Climate Policy, Economics & Energy
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Weather, Extremes & Atmosphere
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Planetary Boundaries, Tipping Elements & Global Commons
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Complex Networks, Machine Learning & Decision Theory
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Land Use, Food, Water & Ecosystems
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Health, Security & Development
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Ice, Oceans & Sea Level Rise
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From natural science to social science, from risks to solutions, from identifying Planetary Boundaries to managing Global Commons: The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is advancing the frontier of integrated research for global sustainability, and for a safe and just climate future. A member of the Leibniz Association, the institute is based in Potsdam, Brandenburg and connected with the global scientific community. Drawing on excellent research, PIK provides relevant scientific advice for policy decision-making. The institute’s international staff of more than 300 is led by a committed interdisciplinary team of Directors. This is science – for a safe tomorrow.

Numbers

99% industry

99% industry

Almost all of industry energy needs in Europe can be satisfied with clean power by 2050. Replacing fossil fuels with low-CO2 electricity is key to stabilize our climate. 78% of industry’s energy demand is electrifiable with technologies that are already established, Potsdam researchers showed, while 99% can be achieved with the addition of technologies currently under development. However, industry electrification leads to greenhouse gas emissions reductions only if power generation gets greener. If we do this,  in line with the European Green Deal’s targets, energy-related industry emissions would become minimal by mid-century, leaving only process emissions from chemical reactions and the like which account for around one fifth of current industry emissions.

3 Million Years

3 Million Years

Ocean floor deposits and model calculations have confirmed that in the past 3 million years, the global mean temperature has never been more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels, with fluctuating CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Since the beginning of industrialization, more CO2 has accumulated in the atmosphere through the burning of coal, oil and gas than probably ever before in the past 3 million years. Thus, in our current century, there is real threat that without effective climate policy the 2-degree limit of global warming will be breached for the first time – with far-reaching consequences.

24%

24%

Around a quarter of the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide are from agriculture and forestry including, for example, deforestation. This makes land use one of the biggest sources of emissions, like especially methane and CO2, and thus a driver of climate change. However, it is also itself strongly affected by climate impacts, because, for example, there are more frequent regional crop failures due to droughts or heavy rainfall. Land use is therefore an important part of the solution to the climate problem. Better land use management – for example through more efficient use of fertilizers, reforestation or the renaturation of peatland soils – as well as a reduced demand for animal products can help to stabilize our climate.

PIK in the Media

Corona: Klimawandel als Treiber der Pandemie
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The slowing down of ocean currents could have a devastating effect on our climate
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Corriente del Golfo, la más débil en 1,000 años; pega al clima de Europa
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La ciencia confirma la desaceleración de la corriente del Atlántico norte
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So soll Deutschland klimaneutral werden
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Corrente del Golfo mai così fredda negli ultimi mille anni, lo studio: “Europa a rischio, punto di non ritorno più vicino”
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