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First Professor for Climate Change and Health appointed
17/06/2019 - Is climate change a global health emergency? Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have joined forces to create the first-ever Professorship for Climate Change and Health in any German medical school. Its purpose will be to study the links between climate change and population health. The physician and epidemiologist Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine Gabrysch has now been appointed.
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Climate mitigation can – and must – include policies to assure food security
13/05/2019 – Policies that aim at limiting dangerous climate change need to account for food security issues. For the first time, tradeoffs between climate mitigation and food security have now been analyzed in a so-called multi-model assessment: many different computer simulations dealing with the same issue. The costs for food-smart climate policies are around 0.2% of global economic output in 2050, an international team of scientists. However, carelessly designed climate policy could increase the number of people at risk of hunger, at least compared to a baseline scenario, according to the study now published in Nature Sustainability. Compared to today, the number of people at risk of hunger is likely to sink in all scenarios studied. Yet if no climate policy at all would be implemented, the resulting risks for crop failure due to droughts and floods might also lead to hunger and costs. Including these impacts of extreme events is a challenge for future research.
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Johan Rockström speaks at re:publica conference in Berlin
07/05/2019 – Participants from all strands of life gather this week in Berlin at the re:publica conference, the festival for and by the digital society. From workshops, to lectures, screenings and meetups – more than 1,000 experts will be sharing input on “digital” topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, copyright law or platform economies. A special focus of this year’s re:publica is on climate and sustainability. PIK-director Johan Rockström will deliver a keynote on planetary boundaries on the festival’s closing day.
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Amazon forest can be trained by higher rainfall variability – but may be no match for climate change
25.02.2019 - The Amazon rainforest has evolved over millions of years and even through ice ages. Yet today, human influences and global climate change put this huge ecosystem at risk of large-scale dieback – with major consequences for its capability as a global CO2 sink. New research published in Nature Geoscience now reveals a key player in shaping the resilience of the Amazon, and finds that regions with generally higher rainfall variability are more resilient to current and future climate disturbances. However, despite this 'training effect', the Amazon rainforest might not be able to keep up with the pace of ongoing climate change, the study shows.
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The living lab experiment "Climate-Neutral Living in Berlin" takes stock: Everyone can contribute to climate stabilization, but without politics it won’t succeed
31/01/2019 - "Climate-Neutral Living in Berlin" – for one year, more than 100 Berlin households have tried to shift to a more climate-friendly everyday life, from families with children, partners, flatmates to singles. In the living lab experiment headed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), households were reducing their climate footprint by an average of around 10 percent, even though they had, on average, already started the project 25 percent below the German average. The results of the project: in all sectors, from nutrition and consumption to electricity, heating and mobility, there is great potential for each and every one to reduce their CO2 emissions. But the experiment also shows where the limits of individual contributions to climate protection are, and where a political framework is necessary to set the stage for a more climate-friendly everyday life.
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Germany phases out coal to help stabilize our climate
27/01/2019 - The Coal Commission established by the German government recommends to phase out coal - with an end date in the 2030s. It is highly likely that political decision-makers will act upon this recommendation now and indeed put an end-date to coal-use in the world's fourth biggest economy Germany. The Coal Commission consisted of representatives from industry, trade unions, environmental associations, and academia. Experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) were closely involved in the difficult negotiations. Physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK's Director Emeritus, was a member of the Commission. PIK's acting Director and chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer had been invited to provide advice to the committee.
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Lancet report: Healthy lives and a liveable planet for all require major changes in what we eat and how we produce it
17.01.2019 - Feeding a growing population of 10 billion by 2050 is possible if we shift towards a planetary health diet, a major new report by the EAT Lancet commission shows. International experts worked with the leading medical journal to develop the first comprehensive and detailed science based targets for improving our food system in a way that ensures healthy lives and a liveable planet for all. This includes doubling the amount of vegetables in what we eat every day, and halving red meat and sugar. Current diets are one of today's greatest causes for ill-health worldwide and in the same time threaten climate stability. Leading planetary boundaries researcher Johan Rockström, Director Designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and former Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is one of the report's lead authors.
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Bits & Bäume - PIK-experts at conference for digitalisation and sustainability
16/11/2018 – This weekend and for the very first time, a new networking conference in Berlin brings digitalisation and sustainability together through various panels, workshops and talks. Among the organisers are Germanwatch, Brot für die Welt, the Chaos Computer Club und other well-known organisations. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) takes part with various lectures and workshops by Sabine Auer, Frank Hellmann and Anton Plietzsch.
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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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Manifesto by Wolfgang Lucht: "Das Wasser der Nachfolge"
05.10.2018 - We live in the Anthropocene, an era in which mankind as a global, geological force is changing the earth. Climate change, ocean acidification, extinction of species, deforestation and overfishing are just a few symptoms of human influence on our planet. "So what is the churches' opinion on the environmental question?" What do we say as Christians?", asks Wolfgang Lucht, Co-Chair of the Research Domain Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in his manifesto "Das Wasser der Nachfolge". This chapter was published in the recently released German book "Life in the Anthropocene - Christian perspectives for a culture of sustainability" by oekom. His manifesto directly adresses the churches, whose commitment is vital for the necessary transformation to a socially and environmentally sustainable society.
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