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Extreme wildfires in Mediterranean countries provide lessons for climate-impacted Europe: Project FirEUrisk

08/15/2022 - The climate crisis is heating up forest fires in Europe. They are also increasingly occurring in northern regions, where they were previously rare in this severe form, researchers from the international FirEUrisk project have explained.
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Experts to discuss 'tipping points' alliance: register now

98/03/2022 - Registration will close soon for an expert meeting next month discussing catastrophic climate 'tipping points' – and the power of positive tipping points to avert the climate crisis. The meeting, from 12-14 September at the University of Exeter is intended as a call to action to build an alliance that can improve early warnings and accelerate positive change. It is convened by Exeter, Earth Commission, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, World Climate Research Programme and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Less rain in the forest: Amazon even more vulnerable than previously thought

08/02/2022 - For every three trees dying from drought in the Amazon rainforest, a fourth tree – even though not directly affected – will die, too. In simplified terms, that’s what researchers have now found using network analysis to understand the complex workings of one of Earth’s most valuable and biodiverse carbon sinks. The regions most at risk of turning into savannah are located on the forest’s Southern fringes, where continuous clearing for pasture or soy has already been weakening the forest’s resilience for years.
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Considering catastrophe: high-impact, low-probability climate scenarios "dangerously underexplored"

08/02/22 - Researchers call for a new "Climate Endgame" agenda and say far too little work has gone into understanding the mechanisms by which rising temperatures might pose a "catastrophic" risk to society and humanity: For instance if temperature rises are worse than many predict or cause cascades of events we have yet to consider, or indeed both. The world needs to start preparing for the possibility of a "climate endgame", the authors argue in a perspective piece in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS. Assessing catastrophic risks is necessary in order to have a better chance of preventing them.
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Climate Change in Southern Tanzania and Zanzibar

07/27/2022 – Climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 61 million citizens in Tanzania living below the poverty line of $1.25 a day. Climate scientist Elena Surovyatkina, who leads monsoon research within the B-EPICC project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has observed the areas most vulnerable to climate change and lends a hand with long-term forecasts for the timing of the rainy season.
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Climate Science and Archaelogy: Fall of Mayan metropolis related to drought

07/19/2022 - The political collapse of Mayapan, the Mayan capital on the Yucatán Peninsula in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AD, was likely triggered by a drought that fueled social conflict, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. The findings demonstrate climate'S influence on societal stability even in ancient times.
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Increase in heatwaves in western Europe linked to changes in the jet stream

07/05/2022- Heatwaves over Europe have increased three to four times faster than in the rest of the northern mid-latitudes like e.g. the US or Canada, a new study finds. An international team of scientists looked at observational data from the past 40 years and showed, for the first time, that this rapid increase is linked to changes in the atmospheric circulation. Large-scale winds at 5 to 10km height, the so-called jet stream, are changing over Eurasia. Periods during which the jet stream is split into two branches – so called double jet states – have become longer lasting. These double jet states explain almost all of the upward trend in heatwaves in western Europe, and around 30 percent over the larger European domain.
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"For a secure climate future": High-ranking guests at 30 years celebration of Potsdam Institute

06/30/2022 - High-ranking guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - from federal and Brandenburg politicians to a Nobel laureate. The institute, founded in 1992 and now employing a good 400 people, is needed more today than ever before in the worsening climate crisis, speeches said. The PIK Board of Directors thanked politicians as well as the scientists and all employees of PIK for their part in the success story.
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PIK scientist Barbora Šedová awarded with outstanding dissertation of the year

07/01/2022 - PIK scientist Barbora Šedová's doctoral thesis has been recognised by the University of Potsdam as the outstanding dissertation of the year 2021.
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How global trade can help the climate

06/24/2022 - The climate policy potential of international trade rules agreed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) still has room for improvement. Policymakers should change some rules - and make greater use of others, according to an article now published in the leading scientific journal Science by experts from twelve countries, including researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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How taxing the rich can help everyone

06/23/22 - Taxing rich peoples’ gains from capital can help reduce inequality while keeping up overall prosperity – yet only on two conditions. First, the revenues from taxation must be invested into public infrastructure such as schools, public transport, or sustainable energy grids. Second, it must be fairly possible to replace machines by labour. This is the outcome of a mathematical modelling study by a team of economists including US Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
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Emissions Trading for building and transport - new Ariadne analyses

06/22/2022 - The extension of the European Emissions Trading to the buildings and transport sector (ETS2) as a core element of the European Fit for 55 package has been the subject of heated political debate in the EU Parliament. Only recently, a compromise on ETS reform was reached. Two new studies by the Ariadne Project with the participation of PIK examine how fairness and solidarity can be preserved in the ETS 2 design.
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SDGs failing to have meaningful impact, research warns

06/20/2022 - Sustainability has never been higher on the international agenda. But an international assessment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the 17 global goals used by governments, companies, and NGOs worldwide to guide action towards a prosperous and just future—shows they are having limited impact, and may instead be contributing to greenwashing. Two years into the decisive decade for humanity's future on Earth, fundamental changes are needed if we are to shift onto a sustainable and resilient path, argue the authors of the study in Nature Sustainability.
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New PIK Podcast: Energy security crisis. Cost of living crisis. Climate Crisis. What's the way out?

06/17/2022 - We are in the middle of a global energy crisis. In the latest edition of the "Sustain Ability - The Potsdam Dialogues" podcast, Gunnar Luderer, Lead of the Energy Systems Research Group and Deputy Chair of the Department Transformation Pathways at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and Laura Cozzi, Chief Energy Modeler at the International Energy Agency (IEA), discuss what is needed to accelerate the clean energy transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables, especially with regard to the war in Ukraine and the resulting tensions between Russia and the West.
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"Climate, War and Science: Edenhofer holds Erich Schneider lecture in Kiel

06/14/2022 - For this year's renowned Erich Schneider Memorial Lecture, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel has invited Ottmar Edenhofer to speak. He will be painting the big picture, as the title of Edenhofer's lecture this Thursday shows: "Climate, War and Science - Practical Dilemmas and Theoretical Challenges". Erich Schneider, who died in 1970, was one of Germany's most important economic thinkers. Edenhofer speaks as director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and as a professor at Technische Universität Berlin.
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Stephen Schneider Award for Stefan Rahmstorf

06/13/2022 - Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Research, Department on Earth System Analysis of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has received the twelfth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for his outstanding Climate Science Communication to the public.
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PIK welcomes Prof Thomas Hertel visiting on Humboldt Research Award

06/13/2022 - Thomas Hertel, Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, Indiana, USA, will be visiting PIK on a Humboldt Research Award for the second half of 2022. An expert in international trade, food and environmental security, he will add to PIK's expertise in Research Department 2 on Climate Resilience and integrated modelling.
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Ottmar Edenhofer at re:publica in Berlin

06/10/2022 - At the first re:publica in person since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer was invited to discuss the "society in permanent crisis" and possible solutions with publicist Carolin Emcke.
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Healthy soil, healthy planet: Soil quality key for improved crop production and resilient climate

06/09/2022 - Healthy, high-quality soils lead to more robust and stable crop yields and are key for adapting to a changing climate, a new study finds. In China, appropriate efforts to improve soil quality may reduce the decline in crop production induced by climate change by 20%.
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Food sector emissions accounting: Sharing responsibility across the value chain

06/09/2022 - A new approach to account for emissions caused in the food sector that considers trade, as technical as it sounds, could help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. Spreading the responsibility to reduce onto all countries along a product’s value chain could yield substantial effects, according to a study now published in Nature Communications.
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Climate Economics: Policies change People

06/09/22 - The makers of climate policy should rethink about how people think: A team of researchers led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) shows that abiding by climate-friendly policies actually changes the way people think about what they do. People’s preferences are more malleable than textbook economics often assumes. The researchers’ advice to policy makers is to take changing preferences into account when tailoring policies like carbon taxes or building low-carbon infrastructure.
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Leonie Wenz appointed to Young Academy of Sciences

06/04/2022 - Leonie Wenz from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has been awarded membership of the prestigious Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Members of this important interdisciplinary platform for young scientists in German-speaking countries are elected for a period of five years. All appointees have completed an outstanding doctorate no more than seven years ago at the time of election, and have published at least one other outstanding paper.
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PIK-Scientist Svenja Fluhrer awarded with Early Career Best Paper Award

06/03/2022 - Development economist Svenja Fluhrer was awarded with the prize "Ökonomie des Klimawandels - Early Career Best Paper Award" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. She received the award for her paper "Sitting in the same boat: Subjective well-being and social comparison after an extreme weather event", published in Ecological Economics.
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EAT Lancet 2.0 launched

06/03/22 - EAT, the science-based non-profit dedicated to transforming the global food system, in collaboration with its partners the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Harvard University and OneCGIAR, has kicked-off of the second EAT-Lancet Commission (EAT-Lancet 2.0) on healthy diets from sustainable food systems.
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Fighting poverty and protecting the environment can only work together: Policy paper by the Potsdam Institute for the German Environment Ministry

06/02/2022 - A decent living for all people and better protection of nature and climate aren’t conflicting targets, a new scientific analysis highlights. Development goals such as reduced poverty and inequality, better health and education, and a secure supply of food and energy on the one hand interact closely with stabilizing the climate and preserving biodiversity on the other. Only together can these goals be achieved, shows a report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for the German Environment Ministry on the occasion of the Stockholm+50 summit which is starting today.
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PIK Director Edenhofer speaks at G7 summit

06/02/2022 - The G7 finance ministers met last week in Bonn and Königswinter to agree on common positions in areas such as climate action, ensuring economic stability and other pressing issues, and also sought exchanges with the scientific community. PIK director and climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer spoke at the summit on carbon neutrality and climate clubs.
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Projecting climate change impacts: Cross-sectoral ISIMIP-PROCLIAS workshop full success

05/27/2022 - From risks in the Sixth IPCC Assessment Report to the future of climate modelling and progress in compound event research: The ISIMIP-PROCLIAS workshop 2022 featured a number of diverse topics around climate impact modelling.
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EU climate advisory board elects chair

05/19/2022 - The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, nominated in March this year, has elected Ottmar Edenhofer as the Board’s first chairperson at a meeting this week in Copenhagen. The European Climate Law adopted in 2021 provides for the establishment of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, to support achieving climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050. Edenhofer is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change as well as Professor at Technische Universität Berlin.
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Precise PIK forecasts of the beginning of the monsoon help farmers in India

05/17/2022 - For the 6. year in a row, PIK-scientist Elena Surovyatkina has predicted the onset of the Indian Summer Monsoon in Central India more than a month in advance. According to her forecast, the monsoon will begin between 14 and 18 June in Central India and Telangana and after 10 July reach Delhi. The unique forecast accounts for climate change effects, making it reliable to use for farming. It is the most awaited news for Indian farmers because the sowing and planting starts with the beginning of the rainy season.
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How to avoid eating the world: From degrowth to a sustainable food system transformation

05/16/2022 - Proponents of degrowth have long argued that economic growth is detrimental to the environment. Now scientists show that concerning the food sector, curbing growth alone would not make our food system sustainable – but changing what we eat and putting a price on carbon would. In a first, a group led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) used a quantitative food and land system model to gauge the effects of degrowth and efficiency proposals on the food sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. They find that combining a dietary shift, emissions pricing, and international income transfers could make the world’s food system emissions-neutral by the end of the 21st century – providing at the same time a healthier nutrition for a growing world population.
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