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RD 2 - Climate Resilience
News

Farmers in focus: Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on crops

12/11/2020 - Agriculture is a key socio-economic sector that both influences the climate and is exposed to climate impacts. To reach targets on food security, protection of biodiversity and the natural environment as well as on climate mitigation for the global common land, it is crucial to know how and where climate change and increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 affect crops. Decision makers and farmers need to quantify the risks to their sector and evaluate sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies. An international team of agro-climatic experts, including PIK researcher Christoph Müller, has reviewed existing crop models that are used for these climate change risk assessments: While the size of CO2 fertilization effects is still uncertain to some extent, their results, published in Nature Food today, suggest that presenting crop modelling results without accounting elevated CO2 simulations are obsolete and don't offer added value to decision makers.
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News

Low food prices, high energy use: The pros and cons of emerging technology in our food system

12/08/2020 - An international team of scientists, including PIK researchers, has identified the potential impacts emerging from food system technologies in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. In a new study, that has been published in Lancet Planetary Health, they find that while new technologies and innovation can help fix some issues with the food system, they also have far-reaching impacts. These can cause disruption and unintended consequences, some beneficial and some not, for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Food system innovation will be key to succeed, but new technologies need to be guided by science-based targets to avoid trade-offs and rebound effects.
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News

FABLE Report 2020: Pathways to sustainable land-use and food systems

The Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-Use, and Energy (FABLE) Consortium has presented an updated plan on how countries can meet mid-century objectives on food security, healthy diets, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, forest conservation, and freshwater use. In part coordinated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), FABLE's mission is to mobilize top knowledge institutions from 20 countries to support the development of decision-support tools and long-term pathways towards sustainable food and land-use systems.
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News

The climate crisis makes people ill - four proposals towards a healthy future

12/03/2020 - Today the 2020 Lancet Countdown, the new report on the relationship between health and climate change, has been released. It shows that the health risks posed by a changing climate are increasing worldwide, including Germany - and that countermeasures are possible.
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News

”Highly Cited Scientists 2020” ranking: success for PIK researchers

11/18/2020 – The “Highly Cited Scientists” list once again features a number of PIK researchers. Twelve of them rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the 2020 Web of Science citation index, which is an indicator of scientific relevance. It is a remarkable success that the listed researchers are almost equally distributed across PIK departments and natural and social sciences. Many of them scored well in the “cross field” category of the ranking. The two Directors on the list, representing two important fields – Johan Rockström with Earth System Science and Ottmar Edenhofer with Economy –, are confirming the overarching result: high level transdisciplinary research earns international recognition.
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Press Release

Starved, stuffed and squandered: New study reveals consequences of decades of global nutrition transition

11/18/2020 - Just a handful of rice and beans – a part of our world is starved. Hawaiian Pizza and ice-cream – another part of our world is stuffed, throwing away food every day. This gap is likely to worsen, while food waste will increase and pressure on the environment will go up, a new study shows. Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) assessed the consequences if the current nutrition transition, from scarce starch-based diets towards processed foods and animal products, continues – the calculations combine, for the first time, estimates for under- and overweight, food composition and waste. Their findings provide a startling look ahead: By 2050, more than 4 billion people could be overweight, 1.5 billion of them obese, while 500 million people continue to be underweight.
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News

Sabine Gabrysch appointed to Advisory Council of the Federal Government

15.10.2020 - The Federal Cabinet has appointed new members to the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Six of the nine Advisory Council members were appointed for the first time, including Sabine Gabrysch from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Launch of climate risk analysis for Ethiopia’s agricultural sector

24/09/2020 - Today, PIK researchers from the working group Adaptation in Agricultural Systems launched a newly published climate risk analysis for Ethiopia’s agricultural sector in a virtual event organised by the Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission as well as the German Embassy in Ethiopia. During the webinar, Christoph Gornott and Lisa Murken presented key insights from the study. This was followed by a panel debate with climate change adaptation experts and government representatives from Ethiopia, who discussed avenues for bringing the results into practice.
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News

Reversing the Loss of Biodiversity: Researchers Present Ambitious Plan

09/10/2020 - The rapid extinction of animal and plant species could be reversed by 2050 – by doing two things: Investing in better land-use management and transforming agriculture and the food industry. A new study by an international team of scientists, including Hermann Lotze-Campen, Alexander Popp, and Florian Humpenöder from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, lays out what it will take to reverse the current alarming trends of biodiversity loss – without endangering other important Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly.
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Hagen Koch bei Frontal 21

25/08/2020 - In der Frontal 21-Sendung des gestrigen Abends spricht Dr. Hagen Koch aus der Arbeitsgruppe 'Hydroklimatische Risiken' über die niedrigen Abflüsse bzw. die hohe Verdunstung in der Lausitz und die Auswirkungen auf das Vorhaben der touristischen Nutzung des Cottbusser Sees, der durch die Flutung des ehemaligen Tagebaus 'Cottbus Nord' entsteht.
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News

“One Health”: PIK researcher Sabine Gabrysch appointed to BMZ advisory council

08/14/2020 - What can we learn from the current Corona pandemic, especially with regards to the relationship between people and the planet? How are human and animal health, environment, climate and biodiversity linked? The advisory council ‘One Health’, recently established by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), looks into such questions – and Sabine Gabrysch, head of PIK´s Research Department on Climate Resilience and Charité Professor, has been appointed as a member.
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Do you have a minute? Short clips on the research of RD2 scientists

23/07/2020 - In the new online-series 'do you have a minute' featured on PIK's YouTube channel, scientists share one key number from their research with the world in under one minute.
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DBU Scholship for Lukas Mogge

21/07/2020 - RD2 Scientist Lukas Mogge was awarded a PhD scholarschip from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) for his research on 'Living with climate risks: Exposure to extreme weather events and household adaptation in rural Mongolia'
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Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future

07/07/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into turmoil and disrupted the status quo, but it is also providing opportunities for innovation in the way we live and work. According to the latest report released by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative, the crisis can lead to creating sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all. Beyond political will, small-scale, granular innovations that are affordable and can be widely applied are key here.
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World Food Convention 2020 features keynote by Professor Lotze-Campen on food security

06/24/2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the volatility of our global food supply. In his keynote "Cooperation, preparation, information – how to prepare the food system for economic shocks", Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen, Head of PIK’s Climate Resilience Department, will contribute to this year's annual World Food Convention by addressing the crucial role international collaboration plays for averting future hunger crises in the wake of climate-related disasters.
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Berlin Climate and Security Conference Kicks Off Major New Risk Assessment

06/23/2020 - Climate destabilization increases risks to peace and security - to address these risks, scientists and policy-makers are teaming up to find solutions. The Berlin Climate and Security Conference (BCSC) is the global meeting place for leaders from governments, international organisations, the scientific community, the private sector and civil society to explore how climate change is impacting peace and security—and what action the international community can take to tackle climate-fragility risks. This year the high-level event, which features statements from over 14 foreign ministers, heads of state, and UN chiefs, explores the steps necessary to ensure we build a climate- and conflict-sensitive post-Covid world. It is organised by the German Federal Foreign Office, in partnership with adelphi and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Museum für Naturkunde & PIK launch Summer School for Climate Knowledge

06/19/2020 - At the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, interested guests can use the summer holidays to strengthen their knowledge of the climate and its effects - and young people from all over Germany can take part online. The summer school is taking place in cooperation with researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and for the first time digitally. The easy-to-understand lectures and workshops complement each other, but can also be attended individually.
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Excellency rewarded

June 2020 - The research of two young scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has recently been awarded for its excellence: Xiaoxi Wang wins China Council Scholarship, Andrew McConnell receives prize from Oxford's Martin School.
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From artificial meat to fine-tuning photosynthesis: Food System Innovation – and how to get there

19/05/2020 - Food production has always shaped the lives of humans and the surface of the Earth. Be it plough or refrigerator, time and again innovations have transformed the ways we grow, process, and consume food over the last millennia. Today, with almost 40 per cent of all land on Earth used for food production, the food system massively impacts climate and environment – from nitrogen flows to water use, from biodiversity to greenhouse gas emissions. In a new study published in the journal NatureFOOD, an international team of researchers has now assessed and categorised key innovations with a potential to transform the food system, from artificial meat or seafood to biofortified crops or improved climate forecasts – and established what is most needed to make them succeed.
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Prof. Sabine Gabrysch and Dr. Benjamin Bodirsky elected in Steering Committee of the German Alliance for Global Health Research

20/04/2020 - Head of RD2 Professor Sabine Gabrysch and RD2 scientist Dr. Benjamin Bodirsky have both been elected into the Steering Committee of the newly founded 'German Alliance for Global Health Research'
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Homeschooling: Researchers support online learning with explanatory videos

01/04/2020 - As schools are closed due to the corona crisis, the Potsdam Institute offers special online lectures for children and young people as a small contribution to learning at home. Explanatory videos conveying some basics about the climate are intended to provide inspiration for the many hours spent at the desk at home instead of in the classroom. The films are created by the scientists themselves - a little handout from the research team in home office to young viewers in home schooling.
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Congratulations Dr. Femke Lutz!

18/03/2020 - Femke Lutz successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled: "Tilling the earth: modelling global N2O emissions caused by tillage" at Wageningen University.
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Regional nuclear war a risk for global food security

16/03/2020 - Even a limited nuclear war could have dangerous effects far beyond the region that is fatally hit. It would result in global cooling that substantially reduces agricultural production in the world’s main breadbasket regions, from the US, to Europe, Russia, and China. The particular effect on food security worldwide including trade responses has now for the first time been revealed by an international team of scientists in a study based on advanced computer simulations. The sudden temperature reduction would lead to a food system shock unprecedented in documented history. It would not undo long-term climate change from fossil fuels use, though – after about a decade of cooling, global warming would surge again.
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Managing forests in the 21st century: Experts gather at PIK

06/03/2020 - Forests all over Europe feel the pressure from ongoing climate change, yet at the same time provide a wide range of resources to mitigate and to adapt to global warming. Smartly targeted management of forest is thus key, finds an international gathering of leading experts hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research this week. More than 100 scientists from institutions ranging from German National Park Berchtesgarden to US Oregon State University and Russian Higher School of Economics participated in three days of intense discussions and a field trip, more than 30 additional participants joined via videolink.
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Potsdam Climate Council: Fritz Reußwig appointed as expert

25/02/2020 - PIK sociologist Fritz Reußwig has been appointed to the new Potsdam Climate Council. In the eight-member expert committee he will be in charge of the domain "private households and consumption" for the current term. As honorary body, the Potsdam Climate Council has the task of accompanying the implementation the city's climate mitigation master plan, identifying possible conflicts of objectives in the implementation and providing impulses in the social discourse towards more sustainability and climate protection.
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Focus on food to address climate change

18/02/2020 - Bringing together agricultural production, supply chains, and consumption: In a comment published in the new journal Nature Food researchers discuss a new global food system approach to climate change research. When these activities are considered together, they represent 21 to 37 percent of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, the authors note. This new approach also enables a fuller assessment of the vulnerability of the global food system to increasing droughts, intensifying heatwaves, heavier downpours, and exacerbated coastal flooding. Food system responses thus play a major role in both adapting to and mitigating climate change, the authors assert.
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Congratulations Dr. Minoli!

14/02/2020 - Sara Minoli successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Managing phenology for agronomic adaptation of global cropping systems to climate change" at the Humboldt University of Berlin.
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Buildings can become a global CO2 sink if made out of wood instead of cement and steel

A material revolution replacing cement and steel in urban construction by wood can have double benefits for climate stabilization, a new study shows. First, it can avoid greenhouse gas emissions from cement and steel production. Second, it can turn buildings into a carbon sink as they store the CO2 taken up from the air by trees that are harvested and used as engineered timber. However while the required amount of timber harvest is available in theory, such an upscaling would clearly need most careful, sustainable forest management and governance, the international team of authors stresses.
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Feeding the world without wrecking the planet is possible

20/01/2020 - Almost half of current food production is harmful to our planet – causing biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and water stress. But as world population continues to grow, can that last? A study led by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now suggests a comprehensive solution package for feeding 10 billion people within our planet’s environmental boundaries. Supplying a sufficient and healthy diet for every person whilst keeping our biosphere largely intact will require no less than a technological and socio-cultural U-turn. It includes adopting radically different ways of farming, reduction of food waste, and dietary changes. The study's publication coincides with the World Economic Forum in Davos and the International Green Week in Berlin, the world's biggest food and agriculture fair.
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Climate change, food and agriculture: PIK expertise at International Green Week in Berlin

20/01/2020 - Hundreds of thousands of people are currently exploring the International Green Week in Berlin, a leading global trade fair for agriculture and food with featuring more than 1800 exhibitors from 72 countries. According to the organizers, the International Green Week 2020 is focusing on climate change like never before, with numerous exhibitions and events. This year's trend topics include sustainability, resource conservation and environmentally friendly production processes. Experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will also be present at events at the Green Week from 17-26 January.
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