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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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News

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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Statement

PIK Statement on European climate policy package Fit for 55/Green Deal

07/14/2021 - Today, the EU Commission presented it's Green Deal "Fit for 55" policy package.
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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

Asteroid impact in Earth’s past caused brief bloom of algae and substantial ocean species’ extinction

06/17/2021 - 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

06/15/2021 - 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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News

Tackling biodiversity and climate crises together: First joint IPCC & IPBES report with PIK contribution

06/15/2021 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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Press Release

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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News

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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News

FirEUrisk: PIK joins EU project to analyze and manage wildfires

06/03/2021 - 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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News

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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News

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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News

"Factsheet Climate Change": Leopoldina publishes new climate dossier with input from PIK researchers

05/20/2021 - A new publication of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina summarises the causes and consequences of climate change in an easy-to-understand way and discusses measures to stabilise the climate. On 17 pages, the factsheet presents the current state of climate impact research clearly and concisely - also thanks to the contributions of four PIK researchers.
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Press Release

Parts of Greenland may be on the verge of tipping: new early-warning signals detected

05/18/2021 - Scientists have detected new early-warning signals indicating that the central-western part of the Greenland Ice Sheet may undergo a critical transition relatively soon. Because of rising temperatures, a new study by researchers from Germany and Norway shows, the destabilization of the ice sheet has begun and the process of melting may escalate already at limited warming levels. A tipping of the ice sheet would substantially increase long-term global sea level rise.
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News

Science podcast launched: "Sustain Ability. The Potsdam Dialogues"

05/18/2021 - Science for your ears: The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has launched its very own podcast. The dialogue series ‘Sustain Ability. The Potsdam Dialogues - Science for a Safe Tomorrow’ brings together leading thinkers and doers to discuss how to stabilize our climate and advance the transition to sustainability. The first episode features EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and PIK Director Johan Rockström.
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Press Release

Few realistic scenarios left to limit global warming to 1.5°C

05/14/2021 - Of the over 400 climate scenarios assessed in the 1.5°C report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), only around 50 scenarios avoid significantly overshooting 1.5°C. Of those only around 20 make realistic assumptions on mitigation options, for instance the rate and scale of carbon removal from the atmosphere or extent of tree planting, a new study shows. All 20 scenarios need to pull at least one mitigation lever at "challenging" rather than "reasonable" levels, according to the analysis. Hence the world faces a high degree of risk of overstepping the 1.5°C limit. The realistic window for meeting the 1.5°C target is very rapidly closing.
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Press Release

Hydrogen instead of electrification? Potentials and risks for climate targets

05/06/2021 - Hydrogen-based fuels should primarily be used in sectors such as aviation or industrial processes that cannot be electrified, finds a team of researchers. Producing these fuels is too inefficient, costly and their availability too uncertain, to broadly replace fossil fuels for instance in cars or heating houses. For most sectors, directly using electricity for instance in battery electric cars or heat pumps makes more economic sense. Universally relying on hydrogen-based fuels instead and keeping combustion technologies threatens to lock in a further fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.
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News

Melting ice: Limiting global warming to 1.5°C could reduce sea level rise by 50 percent

05/05/2021 - If efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels are successful, the overall sea level rise caused by melting of ice would be effectively halved. This is the central finding of a new study by an international team of researchers – including Ronja Reese, Ricarda Winkelmann, Torsten Albrecht and Reinhard Calov from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – which examines the land ice contribution to sea levels in the 21st century arising from the world’s glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
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News

Urgent Call for action after ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ Summit

04 /29/2021 - Nobel laureates and academics participating in the scientific sessions of the first Nobel Prize Summit have issued a statement calling for urgent action to protect our common future on planet Earth.
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Statement

PIK STATEMENT on the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court on the German climate protection law

04/29/2021 - In a ruling today, the Federal Constitutional Court obliged the German government to define more precisely the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions for the period after 2030. Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change comments:
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Press Release

Fair climate policy could help reduce extreme poverty

04/27/2021 - Ambitious climate policies could help to reduce extreme poverty in developing countries. This is the result of a new study by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) – a result that is in contrast to wide-spread assumptions that climate change mitigation comes with a trade-off for poverty reduction. To turn climate policies and poverty reduction into a win-win situation for planet and people, a progressive redistribution of emission pricing revenues and a fair international burden sharing are key.
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Press Release

The new EU climate target will increase carbon prices and could phase out coal power in Europe as early as 2030

04/27/2021 - Tightening the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) in line with the EU Green Deal would dramatically speed up the decarbonization of Europe's power sector – and likely cause a demise of the coal industry. In a new study a team of researchers from Potsdam, Germany has quantified the substantial shifts Europe's electricity system is about to undergo when the newly decided EU climate target gets implemented. Higher carbon prices, the authors show, are not only an inevitable step to cut emissions – they will also lead much faster to an inexpensive electricity system powered by renewable energies.
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