I didn’t have the pleasure of attending AGU 2012, but thanks to their video on demand session and lecture series you can still watch some really great sessions online.  I highlight several of them that I think have particular implications for research in hazard and risk from geohazards to climate change and communicating science in the case of the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake after which seven scientists were prosecuted and sentenced to jail for six years for failing to predict the earthquake.  An incredibly controversial decision that has been met with ferocious criticism from scientists and non-scientists alike.

The Race to Understand a Changing Planet
Dr Piers J. Sellers

How modelling is trying to keep up with planetary change.  Some really nice visuals.

Communicating Geohazard Risk Assessments: Lessons Learned From the Verdicts in the L’Aquila Earthquake Case

Outlines the scientific understanding of the earthquake, including knowledge of the researchers who were accused of the ‘crime’.

Deep Margins Under Pressure: Sustaining Biodiversity and Function where Climate Change and Humans Collide
Lisa Levin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Focuses on biodiversity and how the oxygen and pH of the continential margins is changing and a close look at deep-sea expeditions of the past and present.

Defeating Earthquakes
Ross Stein, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California

Highly interesting presentation on vulnerability of structures to earthquakes and how to improve them.  The world is full of poor building designs that have led to many deaths in highly populated areas located in regions prone to earthquakes.  Gives nice overview of the Global Earthquake Model.