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Accelerated renewables-based electrification paves the way for a post-fossil future: study

11/25/2021 - Cost-slashing innovations are underway in the electric power sector and could give electricity the lead over fossil-based combustion fuels in the world’s energy supply by mid-century. When combined with a global carbon price, these developments can catalyse emission reductions to reach the Paris climate targets, while reducing the need for controversial negative emissions, a new study finds.
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New study: World map of the most important protected areas to avert a climate catastrophe

11/18/2021 - New research out today from Conservation International maps the places on Earth that humanity must protect to avoid a climate catastrophe. These ecosystems contain what researchers call “irrecoverable carbon,” dense stores of carbon that, if released due to human activity, could not be recovered in time for the world to prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
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12 PIK Researchers Among Most-Cited Scientists Worldwide

11/16/2021 - For the fourth year in a row, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are among the top 1 percent of the most scientifically influential authors worldwide. The influential "Highly Cited" ranking is published once a year by Clarivate Analytics' science platform Web of Science. The ranking is based on the frequency with which researchers are cited in other works - one of the most important indicators of scientific relevance. Twelve PIK researchers are listed, including the institute's directors, confirming the success of the previous year.
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High impact climate events: Better adaptation through earlier prediction

11/16/2021 - The prediction of high impact climate phenomena can be substantially improved by a new mathematical approach that analyses the connectivity and patterns between geographical locations, scientists say in a new publication. This can potentially save thousands of lives and avoid billions in economic losses. Prediction times for events like El Niño, monsoons, droughts or extreme rainfall could be increased substantially, to a month or in some cases even a year in advance, depending on the type of the event. The new framework can thus become key for improving adaptation to the global warming crisis.
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Ottmar Edenhofer receives Arthur Burckhardt Prize as outstanding economist and expert on CO2 pricing

11/11/2021 - Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), receives the "Arthur Burckhardt Prize 2021" as an "outstanding economist as well as pioneer and expert in the field of CO2 pricing".
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10 New Insights in Climate Science 2021

11/04/2021 - As compounding impacts from our worsening climate crisis become more visible around the globe, leading researchers at COP26 highlight urgent and interconnected risks and solutions. The 10 New Insights in Climate Science series is a horizon scan of the most pressing research findings and emerging scientific insights to help inform immediate and equitable transformations across sectors to preserve a safe and habitable planet.
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COP26: PIK experts in Glasgow

11/03/2021 - Several experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will be on site at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, to contribute their scientific expertise. We collected some highlight events with PIK researchers organizing or participating.
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Climate change to stir up global agriculture within next decade, NASA/PIK study finds

11/02/2021 - New computer simulations predict deep changes in growing conditions affecting the productivity of major crops already within the next 10 years if current global warming trends continue. Maize crop yields are projected to decline by almost a quarter by the end the century, while wheat could potentially see global yield increases of about 17%. Current key breadbasket regions will see severe changes much quicker than previously expected, requiring farmers around the world to adapt to new climate realities now.
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Drought, heavy rain and heat waves will affect tourism business

10/28/2021 - A new study for the Federal German Environment Agency with PIK participation shows how travel regions can adapt to climate change. Climate change in Germany will lead to more heat, increased drought with water scarcity and forest fires, less snow reliability, and increased heavy rain and flooding. Tourism will have to adapt.
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The Ripple Factor: Economic losses from weather extremes can amplify each other across the world

27/10/2021 - Weather extremes can cause economic ripples along our supply chains. If they occur at roughly the same time the ripples start interacting and can amplify even if they occur at completely different places around the world, a new study shows. The resulting economic losses are greater than the sum of the initial events, the researchers find in computer simulations of the global economic network. Rich economies are affected much stronger than poor ones, according to the calculations. Currently, weather extremes around the world are increasing due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. If they happen simultaneously or in quick succession even at different places on the planet, their economic repercussions can become much bigger than previously thought.
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New Lancet Countdown Policy Brief for Germany confirms considerable need for action

10/21/2021 - Despite a growing awareness of the situation's seriousness among those with political responsibility, Germany is only inadequately equipped for the health challenges of climate change. This is the conclusion of this year's report on climate and health, which is published annually by experts from the German Medical Association, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Helmholtz Zentrum München.
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Hotter, wetter, drier: the science behind extreme weather events

10/22/2021 - Extreme weather events are on the rise. Are these events connected? Are they becoming more likely with global warming? What does science say about extreme weather events? In the new episode of the podcast ‘Sustain Ability. The Potsdam Dialogues - Science for a Safe Tomorrow’, experts Friederike Otto and Stefan Rahmstorf give insight into their latest research. They discuss attribution science, economic costs of extreme events, the art of communicating science - and what keeps them going in their personal scientific chasing of extreme weather events.
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Schellnhuber awarded French Legion d'Honneur

10/06/2021 - In a solemn ceremony hosted at the Embassy of France in Berlin, PIK Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber was honoured with the highest order of merit in the Republic of France, The Legion of Honour, for his outstanding achievements in the field of climate science, particularly in the context of COP21.
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New Artist in Residence at PIK: Srdjan Jovanović Weiss

10/7/2021 - Srdjan Jovanović Weiss, a Serbian-born architect and theorist living and working mainly in New York, has arrived at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as the new Artist in Residence. He was selected from over 300 international applications for the program and will be a guest in Potsdam from October to December 2021. In addition to publishing numerous articles and books, he has been a research director at Herzog and de Meuron Architects in Basel, a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and founder of NAO.NYC ("Normal Architecture Office").
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Unprecedented rise of heat and rainfall extremes in observational data

10/7/2021 - A 90-fold increase in the frequency of monthly heat extremes in the past ten years compared to 1951-1980 has been found by scientists in observation data. Their analysis reveals that so-called 3-sigma heat events, which deviate strongly from what is normal in a given region, now on average affect about 9 percent of all land area at any time. Record daily rainfall events also increased in a non-linear way – on average, 1 in 4 rainfall records in the last decade can be attributed to climate change. Already today, extreme events linked to human-caused climate change are at unprecedented levels, the scientists say, and they must be expected to increase further.
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PIK Statement on Nobel Prize for climate researcher Hasselmann

10/05/2021 - Today, German climate researcher Klaus Hasselmann was one of three scientists to be awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physics.
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Improving the evidence: PIK scientists review quantitative climate migration literature

09/28/2021 - Quantitative empirical studies exploring how climatic and other environmental drivers influence migration are increasing year by year. PIK scientists have now reviewed methodological approaches used in the quantitative climate migration literature. Their review plays an important role when it comes to assessing how climatic factors influence human migration and provides guidance to researchers studying climate-migration.
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Reducing tropical cyclone impacts: The double benefit of climate protection through both limiting and delaying global warming

09/27/2021 - Increasing global warming from currently one to two degrees Celsius by mid-century might lead to about 25 percent more people put at risk by tropical cyclones, a new study finds. Already today, hurricanes and typhoons are among the most destructive natural disasters worldwide and potentially threaten about 150 million people each year. Adding to climate change, population growth further drives tropical cyclone exposure, especially in coastal areas of East African countries and the United States. Considering the joint impact of climate change and population growth provides an untapped potential to protect a changing world population.
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Today’s children to experience two to seven times more extremes than their grandparents

09/27/2021 - Today’s children will be hit much harder by climate extremes than today’s adults, researchers show in the leading journal Science. During their lifetime, a child born in 2021 will experience on average twice as many wildfires, between two and three times more droughts, almost three times more river floods and crop failures, and seven times more heatwaves compared to a person who’s for instance 60 years old today, the researchers find based on data from the Inter-sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP). This is under a scenario of current greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges by governments which will be a topic at the upcoming world climate summit COP26 in Glasgow.
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On the German Bundestag elections: "We can't afford any more years of stagnation."

09/26/2021 - The outcome of the Bundestag elections has great significance for climate and energy policy. Veronika Grimm and Ottmar Edenhofer commented on this on the sidelines of an online debate organized by the Verein für Socialpolitik, an important association of economic researchers.
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New report from the Science Panel for the Amazon

09/28/2021 - 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

09/17/2021 - 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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Major Atlantic ocean current system might be approaching critical threshold

08/05/2021 - 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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