10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference

Excursions Wednesday

Please consult your conference documents for updated schedules and meeting points

ExWed1: Schynige Platte: Botanical Alpine Garden and long‐term ecosystem experiment 

The excursion starts with a spectacular ride in a nostalgic ‘Belle Epoque’ cog train to Schynige Platte (1970 masl). We take a guided tour through the Botanical Alpine Garden, which has more than 650 plant species native to the Swiss Alps. This site of research and nature conservation includes a unique long-term ecological experiment, the second oldest of its kind in the world, which started in the 1930s. Dr. Lüdi was interested in the impact of different management practices (fertilization, mowing, tilling, seeding etc.) on a mat-grass pasture and set up 340 experimental plots with different treatments. Some of the effects of these treatments on biodiversity are still visible in the long-term memory of the vegetation, 85 years after the treatment. An easy walk (100 m uphill) brings us to a crest with a spectacular panoramic view.

Please find more details in your conference documents.

ExWed2: High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (3450 masl)

The excursion starts with a spectacular train ride through a world of tunnels, glaciers and high mountains, and brings us up to the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch and the Sphinx Observatory at 3450 masl. A tour through the research laboratories will feature measuring systems to observe the atmosphere (CO2, O2 and about 100 other gases, clouds and aerosols etc.), to monitor air quality, sources of pollutants and climate change, and to investigate snow and ice. Time will allow for a walk through the touristic attraction ‘Alpine Sensation’.

Please find more details in your conference documents.

ExWed3: Lower Grindelwald Glacier - Holocene climate change and environments

This excursion takes us on a scenic hike from Pfingstegg (1400 masl; top station of cable car) to Bäregg (1700 masl), where we will find a mountain hut with a restaurant and a great view. The hiking trail crosses geological formations spanning the last 240 million years of Earth history. Topics include the tectonic and geologic setting of the northern Alps as well as Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate change and landscape evolution. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Little Ice Age variations of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier, one of the world’s best-researched glaciers. Many historical paintings and early photographs of this glacier exist thanks to its accessibility. Recent rock falls and a glacial meltwater lake give a flavor of the increasing natural hazards (and adaptation measures) occurring in alpine settings as a consequence of global warming.

Please find more details in the conference documents.

ExWed4: The Kander: Taming an alpine river?

This excursion has been cancelled due to the low number of registrations.

This excursion highlights the functioning of a typical Alpine river and its surrounding catchment in the Bernese Oberland. We explore the river’s natural characteristics and how it has been engineered, dammed and relocated in the context of flood protection over the last 300 years. Positive and negative effects of such anthropogenic interventions are discussed, especially in the context of climate change and flood protection for the downstream city of Thun.


ExWed5: St Beatus Caves (karst caves)

This excursion starts with a 30-minute boat ride from Interlaken to the St Beatus caves. After an easy walk uphill, a guided tour (60 – 90 minutes) will lead us through the cave along well-lit walkways. We will find spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and enormous halls at every turn. A small museum at the end of the tour tells the story of a dragon that took shelter in this geological site and was hunted by St Beat, a 6th century monk. A bus takes us back to Interlaken West. Regarding the walks, this is an easy excursion.

Please find more details in your conference documents.

ExWed6: Easy hike through the Aare canyon

The train takes us from Interlaken along the shores of Lake Brienz to Innerkirchen. We will then walk along the Aare river to the Aareschlucht, a 1400 m long and 200 m deep canyon, where a good, safe trail will lead us through tunnels and galleries very close to the water – a special way to experience the power of nature. The walk is approximately 4 km long, takes 1.5 hours and ends at Meiringen Railway station, where we will take the train back to Interlaken East. This is an easy and rather touristic excursion.

Please find more details in your conference documents.