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PIK scientists at the Chaos Communication Congress 34C3

29/12/2017 - For four days between Christmas and New Year´s, thousands of hackers, experts and artists meet every year to exchange news and views and learn about new technological developments and tools. The 34th Chaos Communication Congress (34C3) takes place in Leipzig this year, the organizers expect more than 13.000 participants. Science is represented as well, this year also by experts of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - climate change is one of this year´s main themes.
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American Geophysical Union: Rahmstorf awarded with Climate Communication Prize at conference with 20,000 researchers

12/14/2017 - For his achievements in communicating climate science findings Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honoured with the Climate Communication Prize of the American Geophysical Association (AGU). He was awarded at the AGU Fall Meeting, where more than 20,000 scientists gathered at the largest international meeting of Earth and Space Sciences to discuss new trends and research findings.
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Meeting with Brandenburg´s prime minister addresses commission on the future of the coal region

13/12/2017 - Brandenburg´s prime minister Dietmar Woidke and other members of the federal state government have convened with the heads of Potsdam´s climate research institutions. At the meeting at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the focus was on the energy policy of Brandenburg, especially in regard to coal mining in the Lausitz region. The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, proposed a future commission for Brandenburg. Experts could develop recommendations to generate new opportunities for the Lausitz region together with the people who live here.
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ReKliEs-De: Future climate trends in Germany

12/11/2017 - More heat-waves and heavy rainfalls, fewer cold spells, an increase in the annual mean temperature by 4°C, this is how the climate in Germany could evolve until the year 2100 in a scenario of unabated climate change - with massive consequences for agriculture and public health. These are the results of the project ReKliEs-De ("Regional Climate Projections Ensemble for Germany") which for the first time estimates current climate projections for the German federal states and river basins. The prospects for Germany in a business as usual scenario are severe - if no active countermeasures will be taken. However, the results also show that if all climate protection agreements will be consistently implemented, the two-degree target agreed in Paris is still achievable.
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Tiny ice losses at Antarctica’s fringes can accelerate ice loss far away

12/12/2017 - A thinning of small areas of floating ice at Antarctica’s coast can accelerate the movement of ice grounded on rocks hundreds of kilometers away, a new study shows. It is known that the ice shelves surrounding the continent regulate the ice flow from the land into the ocean. So far it was assumed that the ice flow is most vulnerable to melting at the base near the grounding line where the ice flows from land into the sea and becomes afloat. Now scientists found that also melting near the fringes and in the midst of the ice shelves can have direct effects reaching very far inland. This could increase ice loss and hence sea-level rise.
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Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

12/08/2017 - Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now published in the journal Nature Energy. Unlike what some critics argue, the researchers not only found that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions. They also show that a full decarbonization of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.
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Climate and public health: Leopoldina Dialogue in Potsdam

12/05/2017 - Climate change related risks for public health are one of the most important challenges of today. However, the science communities on both sides of the fence have so far not sufficiently interacted to reflect the critical nexus of climate change and health. Taking the first mover advantage, a workshop of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now brought together renowned scientists from climate sciences, health and medicine, psychology, environmental sciences, social sciences and economics. They will develop a publication offering stakeholder and decision-makers orientation on public health and climate policy.
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PIK at G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue

01/12/2017 - The Inaugural Meeting of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue took place in Berlin this week, starring the German, South African and Japanese Ministers of the Environment as well as a number of other high-ranking guests from politics, major corporations and institutions like OECD and the UN Environment Programme. In an effort to support the transition to a sustainable and efficient use of all natural resources and contribute to poverty eradication, the Resource Efficiency Dialogue was established during the G20 leaders´ meeting in Hamburg earlier this year.
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Consumption is the bottleneck for sustainable development

12/01/2017 - From ending poverty to improving wellbeing, gender equality, cities' resilience or climate action - while synergies among most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) foster progress in sustainable development, there are some key conflicts or bottlenecks that could hamper achieving the SDG objectives for 2030. This is the result of a new comprehensive analysis by a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). According to the study, responsible consumption and production seems to be such a bottleneck, as data from the past shows.
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Leibniz Doctorate Award for Leonie Wenz

11/30/2017 - Leonie Wenz from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) receives the Leibniz Doctorate Award 2017 for her dissertation "Climate change impacts in an increasingly connected world". It deals with the consequences of global warming for economic production in the context of an increasingly globalized and interdependent world. "In addition to the scientific quality, which is reflected in several publications in renowned scientific journals, it is also of high social relevance - examplary for Leibniz research," says the Leibniz Association.
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“Climate-Neutral Living in Berlin" kick-off: Reducing personal CO2 footprints in a living lab

30/11/2017 - 100 households, 365 days: Starting this December, private households in the German capital will be testing what climate action means in everyday life in the project "Climate-Neutral Living in Berlin" (Klimaneutral Leben in Berlin - KliB). From families with children to partnerships, flat-sharing communities or singles - for one year, the voluntary housholds will document their personal carbon footprint and learn about ways to improve their own climate balance. They will be supported by experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The KliB living lab intends to show how climate protection can be implemented in our everyday life, where potential problems lie and what politicians could do to overcome them.
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Environment Council SRU: steering the transport sector in a new direction

23.11.2017 - The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) issued a special report promoting a quota for electric cars. At least 25 percent of all new cars and light commercial vehicles should be equipped with an electric drive by 2025. With regard to the additional electricity demand by the transport sector, an accelerated expansion of renewable energies is necessary according to the report. Moreover, during the new legislative period the end of the diesel privilege should be initiated. The report also makes proposals for the further development of route-dependent car and truck toll systems. The transport sector is currently responsible for about one-fifth of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions.
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PIK in the media during COP23

11/17/2017 - The UN climate summit COP23 in Bonn is drawing to a close and many are in good spirits that it will further strengthen the Paris Agreement with a set of rules how best to achieve the goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees. Many PIK scientists took part this year and participated in a number of high-ranking events. The experts also spoke to several media outlets from Germany and abroad.
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"We must reduce CO2 emissions rapidly"

11/17/2017 - The negotiations at the UN Climate Conference and the exploratory talks in Berlin on forming a new government are about to be concluded. On this issue, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts (PIK), and Ottmar Edenhofer, PIK´s Chief Economist and Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) published statements.
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Schellnhuber presents "10 Must-Knows on Climate" at COP23

11/13/2017 - From accelerating sea-level rise and ocean acidification to increasing risks of extreme weather events and the "collision course" with Earth’s climatic tipping points - PIK director Schellnhuber presented "10 Must-Knows on Climate Change from Science" today at COP23 in Bonn, together with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Wendy Broadgate from Future Earth, and Johan Rockström from the Earth League. They addressed policymakers and the public to show that achieving the Paris Agreement is necessary and possible. "Some crucial climate-change facts tend to get lost in the noise of daily deliberations - even at an event such as the UN climate summit. So it is important to remind everyone of the very reason why ten thousands of people meet in Bonn: unprecedented risk to humanity due to global warming, as revealed by science", says PIK director Schellnhuber.
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Schellnhuber and the Californian Governor Jerry Brown meet in Oslo

10.11.2017 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), will meet California's Governor Jerry Brown, America's climate protection vanguard, at the Academy of Sciences in Oslo. Together with scientists from all over the world they will discuss what politicians need from the scientific community in order to address pressing challenges such as climate change. The meeting in Oslo on November 10th aims at strengthening the dialogue between science and politics on environmental and climate issues.
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On COP23 and the coalition negotiations in Berlin:"Stabilizing the climate, modernizing Germany"

11/10/2017 - "If we stabilize the climate, we will also establish more stability in the world. This requires national pioneers. Germany will lose its position as a role model if it does not quickly and effectively reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases, which have so far stagnated at a high level. The phasing out of coal is an indispensable step in this respect." This was the message from leading scientists at yesterday's press conference of the German Climate Consortium (DKK) at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In a statement on the UN Climate Change Conference and the current negotiations on forming a new German government, leading climate scientists addressed policymakers and the public, including the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Mojib Latif from the Helmholtz Centre for Oceanography Kiel (GEOMAR), Monika Rhein from the Institute for Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen and Gernot Klepper from the Institute for World Economy at the University of Bremen.
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Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders

11/07/2017 - Greenhouse gas emissions caused by urban households’ purchases of goods and services from beyond city limits are much bigger than previously thought. These upstream emissions may occur anywhere in the world and are roughly equal in size to the total emissions originating from a city’s own territory, a new study shows. This is not bad news but in fact offers local policy-makers more leverage to tackle climate change, the authors argue in view of the UN climate summit COP23 that just started. They calculated the first internationally comparable greenhouse gas footprints for four cities from developed and developing countries: Berlin, New York, Mexico City, and Delhi. Contrary to common beliefs, not consumer goods like computers or sneakers that people buy are most relevant, but housing and transport – sectors that cities can substantially govern.
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Many PIK scientists at COP23 in Bonn

03/11/2017 - A number of experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will take part in the climate summit COP23, taking place from November 6-17 in Bonn and presided by Fiji. PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will present the ten things you need to know about climate change, together with UNFCCC´s Patricia Espinosa, for example. At a side event with experts from the ETH Zürich, the ACT Alliance and Bread for the World, PIK´s chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss how to implement equity in the framework of the Paris Agreement.
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Hermann Lotze-Campen appointed to AgMIP’s new Executive Committee

10/23/2017 - The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Program (AgMIP) has just established an Executive Committee, reflecting the growing impact of scientific contributions of AgMIP. The new members are internationally recognized leaders for their sustained scientific and technical contributions to agricultural sciences. From the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hermann Lotze-Campen, Chair of Research Domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities and Professor of Sustainable Land Use and Climate Change at Humboldt University Berlin, was appointed as a new member to the Executive Committee.
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“We need you”: UN climate chief to Potsdam climate scientists

10/13/2017 - Hundreds of millions of people will be affected by climate change impacts and their implications for health or migration already within the next few decades, sectors that so far often get overlooked in this context. This is one of the insights of the Impacts World Conference organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany this week. About 500 scientists from 67 countries were gathering at the conference with the title “Counting the true costs of climate change” to push climate impact research to the next level by better integrating socio-economic factors. At the same time, the institute celebrated its 25th anniversary hosting this meeting of the global impacts research community, in the spirit of its mission followed for a quarter century: further advancing scientific progress and communicating insights to stakeholders.
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“The Father of the 2 Degrees Limit”: Schellnhuber receives Blue Planet Prize

10/19/2017 - The world’s most prestigious award for pioneers in environmental science was given to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber this week in Tokyo. He is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), a member of the Leibniz Association. The Blue Planet Prize, coming along with 50 million yen, honors outstanding thinkers who help to meet challenges of planetary dimensions. It is awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation and handed over in presence of Japan’s Imperial Prince and Princess. Schellnhuber received the prize for establishing a new field of science, Earth System Analysis, and introducing most influential concepts including the notion of tipping elements in the climate system. The second recipient is Gretchen Daily of Stanford University, USA, who was honored for her research about biodiversity and natural capital.
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Successful earliest forecast of onset and withdrawal of the Indian Summer Monsoon

10/18/2017 – For the second year in a row, a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) successfully predicted the onset and withdrawal of the Indian Summer Monsoon in the central part of India more than a month in advance. The PIK-results have just been confirmed by factual dates of onset and withdrawal of the monsoon determined by the Indian Meteorological Department. While meteorological services currently forecast the monsoon onset only two weeks in advance, the long-term forecast project lead by Elena Surovyatkina predicts the onset date 40 days in advance, and the withdrawal date 70 days in advance and is therewith the earliest prediction method of the monsoon for the central part of India.
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Sustainability Network SDSN discusses global responsibility and the upcoming legislative term

10/16/2017 - Leading experts for sustainable development from Germany will gather at the meeting of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Germany in Berlin to discuss the implementation of sustainable development targets (SDGs) with participants from industry, politics, and civil society. The meeting on October 26th focuses on the international responsibility of Germany, particularly in regard to the newly elected Bundestag.
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Counting the true costs of climate change: Impacts World Conference in Potsdam

10/11/2017 - Destabilizing the climate can also destabilize societies. Global warming impacts cause substantial economic damages, hurts human health in many ways, influences the drivers of human migration, and it can jeopardize development for many of the world’s poor. To investigate effects in these four areas, close to 500 researchers will meet on 11-13 October in Potsdam, Germany. Counting the true costs of climate change – this is the conference title – is quite a challenge since the social costs in particular are sometimes hard to calculate and also come in terms of human suffering. It is as part of this conference that the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will also celebrate its 25th anniversary, a quarter of a century of advancing insights into the interaction between humankind and the Earth System.
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Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball

2017/10/10 - While burning coal today causes Earth to overheat, about 300 million years ago the formation of that same coal brought our planet close to global glaciation. For the first time, scientists show the massive effect in a study published in the renowned Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences. When trees in vast forests died during a time called the Carboniferous and the Permian, the carbon dioxide (CO2) they took up from the atmosphere while growing got buried; the plants’ debris over time formed most of the coal that today is used as fossil fuel. Consequently, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere sank drastically and Earth cooled down to a degree it narrowly escaped what scientists call a ‘snowball state’.
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Turning the Climate Tide by 2020

06/28/2017 - The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve, leading experts caution. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise, the authors argue in a comment published in the renowned scientific journal Nature this week. In the run-up to the G20 summit of the planet’s leading economies, the article sets six milestones for a clean industrial revolution. This call for strong short-term measures complements the longer-term 'carbon law' approach introduced earlier this year by some of the current co-authors, including the Potsdam Institute’s Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in the equally eminent journal Science. Thus a full narrative of deep decarbonization emerges.
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Environment Council SRU: coal phase-out in three steps

10/02/2017 - In a new statement the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) argues for a complete phase-out from coal power generation within 20 years. The forthcoming legislative term offered the last chance to set the course for an appropriate implementation of the Paris climate targets in Germany, according to the committee to which Wolfgang Lucht of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) belongs as well.
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Online Course on Climate Change, Risks and Challenges now in English

10/01/2017 - How will climate change affect our lifes? What are the consequences? How can we mitigate climate change? These questions will be explored by scientists from leading German institutes during the interdisciplinary online course ClimateMOOC. The “Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)” is addressed to everybody interested and aims to impart a profound understanding of the climate system and climate change.
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Investigating teleconnections of weather extremes: GOTHAM Summer School

09/22/2017 - To investigate teleconnections and their role in causing extreme weather events, twenty-five young scientists from all over the world have been gathering this week at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Firstly, when the weather is changing in one place on Earth, this can influence rain or wind or temperatures in another distant place. Investigating this issue using cutting-edge mathematics is front and centre at this year’s GOTHAM summer school – Globally Observed Teleconnections and their role and representation in Hierarchies of Atmospheric Models.
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