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Considering catastrophe: high-impact, low-probability climate scenarios "dangerously underexplored"
08/02/22 - Researchers call for a new "Climate Endgame" agenda and say far too little work has gone into understanding the mechanisms by which rising temperatures might pose a "catastrophic" risk to society and humanity: For instance if temperature rises are worse than many predict or cause cascades of events we have yet to consider, or indeed both. The world needs to start preparing for the possibility of a "climate endgame", the authors argue in a perspective piece in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS. Assessing catastrophic risks is necessary in order to have a better chance of preventing them.
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German Sustainability award for John Schellnhuber
03/12/2021 - The Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute, Hans Joachim "John" Schellnhuber, was honoured, among other things, for his enormous influence on science, politics and business as a result of his early calls for sustainable solutions to the climate crisis. The focal points of his work include climate impact research and Earth system analysis.
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High impact climate events: Better adaptation through earlier prediction
11/16/2021 - The prediction of high impact climate phenomena can be substantially improved by a new mathematical approach that analyses the connectivity and patterns between geographical locations, scientists say in a new publication. This can potentially save thousands of lives and avoid billions in economic losses. Prediction times for events like El Niño, monsoons, droughts or extreme rainfall could be increased substantially, to a month or in some cases even a year in advance, depending on the type of the event. The new framework can thus become key for improving adaptation to the global warming crisis.
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Schellnhuber awarded French Legion d'Honneur
10/06/2021 - In a solemn ceremony hosted at the Embassy of France in Berlin, PIK Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber was honoured with the highest order of merit in the Republic of France, The Legion of Honour, for his outstanding achievements in the field of climate science, particularly in the context of COP21.
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Important steps for a new philosophy of building in Brussels and Brandenburg
09/17/2021 - The European Commission has set out the framework and key actions to drive the New European Bauhaus initiative forward after comprehensive talks earlier this month, when the Highlevel Roundtable with PIK founder John Schellnhuber met with EU President Ursula von der Leyen. Today, the Brandenburg government together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment joined forces with “Bauhaus der Erde”, a non-profit organization with the objective to transform the way we construct and maintain the built environment.
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Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for Schellnhuber
06/07/2021 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director and emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK, today received the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany today. Under the motto "Nature - Environment - Climate Protection", Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored Schellnhuber and five other citizens with the Order of Merit in Bellevue Palace for their outstanding commitment to environmental protection.
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Wood instead of steel and concrete: Schellnhuber calls for a green Bauhaus movement
04/21/2021- Reconstructing our climate: On the occasion of the upcoming "Earth Day", Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, called for a green Bauhaus movement for the 21st century. He presented the "Building House of the Earth" initiative, which he co-founded, together with the architect Annette Hillebrandt and the President of the German Federal Environment Agency Dirk Messner at Berlin's Federal Press Conference today. Schellnhuber argues for the substitution of reinforced concrete with organic building materials and presented strategies for sustainable housing.
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Biggest CO2 drop: Real-time data shows Covid-19’s massive impact on global emissions
10/14/2020 - While the ongoing Corona pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives around the world, the first half of 2020 saw an unprecedented decline in CO2 emissions – larger than during the financial crisis of 2008, the oil crisis of 1979, or even World War II. An international team of researchers has found that in the first six months of this year, 8.8 percent less carbon dioxide were emitted than in the same period in 2019 – a total decrease of 1551 million tonnes. The groundbreaking study not only offers a much more precise look at COVID-19’s impact on global energy consumption than previous analyses. It also suggests what fundamental steps could be taken to stabilize the global climate in the aftermath of the pandemic.
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Historical climate fluctuations in Central Europe overestimated due to tree ring analysis: Present warming is extraordinary
09/10/2020 - Tree rings exaggerate, a team of researchers finds. Scientists deduce historical climatic conditions for the past hundreds of years from the width of the annual growth rings of trees. Previous temperature reconstructions from the annual tree rings are however to some extent inaccurate, according to a new study published in Climate Dynamics. Tree rings overstate the natural climatic variations of past centuries. A comparison of data from church and city archives shows that the climate has developed much more evenly. This in turn provides further evidence of how extraordinary modern human-made warming really is.
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