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Targeted reimbursement: A just price for CO2

09/30/2022 - A price for CO2 can be both highly effective and socially just - if it's well designed. This is the result of a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). At the heart of the idea: a targeted return of the revenues from CO2 pricing, especially to poorer people who need relatively large amounts of energy and can do little about it. So far, political fears of social hardship and possible uproar stand against the increase of CO2 prices.
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Nature key for climate-safe future: New Exponential Roadmap Initiative for Natural Climate Solutions

09/19/2022 - The land sector, including agriculture, forestry, & natural land protection & restoration, must reach net zero annual emissions by 2030. This is the result of a new report by Conservation International, in partnership with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the WWF, and the Exponential Roadmap Initiative. The report pinpoints actions needed to turn the land sector from a greenhouse gas source today into a carbon sink by 2050 and lays out a new benchmark: the “Carbon Law for Nature".
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Shifting Climate Zones: Sahel might get 50 % more rain by 2040

09/22/2022 - Climate change could turn one of Africa's driest regions into a very wet one by boosting the Monsoon circulation. New computer simulations show a significant future increase in seasonal rainfall in the Sahel under the current trend of global warming. A major increase in average rainfall might kick-in by 2040 already, which means that it is inevitable regardless of how future greenhouse gas emissions develop. Although crossing this new tipping point is potentially beneficial, it comes with substantial unknowns. The change could in fact be so big, it would be a major adaptation challenge for an already troubled region.
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Ukrainian artist in residence at PIK

09/12/2022 - This year's artist in residence at the Potsdam Institute is from the Ukraine. Mariia Mytrofanova, a visual artist and performer from Odessa, was successful in the bidding for the three month residency from September until end of November 2022. During her stay, Mariia Mytrofanova will focus on the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the planet and the world's well-being - and try to implement scientific insights into her art.
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Risk of passing multiple climate tipping points escalates above 1.5°C global warming

09/09/2022 - Multiple climate tipping points could be triggered if global temperature rises beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, according to a major new analysis published in the journal Science. Even at current levels of global heating the world is already at risk of passing five dangerous climate tipping points, and risks increase with each tenth of a degree of further warming. An international research team synthesised evidence for tipping points, their temperature thresholds, timescales, and impacts from a comprehensive review of over 200 papers published since 2008, when climate tipping points were first rigorously defined.
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Green hydrogen: Short-term scarcity, long-term uncertainty

08/09/2022 - Green hydrogen from renewable electricity and derived e-fuels are uniquely valuable for achieving climate neutrality. They can replace fossil fuels in industry or long-distance transport where direct electrification is infeasible. However, even if production capacities grow as fast as wind and solar power, the growth-rate champions, green hydrogen supply remains scarce in the short-term and uncertain in the long term, a new analysis published in the journal Nature Energy shows.
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Extreme temperatures fuel online hate speech

09/08/2022 - Temperatures above or below a feel-good window of 12-21 degrees Celsius (54-70 °F) are linked to a marked rise in aggressive online behaviour across the USA, a new study finds. Analysing billions of tweets posted on the social media platform Twitter in the USA, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research found hate speech increasing across climate zones, income groups and belief systems for temperatures too hot or too cold. This indicates limits to adaptation to extreme temperatures, and sheds light on a yet underestimated societal impact of climate change: conflict in the digital sphere with implications for both societal cohesion and mental health.
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Towards food security despite climate crisis and war

09/01/2022 - To secure the world's food supply, a shift toward more plant-based and less animal-based foods is needed, researchers explain in a 'Policy Brief' published today. The Russian war of aggression on Ukraine has triggered a shortage of some agricultural products as well as gas-produced mineral fertilizers. As a result, food prices are rising. At the same time, droughts and flash floods threaten crops worldwide as the climate crisis intensifies. The researchers show the connections - and make concrete recommendations on how a food turnaround could be initiated.
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Living in timber cities could avoid emissions – without using farmland for wood production

08/30/2022 - Housing a growing population in homes made out of wood instead of conventional steel and concrete could avoid more than 100 billion tons of emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 until 2100, a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research shows. These are about 10 percent of the remaining carbon budget for the 2°C climate target. Besides the harvest from natural forests, newly established timber plantations are required for supplying construction wood. While this does not interfere with food production, a loss of biodiversity may occur if not carefully managed, according to the scientists. The study is the first to analyze the impacts of a large-scale transition to timber cities on land use, land-use change emissions, and long-term carbon storage in harvested wood products.
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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

08/03/2022 - 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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