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Technology funding makes climate protection cheaper

09/19/2011 - To cost-effectively protect the climate, not only an emissions trading scheme but also financial support for new technologies is needed. Economising on targeted funding, for example for renewable energies, makes climate protection more expensive – as scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now calculated for the first time, using a complex computer simulation that spans the entire 21st century. Without funding, energy technologies with high cost reduction potentials will hardly stand a chance, since they require a significant initial investment: a case of market failure.
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Cooperation with the biggest university of the southern hemisphere

09/09/2011 - The biggest university of the southern hemisphere, the Universidade de Sao Paulo, takes part in a premiere: the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Berlin Humboldt University (HU) have founded the first ever German-Brazilian Graduate College – supported as well by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and its division for climate research and geoecology in Macau. “Dynamic processes in complex networks” are going to be – according to the College’s name – the object of research.
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Pioneering climate researcher: Schellnhuber receives highest-ranking awards

09/08/2011 - For his world-leading contributions to Earth system science and for the transfer of scientific insight into policy, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), will this autumn receive several awards. The Volvo Prize, considered to be the highest-ranking distinction for environmental research, will be presented to Schellnhuber in early November in Sweden. The President of Germany will bestow upon him the Federal Order of Merit, first class, in October in Berlin’s Bellevue Palace. And the renowned University of Copenhagen will honour him with an Honorary Doctorate.
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„Brown coal is not sustainable“: Researchers attend state government session

09/01/2011 - If Brandenburg wants to reach its climate targets, it cannot just carry on relying on power generation from brown coal. This, and more, has been stated by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this week when attending the state government session. “Such an open and intensive dialogue between science and politics is anything but a matter of course,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK. For the fourth time already, Brandenburg’s prime minister Matthias Platzeck invited Schellnhuber and his colleagues for a discussion on energy policy and climate change.
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Study on the Little Ice Age: Low solar activity just marginally cools the climate

09/01/2011 - The weakening sun was not the determinant factor for the Little Ice Age. Strong volcanic eruptions in particular, but also a smaller amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were important factors during this period of cooler climate in the 16th and 17th century, a new study shows. This implies that low solar activity, which is expected by some researchers for the coming decades, cannot considerably slow down global warming caused by humankind’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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Energy from biomass pays even with forest protection in the long term

08/18/2011 - Forest protection – safeguarding woodland from being cleared and converted to fields for energy crops – reduces the global economic potential of bioenergy only in the short term. If less additional land is available for cultivation, this can be compensated by higher rates of yield-raising investments. This is shown by a new study. However, following this scenario global food production prices could rise considerably.
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Penalizing free-riders: game theory could help climate negotiators

08/29/2011 - All international efforts to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions are hampered by "free-riding" countries. A new approach on how to deal with such countries is given by a study using economic game theory which is to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. In the study, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research show how - at least on paper - a greater degree of international cooperation can be achieved.
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“Both sides benefit”: Chinese-German summer school

08/29/2011 - Together with climate scientists from Beijing, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) invited participants from Germany and China to take part in a summer school. The main focus is on water management in the light of climate change – a pressing issue in many Chinese river regions. On the Chinese side, the National Climate Centre is the academic partner, being the central institution doing research in this field. More than 40 students from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing University, the University of Frankfurt, the Bundeswehr University Munich and other institutions are taking part in the ten-day event.
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"Coming out"

08/10/2011 - Scientists should do science, not appear in the public sphere – that’s a popular view. This week, philosophers and physicists, economists and ecologists discussed this issue in a workshop initiated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance. “Science has to constantly follow the principle of truth”, says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK. “And that is exactly why it has a societal responsibility.”
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Research on algal blooms honoured

07/14/2011 - Severe algal bloom can lead to the collapse of ecosystems in lakes. How global warming might trigger this phenomenon was the subject of research by Veronika Huber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Her work has been honoured by the University of Potsdam through the award of the Michelson Prize – an annual award for the best PhD thesis in natural sciences. This honour is a further incentive for the successful promotion of young scientists at PIK.
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