and the number of participants increased during the follow-up conferences in Hinterzarten, Germany (1989), Carqueiranne, France (1993), Cairns, Australia (1997), Sendai, Japan (2001), Broomfield, USA (2005), Jena, Germany (2009) and Beijing, China (2013). During this time, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use increased by 85%. This underscores the role of fossil carbon emissions as the dominant driver of anthropogenic climate change and ocean acidification.