Latest News

 

Marlene Kretschmer wins Köppen-Preis for her outstanding dissertation on polar vortex

24.01.2019 - Marlene Kretschmer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has been awarded the 2018 Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize for her remarkable dissertation completed at PIK and the University of Potsdam. Its “importance for climate research, in terms of its innovativeness and relevance, is outstanding”, the jury of the Hamburg-based Cluster of Excellence CliSAP praised the work.
Read More

International Green Week: Agriculture expert Lotze-Campen speaks at several events

22/01/2019 - From agriculture and biodiversity to digital technologies in the agricultural sector to climate change and food: During and before the International Green Week (18-21 Jan), agricultural economist Hermann Lotze-Campen, head of research department "Climate Resilience - Climate Impacts and Adaptation" at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, was invited as speaker at several events of various federal ministries in Berlin.
Read More

Call for Abstracts: Conference on Socio-Economic Metabolism organized by PIK

21/01/2019 - This year's Conference of the Socio-Economic Metabolism Section (SEM) of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE), founded by the New York Academy of Sciences, is organized by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Chaired by Helga Weisz, head of PIK’s future lab “Social Metabolism and Impacts”, and Peter-Paul Pichler from research domain “Complexity Science”, the meeting will be held in Berlin 13-15 May 2019. The conference aims to share ideas and knowledge of the current and cutting edge socio-economic metabolism research among researchers, academics, and industry experts. The call for abstracts is still open, until January 30.
Read More

Lancet report: Healthy lives and a liveable planet for all require major changes in what we eat and how we produce it

17.01.2019 - Feeding a growing population of 10 billion by 2050 is possible if we shift towards a planetary health diet, a major new report by the EAT Lancet commission shows. International experts worked with the leading medical journal to develop the first comprehensive and detailed science based targets for improving our food system in a way that ensures healthy lives and a liveable planet for all. This includes doubling the amount of vegetables in what we eat every day, and halving red meat and sugar. Current diets are one of today's greatest causes for ill-health worldwide and in the same time threaten climate stability. Leading planetary boundaries researcher Johan Rockström, Director Designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and former Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is one of the report's lead authors.
Read More

Ranking: the climate papers most featured in online media

12/01/2019 - Scientific publications from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research scored well in online and social media. The UK online news outlet Carbon Brief just published an interesting ranking based on Altmetric that - while it is certainly not comprehensive since the data base is not comprehensive - gives some indications which papers in 2018 have been most referred to in the public. Of course, the list most prominently features the "Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene" (or 'Hothouse Earth') paper by, amongst others, PIK's Johan Rockström, Jonathan Donges, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber published in PNAS. Carbon Brief calls it the climate science paper that scored top in media. Looking at all scientific publications in 2018 - hence beyond the field of climate research - it still is the fifth most talked-about of all journal papers, which is enormous.
Read More

Connecting the dots between risks and solutions: Policy design for the Anthropocene

10/01/2019 - From climate change to biodiversity, land-system changes or altered biogechemical cycles – to prevent the world from overstepping critical planetary boundaries and to tackle global, long-run, and interconnected environmental risks, a comprehensive policy framework is needed. An international team of researchers now combines insights of natural and social sciences in a perspective piece just published in Nature Sustainability, one of the outlets of the leading scientific journal. They analyze guiding principles for such a policy design to keep Earth within biophysical limits favorable to human life. Among the authors are Earth System researcher Johan Rockström and climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer, who form the new joint - and interdisciplinary - leadership of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
Read More

UN climate summit agrees on rulebook – yet more ambition is needed: PIK leaders at COP24 in „Heißzeit“ times

17.12.2018 - The Katowice UN climate summit’s results are “a relief” with regard to the agreed rulebook, according to the Directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). However, the close to 200 states at COP24 failed to scale up ambitions for greenhouse gas emission reductions, say Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer. Concrete measures are urgently needed though since governments are steering Earth into a “Heißzeit”. This “hot age” has been investigated in scientific publications from PIK leaders, including Director Emeritus John Schellnhuber. The term “Heißzeit” has now been elected “word of the year 2018” in Germany.
Read More

Science to COP25: Must Knows for Climate Negotiators

06/12/2019 – The pace of contemporary rise in greenhouse gas concentrations is unprecedented in climate history over the past 66 million years and weather extremes are the “new normal,” according to some of the latest findings in climate science compiled in an easy-to-read guide for negotiators, policymakers, and media for the COP25 world climate summit. PIK Director Johan Rockström and colleagues from Future Earth and the Earth League today presented the “10 New Insights in Climate Science” report to UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa at the meeting in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Read More

President of the Indian Academy of Sciences at PIK: EPICC builds on international cooperation

20.12.2018 - From the Indian Academy of Sciences, its president Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, senior professor of the Indian Jawaharlal Nehru University, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). His short research stay was aiming to strengthen international science cooperation with the PIK lead project EPICC, which aims to build up climate capacities also in India. He also invited the EPICC project to have its 2019 Indian workshop in the facilities of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
Read More

Planetary Waves drive South America’s Monsoon rains

12/20/2018 - Monsoon rainfall in South America is to a large extent driven by huge airstreams high up in the atmosphere, a new study finds. Using innovative methods to explore teleconnections between different parts of the world, the scientists found evidence that the so-called Rossby waves – airstreams swinging from the tropics to Antarctica and back while circling the globe – are key for the variability in regional precipitation especially in parts of Brazil and Argentina. This has been assumed before but, to the knowledge of the authors, never been properly conceptualized and detected in actual data.
Read More

Global warming didn’t pause - researchers disentangle “hiatus” confusion

19.12.2018 - The reality of ongoing climate warming might seem plainly obvious today, after the four warmest years on record and a summer of weather extremes in the whole northern hemisphere. A few years back however, some media and some experts were entangled in debates about an alleged pause in global warming – even though there never has been statistical evidence of any “hiatus”, as new research now confirms. In two recent studies, a group of international scientists joined forces to thoroughly disentangle any possible “hiatus” confusion, affirming that there was no evidence for a significant pause or even slowdown of global warming in the first place.
Read More

Climate plan for Germany and Europe: Economists propose CO2 price reform

03.12.2018 - A few days ago the UN Environment Agency advocated an international green tax reform - now economists have presented a new concept for a CO2 price reform in Germany and Europe right before the start of the climate summit in Katowice, Poland. SPIEGEL magazine was reporting on this issue in advance this weekend. Christoph Schmidt, Chair of the German Council of Economic Experts from RWI Essen, Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, and Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), have jointly drafted the cornerstones for a market-based way out of coal. Climate-damaging CO2-emissions would need to become more expensive, while at the same time the electricity tax could be lowered. A socially just and efficient transition to a sustainable economy is possible, according to the professors, who both belong to the Leibniz Association. If, on the other hand, greenhouse gas emissions were not reduced, there would be the risk of economic climate damage of unprecedented proportions.
Read More

Kira Vinke appointed co-chair of new Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention

14.12.2018 - Kira Vinke from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been appointed to the new Advisory Council on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding of the German Federal Government. The new Advisory Board is composed of renowned experts from for instance academia, foundations and non-governmental organisations and comes together this week for the first time. The focus of the Advisory Board is to pool civil society and technical expertise on crisis prevention and peacebuilding and thus to inform the work of the Federal Ministries.
Read More

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes

12.12.2018 - More and more rainfall extremes are observed in regions around the globe – triggering both wet and dry records, a new study shows. Yet there are big differences between regions: The central and Eastern US, northern Europe and northern Asia have experienced heavy rainfall events that have led to severe floods in recent past. In contrast, most African regions have seen an increased frequency of months with a lack of rain. The study is the first to systematically analyze and quantify changes in record-breaking monthly rainfall events from all over the globe, based on data from roughly 50,000 weather stations worldwide. Climate change from fossil fuel greenhouse gases has long been expected to disturb rainfall patterns.
Read More

Must-Knows for Climate Negotiators: 10 New Insights in Climate Science

10.12.2018 - Many impacts of human-induced climate change, from drought and heat waves to Antarctic ice melting, are coming earlier than expected. Extreme events, such as recent fires in North America and floods across Asia, can with increased certainty be linked to global warming. Halving global emissions over the next decade is technically achievable and would save the world billions of dollars, say scientists in a new statement to coincide with the UN annual climate talks in Katowice, Poland.
Read More

Planetary Boundaries and Global Commons - managing risks and solutions

11.12.2018 - Weather extremes, food security, migration: people's livelihoods depend on climate stabilization. The joint side event of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) at the UN climate summit COP24 highlighted how a safe operating space for humanity within Planetary Boundaries and the sustainable use of Global Commons like the atmosphere are key concepts combining natural and social sciences to safeguard our future. Based on these fundamental concepts, sound options for managing risks and solutions were explored by the new joint PIK leadership Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer.
Read More

Joint call for swift and just climate action: the Katowice Memorandum

10/12/2018 - Researchers, intellectuals and spiritual leaders jointly call for swift and just climate action. Together, they formulate the Katowice Memorandum at a symposium co-organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) during the 24th UN Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland.
Read More

PIK expertise at COP24 in Katowice

06.12.2018 - Experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are taking part in the UN climate conference COP24, from December 3 - 14 in Katowice, Poland. PIK's Designated Directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström for instance will speak at High-Level Side Events about topics like the economy and development, and present new insights from climate science. A Joint Symposium organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique with eminent speakers like PIK's Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, will discuss "Safeguarding Our Climate, Advancing Our Society".
Read More

Ricarda Winkelmann wins academics' young scientist award

06/12/2018 - Ricarda Winkelmann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been honoured as this year's Young Scientist of the Year by 'academics' by ZEIT publishing group. Winkelmann was awarded due to her outstanding and groundbreaking research and publication achievements in researching the climate system and the risks of climate change. She is junior professor for Climate System Analysis at the University of Potsdam and scientist at PIK in research domain Earth System Analysis. She heads the Leibniz project "DominoES - Domino Effects in the Earth System" as well as the PIK working group on ice sheet dynamics.
Read More

Statement on what matters at COP24 in Katowice

03/12/2018 - Today the UN climate summit COP24 will begin in Katowice, Poland. Leading scientists from the Potsdam Institute will participate in a number of high level meetings and events. Johan Rockström, Director Designate of PIK, issued a statement on the kick-off of the climate negotiations.
Read More

Ten PIK researchers among the most influential scientists in the world

29/11/2018 - Ten scientists, coming from different research domains from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are among the most highly cited researchers worldwide, according to a new ranking just published. Therewith, they are among the most influential scientifists in the world, their studies among the top 1% of scientific literature. Whether natural sciences or social sciences, PIK is one of the most renowned research institutions in Germany and worldwide, as the now published ranking once again shows.
Read More

UNEP Emissions Gap Report published

27/11/2018 - The UN Environment Programme UNEP published its 'Emissions Gap Report' in Paris. This comes only days before the start of the UN climate summit COP24 in Poland where representatives of more than 190 states will discuss international climate policy.
Read More

A Greentech Race towards Climate Stabilization: European Expert Group Publishes Landmark Innovation Report

28.11.2018 - Zero-carbon solutions, i.e. technologies and lifestyles completely free of fossil-fuel use, must be the foci of European investments into research and innovation. Conventional low-emission options have very limited potential to contribute in time to avoiding dangerous global warming, an independent group of eminent experts concludes. By way of contrast, ambitious innovation programs can kick-start a greentech race to the top, while boosting the competitiveness of the European economies and securing our prosperity. The “High-Level Panel on Decarbonization Pathways” report is published today, together with the European Commission Communication Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emission reductions, in the run-up to the UN climate summit (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.
Read More

Successful classic updated: "Climate Change" by Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf

23/11/2018 - Summer drought in Germany, heavy rainfalls in Japan, devastating forest fires in California, storms over the Mediterranean Sea - everyone is talking about climate change, not least after the devastating weather extremes this summer. In their book, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf summarise the current state of climate science in a compact and easy-to-understand way. "Climate change - diagnosis, prognosis, therapy", the German classic on climate change from the publishing house Beck, has now been completely updated for its 8th edition.
Read More

EPICC Kick-off: Strengthening international collaboration

23.11.2018 – From Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, to Lima in Peru and New Delhi in India – EPICC kicked off its transnational collaboration with a series of workshops with international government and science officials to strengthen resilience against disruptive weather phenomena and change at national, regional and local levels. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is leading the execution of the East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC) project together with its project partners The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, and the German Meteorological Service (DWD) in Hamburg.
Read More

Winter weather extremes in the US and Europe: messing with giant airstreams in the stratosphere

22/11/2018 - Over Thanksgiving, arctic air masses are predicted to bring record-cold temperatures and frigid winds to the Northeast of the United States. Driver for such winter weather extremes is often the stratospheric polar vortex, a band of fast moving winds 30 kilometers above the ground. In winter, when the polar vortex is disturbed by upward-blowing air masses, this can bring cold spells over Northeastern America or Eurasia, a new study now shows. And paradox as it might seem, climate change might further disrupt the complex dynamics in the atmosphere – bringing us not only more hot extremes in summer but potentially also cold spells in winter.
Read More

Bits & Bäume - PIK-experts at conference for digitalisation and sustainability

16/11/2018 – This weekend and for the very first time, a new networking conference in Berlin brings digitalisation and sustainability together through various panels, workshops and talks. Among the organisers are Germanwatch, Brot für die Welt, the Chaos Computer Club und other well-known organisations. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) takes part with various lectures and workshops by Sabine Auer, Frank Hellmann and Anton Plietzsch.
Read More

Statement on the current California forest fires

12.11.2018 - The California forest fires are currently burning across the State having forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee their homes, among them also stars like Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, Kim Kardashian or Lady Gaga. These are probably the worst forest fires in California's history.
Read More

Science and the state capital Potsdam become climate partners

11.11.2018 - Potsdam's mayor Jann Jakobs and researchers from severeal institutes in the state capital have aggred upon a "climate-partnership". Among the signatories is Ottmar Edenhofer, acting director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The goal of the partnership: Until 2050 the city plans to bring its CO2 emissions to almost zero - in this way the municipality would make its contribution to the climate stabilization targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Read More

IPCC report on 1.5°C: Unprecedented transformation needed to reach climate targets

08/10/2018 - Limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, says a new detailed assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries were involved in preparing the report, among them Elmar Kriegler from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who is one of the lead authors for the key chapter on mitigation pathways. The Special Report on Global warming of 1.5°C will be an important scientific input into the UN climate summit in Poland in December and was prepared in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change when the historic Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015.
Read More