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New report from the Science Panel for the Amazon

24/09/2021 - The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) released an Executive Summary of the Amazon Assessment Report this week, a comprehensive scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon Basin. The report includes recommendations for sustainable development pathways for policy makers and governments. Over 200 renowned scientists from the Amazon and global partners, including scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, came together as the Science Panel for the Amazon to develop this report.
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Important steps for a new philosophy of building in Brussels and Brandenburg

17/09/2021 - The European Commission has set out the framework and key actions to drive the New European Bauhaus initiative forward after comprehensive talks earlier this month, when the Highlevel Roundtable with PIK founder John Schellnhuber met with EU President Ursula von der Leyen. Today, the Brandenburg government together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment joined forces with “Bauhaus der Erde”, a non-profit organization with the objective to transform the way we construct and maintain the built environment.
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Think summer is hot now? Here’s how hot it would be without nature.

09/16/2021 - Without the Earth’s biosphere, global average temperature today would have already surpassed the critical 1.5º C threshold, a benchmark signifying that the planet’s warming is moving into the zone of dangerous climate change. This is the result of a new opinion paper, co-authored by Johan Rockström, PIK Director and chief scientist at Conservation International.
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Launch of WHO Pandemic Early Warning Center with PIK Researcher Sabine Gabrysch

09/03/2021 - The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a pandemic early warning center in Berlin this week to assist in better preparing for future pandemics. The center was opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus - with a panel discussion in which Sabine Gabrysch from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) also participated.
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Olaf Scholz visits Potsdam Institute

09/03/2021 – Olaf Scholz visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this week, and he did so in two different capacities. In his capacity as Federal Minister of Finance, he met with climate economist and PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer for an exchange on climate policy. In his capacity as Social Democratic Party candidate for the office of German chancellor, he did a video interview with WWF, for which he had chosen the Institute as venue.
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Assessing the Evidence: Climate Change and Migration in the United Republic of Tanzania

08/31/2021 – Temperature rise, changes in the rainy seasons, extreme weather events: climate impacts pose risks to people in East Africa, especially to those living in rural areas and are heavily dependent on small-scale agriculture. A new report, a joint effort between the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), looks into possible linkages between climate impacts and migration in Tanzania and offers lenses across East Africa. It is accompanied by a Summary Brief in Swahili to broaden accessibility of climate information at the local level. In today’s event, PIK scientist Julia Blocher presented key findings of the report, followed by a virtual panel discussion.
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10.3 million euros for climate supercomputer: Minister Schüle hands over funding notification

08/23/2021 - The Minister of Research of the State of Brandenburg, Manja Schüle, today handed over a grant of 10.3 million euros to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for the establishment of a new type of computer cluster for the analysis of scientific climate data. The new high-performance computer cluster on Potsdam's Telegrafenberg is necessary to enable the growing interest of the scientific community in linking climate data from a wide range of topics and research fields.
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73% of people believe Earth approaching tipping points, according to new survey

08/17/2021 - A survey, carried out in G20 countries by IPSOS Mori and the Global Commons Alliance, highlights a set of new and extremely detailed research on public attitudes towards tipping points, planetary stewardship and necessary economic and societal transformations. The survey clearly shows people are willing to do more to become better “planetary stewards” and protect and regenerate the global commons.
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Estonian government delegation visits PIK

08 /16/2021 – A high-level government delegation from Estonia has visited the Potsdam Institute for an in-depth discussion about climate policy issues. Welcomed by the directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström, the guests from the Baltic Republic gained insight in the most recent findings of climate science and discussed its implications namely with regard to the Green Deal proposed by the European Commission. The visit illustrates the importance Estonia, a coastal state and one of 27 members of the European Union, concedes to the topic.
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Press Release

Major Atlantic ocean current system might be approaching critical threshold

05/08/2021 - The major Atlantic ocean current, to which also the Gulf stream belongs, may have been losing stability in the course of the last century. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, transports warm water masses from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and cold water southward at the ocean bottom, which is most relevant for the relatively mild temperatures in Europe. Further, it influences weather systems worldwide. A potential collapse of this ocean current system could therefore have severe consequences.
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Press Release

Less trade-offs, more synergies: New pathway to mitigate climate change and boost progress on UN Sustainable Development Goals

08/02/2021 - A world that combats climate change while simultaneously improving on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is possible, a new study finds. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Development Institute have developed a new integrated strategy that combines ambitious climate action with dedicated policies for development, food and energy access, global and national equity, and environmental sustainability. It sheds new light on bottlenecks, but also synergies for boosting progress towards climate and sustainable development targets.
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PIK expertise on extreme rainfall and flooding

07/16/2021 - The heavy rains and thunderstorms in parts of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate during the past days have led to massive flooding of villages and entire areas. Meanwhile, towards the rivers Oder and Neiße, extreme heat prevailed at more than 30 degrees Celsius. Where these extraordinary weather conditions stem from and their connection with climate change, many national and international media wanted to know from PIK researchers. Here is a small excerpt from the coverage.
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PIK Statement on European climate policy package Fit for 55/Green Deal

14/07/2021 - Today, the EU Commission presented it's Green Deal "Fit for 55" policy package.
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Birthday wishes to Ottmar Edenhofer

7/9/2021 - Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has received high-ranking congratulations from the federal and state governments on his 60th birthday. From Berlin, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the State Secretary of the Federal Environment Ministry Jochen Flasbarth and others wrote to him. From Brandenburg, Ottmar Edenhofer received congratulations from Minister President Dietmar Woidke, Science Minister Manja Schüle, as well as from numerous other companions in science and politics.
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Jürgen Kurths is the first German to become Fellow of the Network Science Society

7/12/2021 – Jürgen Kurths, Head of the Research Department “Complexity Science” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been elected Fellow of the Network Science Society 2021. He is the first German scientist to receive this recognition.
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Leibniz institutions launch initiative “Integrated Earth System Research"

07/09/2021 - Scientists from a wide range of disciplines from Leibniz Association institutions are launching an initiative for “Integrated Earth System Research”. Together with partners from Germany, Europe and other countries, they will investigate the current epoch of the Earth’s history, which is strongly influenced by humans, in a coordinated and interdisciplinary way as never before. The findings will point out both high-risk and safe development paths for politics, business and civil society.
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Press Release

New economic model shows how our social networks could contribute to generating phenomena like inequality and business cycles

07/05/2021 - Many standard economic models assume people make perfectly rational, individual decisions. But new research suggests economic phenomena like inequality and business cycles are better explained by models which recognize that people’s decisions are affected by the decisions and the behaviors of people around them.
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Fast & comprehensive: First version of Potsdam Earth Model POEM ready for use

7/01/2021 - A first version of the Potsdam Earth Model POEM is up and running. Unlike classic global climate models, POEM – developed by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) – is a fast and versatile earth system model that allows to capture a variety of important biospheric processes. In a first application of the POEM framework, the PIK scientists examined the possible tipping point of the Amazon forest under severe climate change.
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Climate Protection & Sustainability: German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits PIK

06/29/2021 - Today, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Albert Einstein Science Park with the Heads of State of Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland. Together with PIK Directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström, they discussed current climate policy challenges around the Paris climate goals and the mechanisms of action of CO2 pricing.
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Smart transfer rules can strengthen EU climate policy

06/25/2021 - Brussels sets ambitious targets with the European Green Deal, so how can we ensure that all member states go along with them? An economic study on decision-making in groups of states gives us clues.
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Science commentary: Addressing the human cost of displacement in a changing climate

23/06/2021 - In a policy forum contribution just published in a special edition of the renowned journal Science, Jacob Schewe, co-lead of PIK´s FutureLab “Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration” and colleagues from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), ETH Zürich and IIASA Vienna discuss the hidden economic impacts of disaster- and climate-related displacement. They argue for locally led displacement risk assessments that account for the potential economic cost of displacement to guide decision making.
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Asteroid impact in Earth’s past caused brief bloom of algae and substantial ocean species’ extinction

17/06/2021 - The asteroid that likely caused dinosaur extinction 66 million years ago triggered strong global cooling and a massive bloom of algae, causing mass extinction also in marine ecosystems. This is the result of a new study from scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The researchers simulated the ocean productivity before and after the asteroid impact – and found a brief global algal bloom peaking at a productivity seven times higher than in the pre-impact ocean. Since the algae likely produced toxins, their increase could have contributed to the extinction of species in the ocean.
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Press Release

Making climate impact science more accessible to the public: ISIpedia launch

Decision-makers on all levels are provided with a new tool to tackle the climate challenge. Data and explanations on global warming impacts – from floods to droughts - are made more accessible to the public by a team of 12 international research institutes. Today, they launch the online portal ISIpedia which features science explained by the scientists, breaking down global studies to the country-level, for both adaptation and mitigation planning.
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Tackling biodiversity and climate crises together: First joint IPCC & IPBES report with PIK contribution

Two Leading UN science organizations, one report: For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have joined forces and published an analysis that looks at the interaction of climate change and biodiversity loss. Their key result: Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is the message of a workshop report, published by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts, amongst them Alexander Popp from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Limiting climate risks for finance: Central banks and science publish scenarios

06/07/2021 - To improve climate related risk management in the financial sector and facilitate a smooth transition toward a sustainable economy, over 90 central banks and financial market supervisors organized in the Network for Greening the Financial System joined forces with science. Together, researchers and financial experts now published an updated set of scenarios of an orderly transition, delayed transition, and climate policy failure. They show how early greenhouse gas emissions reductions can minimize both physical and financial risk. In contrast, delayed action or no action would inevitably drive up costs in the medium to long term. The analysis provides sectoral and regional detail to help financial institutions adapt their investment strategies.
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Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for Schellnhuber

06/07/2021 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director and emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK, today received the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany today. Under the motto "Nature - Environment - Climate Protection", Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored Schellnhuber and five other citizens with the Order of Merit in Bellevue Palace for their outstanding commitment to environmental protection.
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Press Release

Tipping elements can destabilize each other, leading to climate domino effects

06/03/2021 - Under global warming, tipping elements in the Earth system can destabilize each other and eventually lead to climate domino effects. The ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica are potential starting points for tipping cascades, a novel network analysis reveals. The Atlantic overturning circulation would then act as a transmitter, and eventually elements like the Amazon rainforest would be impacted. The consequences for people would reach from sea-level rise to biosphere degradation. Interactions in the network can lower the critical temperature thresholds beyond which individual tipping elements begin destabilizing on the long-run, according to the study – the risk already increases significantly for warming of 1.5°C to 2°C, hence within the temperature range of the Paris Agreement.
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FirEUrisk: PIK joins EU project to analyze and manage wildfires

03/06/2021 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), along with 38 partner institutions from 19 countries, will develop a science-based strategy to manage, monitor and analyze major forest fires in Europe. Funded by the European Union, the FirEUrisk project brings together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and citizens to study the vulnerability and resilience of communities and countries to wildfires in Northern, Central and Mediterranean Europe. The overarching goal of the project is to adapt fire management strategies to expected climate and socio-economic changes.
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Understanding climate-related security risks: Weathering Risk presents a new methodology

06/03/2021 - Climate change threatens peace and security – ‘Weathering Risk’, a scalable assessment approach, anticipates and addresses the increasing risk of conflicts and instability in a changing climate. Developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and adelphi, Weathering Risk combines quantitative and qualitative research to identify climate-related security risks and actionable responses to avoid them. The assessments will be piloted in various national contexts, among others in Mali, Sudan and the Pacific.
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Delayed monsoon in Delhi: early warning for farmers

05/27/2021 - The arrival of the monsoon in Delhi is likely to be delayed by two weeks, according to a newly developed early forecast for India’s capital. Created at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Monsoon forecast method has been used successfully already five years in a row for Central India and has now been extended to the North-Western region. The long-term monsoon forecast that covers 40 days in advance could support government and farmers in important decision making processes and help them to better prepare for the vagaries of nature.
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