Highlights RD4

RD4 Science Highlights
Land Brandenburg Postdoc Award Winner: Dr. Niklas Boers
Since 2007, the state of Brandenburg has honored outstanding research achievements by young Brandenburg scientists by awarding the Postdoc Prize in the categories of humanities and social sciences as well as natural and engineering sciences. The prize is endowed with 20,000 euros each. With the award of the prize, the winners will also become Fellows of the Postdoc Network Brandenburg and benefit from the support offered by the network for the career development of doctoral researchers founded in 2018.
Allianz Climate Risk Research Award: Dr. Sven Willner
Sven Willner was awarded an Allianz Climate Risk Research Award 2019.
Leibniz PhD award winner: Dr. Catrin Ciemer
Catrin Ciemer was awarded one of the two PhD prizes granted by Leibniz Association in 2019
Climate Risks for Asset Managers (CRAMs)
Monday, June 4th, 12:30pm - 6pm, Norges Bank Investment Management London Office
ExpertInnen Workshop „Die Wirkungen des Klimawandels auf die Tourismuswirtschaft in Deutschland“
Der Tourismus wird durch die Auswirkungen des globalen Klimawandels beeinflusst. Klimafolgen mit Relevanz für die Tourismuswirtschaft sind unter anderem Flusshochwasser, Sturmfluten, Sturzfluten, Temperaturänderung, saisonale Zu- bzw. Abnahme von Feuchtigkeit, Hitze, Niederschlag, Schneefall oder Strahlungsveränderung. In diesem Spannungsfeld sowie im Kontext der Notwendigkeit bzw. Möglichkeit einer Anpassung an den Klimawandel wurde im September 2017 ein Forschungsvorhaben im Rahmen des Ressortforschungsplan des Bundesministeriums für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit im Auftrag des Umweltbundesamtes gestartet das sich mit den Folgen des Klimawandels auf die Tourismuswirtschaft befasst.
The Potsdam Institute at COP22 in Marrakech
11/09/2016 - Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are attending the current UN climate summit COP22 in Marrakesch from November 7 to 18. Amongst other events, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will speak at a side-event of the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the science-policy dialogue to reach Paris targets. PIK chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss the potential of the Paris Agreement in a side event with colleagues from Arizona State University, Harvard Kennedy School and others.
Crash of seemingly stable social systems: new dynamics detected
09/30/2016 - From Facebook to international climate agreements like the Paris accord that is currently in the ratification process, the stability of complex social networks is still poorly understood. To better assess system crash likelihood, an international team of scientists now proposes a new mathematical system dynamics model. One key factor for system collapse is individual action based on local information, the study finds. When a member of the network - be it a person or a state - observes friends or allies to leave the system, it likely opts out as well. Small perturbations can hence have huge impacts.
Friends of PIK: Simonis honoured, Stock nominated
28/07/2016 - The Society of Friends and Promoters of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has honoured its longstanding president Udo Simonis for his tremendous efforts and made him honorary chairman. Manfred Stock took over the lead of the society. The tribute took place during festive symposium on biodiversity, and the institute´s scientists applauded their old and new supporters of their work. The symposium was organized by the research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods.
Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon
2016/07/14 - A novel approach of unprecedentedly early forecasting of the Indian Monsoon proved to be successful. The new methodology - developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - correctly predicted this year’s monsoon onset over central India and met great interest by both Indian academics and stakeholders, including the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The accurate long-range monsoon forecasting is of critical importance for millions of farmers in India. [Please find an UPDATE on the withdrawal below.]
Young scientists meet at PIK: What comes after a PhD?
Young scientist from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) discussed their working routines and career perspectives with regard to their doctorate. Once a year the “PhD-Day” offers the opportunity to meet up in the whole group of PhD candidates to share experiences, talk about research projects and train in science related skills. The focus of the current meeting was on possible career steps following the doctoral thesis.
Leibniz President Kleiner visits PIK
01/27/2016 - The president of Leibniz Association, Matthias Kleiner, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an exchange on current projects and developments. Among other topics the focus of the meetings was also on research strategies. Kleiner met with PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber as well as with the Chairs of PIK’s four research domains.
Rise and fall of societies linked to climatic conditions
10/14/2015 - Societies seem to have been rising and falling with the stability of climatic conditions, a new study indicates. Published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A of London, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the Pennsylvania State University in the United States analyzed 2000 year old climate records of Mexican and Andean highlands and compared them to historic records. The results indicate that persistently volatile climatic conditions can contribute to the collapse of preindustrial agrarian states.
Debate in the run-up to Paris
09/10/2015 - What´s in store at the next climate conference, COP21, later this year? This week, staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gathered for an exchange of insights and perspectives. There were a number of contributions from post-docs and senior scientists on the latest research that stimulated a vibrant discussion.
Getting connected: PhD-Day at the Potsdam-Institute
06/03/2015 - From social networks for scientists and copyright issues and to visualization tools in climate research or dealing with climate skepticism – topics like these were discussed recently by young scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research at their annual meeting. The PhD-Day offers the opportunity for doctoral candidates to get together, share experiences and for further education in different science related fields. The theme of this year’s meeting was “getting connected”.
US Government Accountability Office seeks exchange with climate scientists
02/23/2015 - The Government Accountability Office of the US Congress (GAO) considers climate change impacts such as floodings or droughts to be a financial risk. To study the German perspective on this issue, it sent a high-ranking delegation to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as to some other institutions in Europe. This will result in a report on how to improve climate services in the US.
Exploring image politics of climate change
12/08/2014 - Scientists as well as professionals in politics, education, media or fine arts have long been struggling to depict climate change, a highly abstract concept by definition. In their recently published book "Image Politics of Climate Change", PIK's Thomas Nocke and Birgit Schneider of the University of Potsdam examine a variety of images picturing global warming sparked by climate change research. They explore how these graphics have not only increased knowledge about the subject, but have begun to influence popular awareness. These visualizations vary significantly depending on their purpose, complexity and style - ranging from colorful scientific diagrams and model visualizations to photographs and paintings of extreme weather events or polar bears.
New forecasting method: Predicting extreme floods in the Andes mountains
10/14/2014 - Predicting floods following extreme rainfall in the central Andes is enabled by a new method. Climate change has made these events more frequent and more severe in recent decades. Now complex networks analysis of satellite weather data makes it possible to produce a robust warning system for the first time, a study to be published in the journal Nature Communications shows. This might allow for improved disaster preparedness. As the complex systems technique builds upon a mathematical comparison that can be utilised for any time series data, the approach could be applied to extreme events in all sorts of complex systems.
From Chaos to Order: How Ants optimize Food Search
05/27/2014 - Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways, biologists found. Yet the collective foraging behaviour of ants goes well beyond that, as a mathematical study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a surprisingly efficient self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena - for instance how humans roam in the internet.
Two PIK researchers appointed professor at Humboldt University
05/23/2014 - Industrial ecology and land use: for these two research areas leading scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have recently been appointed professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin. “We are glad that Professor Helga Weisz and Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen, two renowned climate scientists, are joining HU, and that PIK and HU today are connected through no less than five professorships,” says Peter Frensch, Vice-President for Research at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Networks in the climate system: Research gap is closed
02/24/2014 - There are networks within the climate system of the earth: Changes at one point can trigger changes at another, far away point – so an El Niño-event in South America can interfere with the Asian monsoon. Up to now, these correlations could only be determined statistically by comparing observation data and time series. A study now for the first time reveals the physical mechanisms behind the statistics. According to an article published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in the journal Scientific Reports, a new open access journal of the renowned Nature group, flows are of prime interest here.