Latest News

 

Model Climate Summit in Potsdam: Students negotiate World Climate Treaty

11/18/2009 - Three weeks before the United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen fifty students take over the role of heads of states of the key players among both developing and developed countries. During a one-day simulated UN Climate Summit “Model-COP15” they try to negotiate a realistic but still innovative suggestion of a post-Kyoto Climate treaty.
Read More

The nature of past Antarctic temperature lead over carbon dioxide is clarified

11/11/2009 - The analysis of past changes of Antarctic temperature and the concentration of greenhouse gases alone cannot reveal causal relationships in the climate system. A recent modeling study shows that several climate processes need to be taken into account to discern causes and consequences. In the journal “Quaternary Science Reviews” researchers provide an explanation for observed Antarctic temperature lead over carbon dioxide concentration for several recent glacial-interglacial transitions.
Read More

60 Nobel Laureates: Copenhagen must be a Turning Point towards Global Sustainability

11/10/2009 - 60 Nobel Laureates are calling on world leaders for a global deal on climate change that matches the scale and urgency of the human, ecological and economic crises facing the world today. Political leadership is now more necessary than ever. The call comes in a Memorandum signed by Laureates from across the disciplines, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Mikhail Gorbachev, his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mohamed el-Baradei, chief of the IAEA, and winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature Doris Lessing, John Coetzee and Wole Soyinka.
Read More

Schellnhuber briefs UN on Tipping Elements and Budget Approach

11/05/2009 - “The window of opportunity to avert the most serious impacts of climate change is closing rapidly,” Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and chair of the German government’s Advisory Council on Global Change, said at a briefing session at UN headquarters in New York today. The session was organized by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Read More

Europe will profit from climate protection if it acts now

09/11/03 - RECIPE (Report on Energy and Climate Policy in Europe), a European study on the costs of climate protection, has demonstrated for the first time that: • Early action is the only way to avert dangerous consequences from climate change at manageable costs. • Europe will profit from a leadership role, even if other countries continue to hesitate • Distributing the costs of climate protection will not overburden any region of the world; transfers to emerging nations will keep overall costs down • Climate change can only be contained if measures take effect by 2020
Read More

Young Researchers Prize of Brandenburg 2009 goes to PIK scientist Malte Meinshausen

10/30/2009 - PIK scientist Malte Meinshausen has been awarded the Young Researchers Prize 2009 by the Brandenburg Ministry of Science in Potsdam. The price recognizes outstanding scientific performances of young scientists in the German Province of Brandenburg. The team of researchers led by Meinshausen had quantified, for the first time, in a comprehensive manner the emissions reduction requirements for staying below 2°C with a certain probability.
Read More

PIK congratulates Lord Stern on granting of Honorary Doctorate

10/26/2009 - Lord Nicholas Stern receives an Honorary Doctorate of the TU Berlin. The award ceremony will be held on November 4th at the TU Berlin on the occasion of the first “Climate Lecture”.
Read More

Monsoon model indicates potential for abrupt transitions

10/19/2009 - A self-amplifying effect presently sustains monsoon winds, but it could also disrupt the circulation over land and sea. The periodical rainfall could stop from one season to another or for months within seasons. High air pollution could lead to the disruption, researchers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research report in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” Online Early Edition. Global warming increases the risk of abrupt monsoon transitions from high-precipitation to dry periods.
Read More

Harvest and save water to increase crop yields, say researchers

10/09/2009 - On-farm water management could increase global crop production by about one fifth, a modelling study by German and Swedish researchers indicates. However, even intensive water management on present cropland will not be sufficient to accommodate the food demands of a growing population in a warming world, the scientists report in the current edition of the “Environmental Research Letters”.
Read More

Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity

09/23/09 - Global biophysical boundaries can define a ‘safe planetary operating space’ that will allow humanity to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come, a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists proposes. Drawing upon current scientific understanding of the Earth System, the scientists make a first attempt to identify and quantify a set of nine planetary boundaries. This new approach to sustainable development that is to help humanity to deal with climate change and other global environmental threats in the 21st century is conveyed in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature.
Read More