Latest News

 
Press Release

Gulf Stream System at its weakest in over a millennium

02/25/2021 - Never before in over 1000 years the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as Gulf Stream System, has been as weak as in the last decades. This is the result of a new study by scientists from Ireland, Britain and Germany. The researchers compiled so-called proxy data – taken mainly from natural archives like ocean sediments or ice cores – reaching back many hundreds of years to reconstruct the flow history of the AMOC. They found consistent evidence that its slowdown in the 20th century is unprecedented in the past millennium – it is likely linked to human-caused climate change. The giant ocean circulation is relevant for weather patterns in Europe and regional sea-levels in the US; its slowdown is also associated with an observed ‘cold blob’ in the northern Atlantic.
Read More
News

A constructive approach to climate protection: Potsdam Climate Council with PIK participation

02 / 22 / 2021 - Sociologist Fritz Reusswig of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been appointed to the new Climate Council of the state capital Potsdam. Hosted by Bernd Rubelt, Councillor for Urban Development, Construction, Economy and Environment, the members introduced themselves to the public today . The Climate Council acts as a mediator, expert and facilitator for successful climate protection and aims to create a broad debate and visibility in the state capital Potsdam.
Read More
News

Winter weather, a polar front – and areas of drought: PIK's assessment of the current weather situation.

02/12/2021 - In January and February of 2021, parts of Europe, America and also Germany have experienced partly extreme winter weather. Nevertheless, there are widespread large areas of drought especially in Germany - PIK researchers Stephan Rahmstorf and Fred Hattermann on current climate-related weather changes.
Read More
News

Brandenburg state government appoints Edenhofer to its Sustainability Advisory Board

02/10/2021 - Ottmar Edenhofer will support the Brandenburg state government in the further development of its sustainability strategy. Together with five other representatives from science, industry and civil society, he was elected to the Sustainability Advisory Board, which advises the state of Brandenburg on current challenges such as climate change, equality of living conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More
News

From droughts to floods: climate change and migration in Peru

02/10/2021 - Too much, too little water: People in Peru are increasingly experiencing climate extremes. If climate impacts like water-related hazards continue to accelerate, more climate-induced migration and severe pressure on people’s well-being could be the consequence. These are the key results of a comprehensive report by a team of natural and social scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that was presented today during a joint event.
Read More
News

“Planetary Boundary Simulator”: New initiative aims to quantify the interactions between key components of the Earth system

02/08/2021 - To gather further insight into the processes that determine Earth's resilience against unprecedented change, the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has launched a new pilot project: The Potsdam Earth Model Planetary Boundaries Simulator (POEM-PBSim) will for the first time analyze the impacts of the interaction of planetary boundaries in the Earth System – and simulate the changes it is undergoing.
Read More
Press Release

Erratic weather slows down the economy

02/08/2021 - If temperature varies strongly from day to day, the economy grows less. Through these seemingly small variations climate change may have strong effects on economic growth. This shows data analyzed by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Columbia University and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). In a new study in Nature Climate Change, they juxtapose observed daily temperature changes with economic data from more than 1,500 regions worldwide over 40 years – with startling results.
Read More
Press Release

Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation

02/08/2021 - COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal – a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. Their findings show that the pandemic, while putting a terrible toll on people’s lives and the economy, has also opened a window of opportunity to make this current trend of decreasing coal use irreversible: Supported by the right climate policy measures, power sector emissions could decline more rapidly than previously thought.
Read More
News

Climate change may have played an important role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2

02/05/2021 - Global greenhouse gas emissions have made the likely site of origin of SARS-CoV-2 in southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses over the past century, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats. This is the key finding of a new study by scientists from the University of Cambridge, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK, and the University of Hawaii. Published today in the journal Science of the Total Environment, the researchers provide the first evidence of a mechanism by which climate change could have played a direct role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More
News

Climate change and conflict: PIK researchers give policy advice to the German government

02/03/2021 - Training programs on environmental peacebuilding, pooling international expertise to deal with acute risks of violence, and an even stronger focus on gender roles in crisis regions - these are some of the concrete recommendations for action made by the German government's advisory council for civilian crisis prevention and peacebuilding in its latest study on the interactions between climate impacts and security.
Read More
News

PIK strengthens its position among the world's leading climate think tanks

02/01/2021 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was again among the most influential think tanks in the field of environmental policy in 2020 as shown in this year's "Global Go Top Think Tank Index Report" published by the University of Pennsylvania. The ranking takes into account more than 6,500 institutions worldwide.
Read More
News

Top 10 insights in climate science in 2020

01/27/2021 - Ten of the most important insights within the field of climate science 2020 have been presented today by UNFCCC's Secretary General Patricia Espinosa and an international team of scientists including Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Together, FutureEarth, Earth League and World Climate Research Programme compiled the "must-knows" list based on an ever-growing body of evidence, with annual installments since 2017. 57 scientists from 21 countries synthesized the latest sustainability research for the international science-policy community.
Read More
News

Potsdam Summer School 2021 (online event): Water - Our Global Common Good

01/27/2021 - +++ Update: Due to the ongoing pandemic situation it has been decided to conduct it as an online event +++ "Water: Our Global Common Good - The Hydrosphere across Land and Sea" is the central topic of the Potsdam Summer School 2021 that will be held online this year. Experts, stakeholders, and guest lecturers from high level national and international institutes and organisations will contribute their insights at this exciting and unique opportunity to foster international cooperation and an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. Applications are now open.
Read More
News

New hope for the climate: Edenhofer & Rockström on Biden US Presidency

01/26/2021 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) puts hope in the start of Joe Biden's presidency after climate topics have been rather neglected for the last four years of from US side. PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer explores the concept of carbon pricing as a possible tool for the new US administration and Johan Rockström, Director of PIK along with Ottmar Edenhofer, signed a global ambition letter together with known CEO'S - from Amazon to Ford Motor Company - and world climate leaders, calling on US President Joe Biden to be the climate leader that science demands.
Read More
News

Deeper cooperation between PIK and BMZ

01/20/2021 - During today's kick-off event of the "Berlin Insights Series on Climate Change and Development", Johan Rockström from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and State Secretary Martin Jäger from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which marks the beginning of a deeper cooperation between PIK and BMZ.
Read More
Press Release

The idea of an environmental tax is finally gaining strength

01/20/2021 - An extra 290,000 pounds a year for lighting and cleaning because smog darkens and pollutes everything: with this cost estimate for the industrial city of Manchester, the English economist Arthur Cecil Pigou once founded the theory of environmental taxation. In the classic "The Economics of Welfare", the first edition of which was published as early as 1920, he proved that by allowing such "externalities" to flow into product prices, the state can maximise welfare. In 2020, exactly 100 years later, the political implementation of Pigou's insight has gained strength, important objections are being invalidated, and carbon pricing appears more efficient than regulations and bans according to a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). The study was published in the renowned journal International Tax and Public Finance.
Read More
News

Pope Francis appoints Edenhofer to help in “Promoting Integral Human Development”

01/12/2021 - Ottmar Edenhofer will from now on advise the Vatican's “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.” The Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) was appointed by Pope Francis, who created the institution just a few years ago. The dicastery's mission is to strengthen justice for refugees and stateless people who have had to leave their homes due to violence, economic crises or natural disasters, as well as promoting justice for the sick and poor.
Read More
News

Climate change projected to double the number of people facing extreme drought

01/11/2021 - If current rates of global warming continue, up to 8 percent of the world's population – twice as many people as today – could be threatened by extreme droughts by the end of the 21st century. This is the key finding of a comprehensive study by an international team of scientists, including Jacob Schewe, Anne Gädecke, and Dieter Gerten from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Without effective climate change mitigation and resource maintenance, the authors argue, global water shortages could have disastrous ramifications.
Read More
News

New app: “Climate time travel” as a test for future decisions

01/11/2021 - Anyone concerned about our future climate will soon be able to contribute to understanding the social dynamics of climate change by taking part in a “citizen science” experiment. In a donation-funded online simulation currently being developed by the non-profit company SCIARA in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), users can playfully explore virtual climate futures, make decisions, and see the consequences. Based on the players' behavior, decision-makers in politics, business and society will ultimately be able to check climate protection measures for their social acceptance and effectiveness before they are implemented - in order to make effective decisions in the long term.
Read More
Statement

"This is not about one year, it is about the trend": Rockström on record warm 2020

01/08/2021 - Today, the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service informs that 2020 is the warmest year on record for Europe - globally, 2020 ties with 2016 for warmest year recorded. On this issue, Earth system scientist Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research:
Read More
News

Special Issue in Climatic Change: PIK Scientists Refine Hydrological Model Evaluation Methods

01/05/2021 - Tools to project the availability of freshwater are becoming ever more important under climate change and growing population. Yet mathematical hydrological models, while being valuable instruments for impact assessment, may contribute to uncertainties, especially if not properly evaluated.
Read More
News

PIK at the Chaos Communication Congress rC3

12/23/2020 - This year everything is different. The legendary Chaos Communication Congress is taking place remotely this year due to Corona - but experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will contribute. The major event of Europe's largest hacker association Chaos Computer Club (CCC) traditionally attracts thousands of people to the exhibition halls in Leipzig over the four days between Christmas and New Year, but this year those interested can attend the Remote Chaos Experience (rC3) from home.
Read More
News

Southern Tanzania: Delayed Monsoon Rainfall Threatens Smallholder Farmers

12/22/2020 - Traditionally, seasonal rainfalls in Southern Tanzania begin in the second or third week of November. But this year, the start of the monsoon (or Msimu in the Swahili language) season was delayed to December 10th, as PIK researcher Elena Surovyatkina correctly predicted in October. This has potentially serious consequences for the country, in which the agricultural sector accounts for roughly a third of its Gross Domestic Product.
Read More
News

Galina Churkina awarded with "Aquila Capital Transformation Award"

12/17/2020 - For her research on replacing cement and steel in urban construction by wood, PIK guest researcher Galina Churkina has been awarded with the first “Aquila Capital Transformation Award”. A high-profile jury chose Churkina's paper “Buildings as a global carbon sink” from a large number of submissions from PhD graduates at renowned universities and research institutions worldwide. The “Aquila Capital Transformation Award” aims to support research for mitigating climate change and is endowed with EUR 20,000. The award will be announced on an annual basis and aims to provide a contribution to a more sustainable society in the context of energy transformation and decarbonisation in Europe.
Read More
News

Levke Caesar awarded with Publication Prize by the Leibniz-Kolleg Potsdam

12/15/2020 – This year's Publication Prize awarded by the Leibniz-Kolleg to young scientists goes to PIK-affiliated researcher Levke Caesar. A former student at the University of Potsdam, the award recognizes her important contributions in the field of climate physics – particularly her research into the evolution of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and its impact on the Earth System.
Read More
Press Release

All new trucks sold must be fossil free by 2040, agree truck makers and climate researchers

12/15/2020 - In an unprecedented science-backed statement, Europe’s truck manufacturers have concluded that by 2040 all new trucks sold need to be fossil free in order to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050. It will be possible to meet this target provided the right charging/refuelling infrastructure is built and a coherent policy framework is put into place, including comprehensive CO2 pricing to drive the transition. To develop their roadmap to carbon-neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the CEOs of Europe’s commercial vehicle manufacturers, under the umbrella of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), have joined forces with leading scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
Read More
News

Standing up for a Sustainable World – new book co-edited by Johan Rockström explores modes of resistance against systemic natural destruction

12/11/2020 - The world's natural capital – biodiversity, air, water, soil, and climate – is under attack. Unfettered economic growth and individual business interests have not led to a society benefitting all but are threatening to inflict irreversible damages to our planet. Yet there are ways forward to a better future. In a new book, edited by Claude Henry (Professor of Sustainable Development at Sciences Po), Johan Rockström (Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and Nicholas Stern (Professor of Economics and Government and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute at London School of Economics) over 60 thinkers from various disciplines present new approaches to “raise living standards and fight poverty across the world” while “creating a much safer and more attractive environment.”
Read More
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.
Read More
News

PIK STATEMENT on the EU climate target and on the Paris Agreement's 5th anniversary

12/11/2020 - Today, the European Council adopted the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. On 12 December, the historic Paris climate agreement has its 5th anniversary of being adopted by representatives of more than 196 countries plus the EU at the UN climate summit COP21.
Read More
Press Release

CO2 pricing and financial transfers: small changes can have a huge effect on climate equity

12/09/2020 - Global greenhouse-gas emission reductions could be achieved in a fair and thrifty way by surprisingly small variations of well-known policies. This is shown by a team of economists in a quantitative study now published in Nature. Differentiated CO2 prices in different countries combined with moderate financial transfers from advanced to developing countries would do the job. These changes would be most efficient in achieving fair burden sharing and at the same time keep overall costs in check, the researchers find. This could solve the epic trilemma to unite cost-efficiency, national sovereignty and fair effort-sharing.
Read More