Leçon inaugurale - Prof. Julia Schmale


Event details

Date 13.12.2022 17:1518:45  
Speaker Prof. Julia Schmale
Location Online
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Date: 13 December 2022
  • 17:15-17:25 Introduction by the Dean
  • 17:25-17:55 Prof. Charlotte Grossiord
  • 18:00-18:10 Introduction by the Dean
  • 18:10-18:40 Prof. Julia Schmale
  • 18:40-18:45 Closure
  • 18:45 Aperitif
Place: CO 2
Zoom link

Ingvar Kamprad Chair Lecture: "Arctic Aerosols – Tiny drivers and tracers of climate change"

The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the global average, a phenomenon called Arctic amplification. While some processes responsible for the amplified warming are well known (e.g., the snow and ice albedo feedback), there are several mechanisms that remain poorly understood and unconstrained. Among those are the climate-relevant effects of aerosols. Aerosols interact directly with solar radiation through scattering and absorption. They also change the short- and longwave radiative properties of clouds. Through both effects, they directly affect Arctic surface temperatures. Sources of aerosols in the Arctic are both anthropogenic and natural, and there is a strong seasonality in the aerosol amount and properties due to the complex Arctic meteorology and cryosphere-ocean-atmosphere interactions. As the Arctic warms, increased anthropogenic activities introduce new emission sources within the region, while distant, but important, mid-latitude sources have declined due to better air quality regulations. At the same time, Arctic warming invokes changes in natural sources of aerosols and their precursors, making the task of constraining their climate effects more complex and creating an urgency to translate these fundamental processes into numerical models to simulate future Arctic change.

About the speaker
Julia Schmale is tenure track assistant professor at EPFL since 2019 heading the Extreme Environments Research Laboratory at ALPOLE at EPFL Valais Wallis. She holds a master degree in environmental engineering from the University of Leoben, Austria, and obtained her PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, on the chemical composition of aerosols in the troposphere using aircraft-based mass spectrometry. Julia held a postdoc position at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland, before becoming a group leader there. Starting from her PhD, Julia dedicated her research to exploring the atmospheric chemical composition in polar and mountain regions with a specific focus on interactions with the cryosphere, ocean, land, biosphere and anthroposphere. Her work aims to understand how climate change drives and alters these interactions and which feedback loops are to be expected. Her research has mainly been based on field studies in the Arctic, Antarctic and central Asia. She has taken leading roles in the Antarctic Circumnavigation and MOSAiC expeditions.  
In addition, Julia has a strong interest in science-policy interactions, which she pursued at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany on the topic of the energy - air pollution - climate change nexus. Amongst other, she is also a lead author of the Expert Group on Short-lived Climate Forcers of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program and represents Switzerland in the International Arctic Science Committee Atmosphere Working group.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Registration required


  • SSIE - Christina Treier

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