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New report updates “Limits of Growth”: PIK experts speak at Club of Rome anniversary conference
17/10/2018 - “Transformation is feasible” - to update its legendary “Limits of Growth” report, the Club of Rome commissioned a new report on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within the Planetary Boundaries that was now published in Rome. Produced by the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Norwegian Business School in Oslo, and funded by the Global Challenges Foundation, the report for the 50 year anniversary conference stresses that while most original conclusions remain valid, inequality reduction and new economic models are necessary for long-term economic and planetary stability. One of the authors of the commissioned report is Johan Rockström, Director Designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
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Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state
06/08/2018 - Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed. An international team of scientists has published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of the planet entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions. A “Hothouse Earth” climate will in the long term stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 m higher than today, the paper says. The authors conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy.
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Schellnhuber signs the Golden Book of the city of Potsdam
05/09/2018 - "From Potsdam to Paris and back again - Operation Climate Rescue" - that was the title of a salon discussion which took place yesterday evening in Potsdam city hall. Potsdam's mayor Jann Jacobs had invited the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who on this day also addd his name to the Brandenburg capital's Golden Book in recognition of his many years of service.
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Just & In–Time Climate Policy Four Initiatives for a Fair Transformation
31/08/2018 - Together with the Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, and Georg Schütte from the Federal Ministry for Innovation and Research, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber presented a new policy paper of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). It names four necessary initiatives for fair and timely climate policy.
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Nice sunny days can grow into heat waves – and wildfires: summer weather is stalling
20/08/2018 - Be it heavy downpours or super-hot spells, summer weather becomes more persistent in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. When those conditions stall for several days or weeks, they can turn into extremes: heatwaves resulting in droughts, health risks and wildfires; or relentless rainfall resulting in floods. A team of scientists now presents the first comprehensive review of research on summer weather stalling focusing on the influence of the disproportionally strong warming of the Arctic as caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Evidence is mounting, they show, that we likely meddle with circulation patterns high up in the sky. These are affecting, in turn, regional and local weather patterns – with sometimes disastrous effects on the ground. This has been the case with the 2016 wildfire in Canada, another team of scientists show in a second study.
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Potsdam experts in the German Coal Commission
07/13/2018 - The coal commission established by Germany’s Federal Government is seeking input from, amongst others, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. This Friday, the chief economist and director designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Ottmar Edenhofer, gave a presentation in the panel. The focus was on the possibilities of a rapid reduction of greenhouse gases in the German energy system, to stabilize our climate. The acting Director and founder of PIK, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, is a full member of the 'Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment' – the official name of the committee –, and will be one of those to decide on its outcome at the end of the year.
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German Federal Government appoints Schellnhuber to coal commission
06/06/2018 - The German Federal Government appointed Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to their coal commission. The high-ranking "commission for growth, structural change and employment" - so the official name - is supposed to present a strategy for coal until the end of this year. Fossil fuels are the cause for a significant part of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany and the world, and hence for climate risks. The composition of the expert panel had been in discussion for some time, it will be steered by no less than four ministries: Economic Affairs, Environment, Labour and Interior.
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Social and Natural science together: New Co-Directors to lead the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
23/02/2018 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is reinventing itself – appointing a twin leadership bringing together natural sciences and social sciences stronger than ever. In late September, the German climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer and the Swedish Earth system scientist Johan Rockström will become directors of the internationally renowned institute which is a member of the Leibniz Association. This was decided on Friday by the institute's Board of Trustees, headed by the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, Research and Culture and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The retirement of the founding director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber this autumn after a quarter of a century as the head of the institute marks the beginning of a new era in Potsdam.
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PIK Research Days: “Keep digging in your pockets”
02/23/2018 - Scientists and staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) gathered this week for their annual roadshow of scientific achievements and discussions of future projects. Climate negotiations, climate migration, public health, sea-level legacy, jet streams, ice losses at Antarctica, carbon pricing – these were just some of the topics presented by PIK’s four research domains. This year’s research days focused in particular on the upcoming 1.5°C IPCC special report as well as on global change, big data and digitalization.
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Potsdam-China and back: "When climate projections return home"
02/05/2018 - China's Guanting region is threatened by water scarcity - how water and land can be used sustainably was explored over several years by a German-Chinese team headed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Now the scientists published a book on their findings. The researchers applied computer simulations on climate change and water cycles in Brandenburg to the Guanting region. They thereby gained valuable new methodological insights for refining their models - and now bring this back to Germany: a learning process across continents.
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