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Coal exit can happen only with stronger policies – and with China

02/06/2023 - Current climate policies including efforts like the Powering Past Coal Alliance will not add up to a global coal exit, a new study shows. Countries phasing coal out of the electricity sector need to broaden their policy strategy, or else they risk pushing the excess coal supply into other industries at home, like steel production. The scientists find that China has an opportunity to dominate the renewable energy technology market if it begins phasing down coal immediately. Otherwise, it could dangerously delay the renewable energy breakthrough worldwide.
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FABLE: How to get food and land use systems on track

02/03/2023 - Sustainable futures for food and land use systems are only possible with coordinated, major efforts around the world in the next decade. This is what a team of researchers, including PIK, from 20 countries found by using FABLE (Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-Use and Energy) modeling tools. The results are now published in a Special Issue.
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El Niño phenomenon: 2024 could be warmest year ever

02/03/2023 – With a likelihood of almost 90% the weather phenomenon "El Niño" will occur again in the Pacific region as early as this autumn. This may be accompanied by numerous extreme weather events, such as heavy rain in Peru and drought in Australia and Indonesia. As El Niño also increases global temperatures in the short term, there is a possibility that 2024 could be the warmest year since weather records began. This is what scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Justus Liebig University Giessen and two Beijing universities report in a recent analysis.
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Remembering Professor Will Steffen

01/31/2023 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK is grieving Will Steffen, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University ANU in Canberra, Australia. The climate scientist passed away on 29 January at the age of 75.
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Press Release

Berlin could produce much of its vegetables locally

1/27/2023 - Berlin could produce a surprisingly large proportion of its vegetable requirements itself if unused areas were used for this purpose, such as flat roofs, allotments, cemetery areas that are no longer in use, or even supermarket parking lots. Researchers have now calculated this. However, the use of this land is tied to many preconditions.
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Press Release

Amazon heat drives Tibet temperatures: climate tipping elements connected half around the globe

01/26/2023 - While the Amazon rainforest and the Tibetan Plateau sit on different sides of the globe, scientists now discovered that changes in the South American ecosystem can trigger changes in the vicinity of the Himalayas. Both are tipping elements, hence large-scale elements of the planetary machinery that are sensitive to global warming and may shift abruptly and often irreversibly from one state to another at specific thresholds. A new study applies the theory of complex networks to these elements and finds surprising – and worrying – long-distance linkages.
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News

Excellent research: Doctoral prize for Nico Wunderling

01/23/2023 - PIK researcher Nico Wunderling has been awarded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation for his groundbreaking dissertation on tipping elements.
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Press Release

Stuck – climate change makes people too poor to migrate

01/23/2023 - Climate change increases migration worldwide. Over the past 30 years, however, this effect has been considerably reduced as climate change weakens economic growth in the countries of the Global South. This is the research result of a team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research comparing the observed migration flows to a scenario without the effects of climate change.
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Science takes centre stage in Davos

01/20/2023 - PIK Director Johan Rockström participated in the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) Meeting 2023 in Davos this week. In a first, science took centre stage in a Davos plenary session with Rockström outlining how climate change impacts economies around the world.
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Climate, Development, Economics - Kati Krähnert is a Professor at RWI and Bochum University

01/20/2023 - From Potsdam's Telegrafenberg to the Ruhr - since January 1, 2023, Kati Krähnert is Professor of Climate Change and Development at the Faculty of Economics at Ruhr University Bochum. There she researches how the lives of people in the Global South are affected by climate change and how policies need to be designed if they are to improve household climate resilience. She was appointed jointly by the Ruhr University and RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research.
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Press Release

New study in 'Science' puts a number on what Exxon knew decades ago about climate change

01/13/2023 - Climate projections reported by ExxonMobil scientists between 1977 and 2003 were accurate and skillful in predicting subsequent global warming and contradicted the company’s public claims, shows a new study published in the highly renowned research journal 'Science'.
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Federal Research Minister visits PIK

01/09/2023 - The Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger has visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). She spoke for almost two hours with climate economist and PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer, as well as with Administrative Director Bettina Hörstrup and Gunnar Luderer from the Copernicus research project ARIADNE on energy transition policy. Topics included the federal government's hydrogen strategy and research into economic models for extracting CO2 from the air and storing it underground, as well as research into energy systems.
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3 out of 10 climate science papers most referred to in news and social media feature PIK authors

01/06/2023 - In a ranking of climate science papers most referred to in news and social media, no less than 3 out of the top 10 papers feature authors from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The ranking is published by the renowned 'Carbon Brief' newsletter and is based on the papers' so-called Altmetric score. While this metric is certainly not perfect, it is a good indicator to help assess public perception of climate science publications.
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News

Smart nitrogen management can strongly reduce pollution

01/06/2023 - To increase food and feed supply, agriculture has used more and more industrial nitrogen fertilizers and manure. However, over half of these nitrogen inputs to croplands are currently lost to the environment, contributing to air pollution and its related diseases, water eutrophication, soil acidification, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Nitrogen pollution has become a global challenge and next crisis. An international team of researchers explored cost-effective nitrogen mitigation strategies for global croplands in a new study, now published in Nature.
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Press Release

Climate risk insurance can effectively mitigate economic losses

01/04/2023 - Global warming is expected to lead to an accumulation of particularly intense hurricanes in the United States. This may substantially increase the economic losses caused by these storms. Better insurance could effectively mitigate the climate change-induced increase in economic losses. This is shown in a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research examining the effectiveness of climate risk insurance in the US.
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Press Release

Overshooting climate targets could significantly increase risk for tipping cascades

12/22/2022 - Temporarily overshooting the climate targets of 1.5-2 degrees Celsius could increase the tipping risk of several Earth system elements by more than 70 percent compared to keeping global warming in line with the United Nations Paris Agreement range, a new risk analysis study by an international team of researchers shows. This tipping risk increases even if in the longer term the global temperature would stabilize within the Paris range. Avoiding an overshoot would hence limit the risks, the researchers conclude.
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Early forests did not change the atmospheric CO2 level as much as previously thought

12/20/2022 - An international team of Earth scientists has discovered that the atmosphere contained far less CO2 than previously thought when forests emerged on our planet. The study published in Nature Communications alters a 30-year-old paradigm with important implications for understanding how land plants affect the climate.
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Press Release

Carbon dioxide removal should receive additional financial support

12/20/2022 - Cleaning up greenhouse gases after they have been emitted should be incentivized by subsidies. New evidence from an economic analysis considering international markets suggests an important reason why subsidies should be higher than the price put on carbon emissions to incentivize their reduction. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers analyze policies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground or in products. The suggested different pricing is not due to technological challenges, but linked to an economic effect called leakage.
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Statement

European Union to adopt emissions trading system for transport and heat

12/19/2022 - The European Union this weekend came to some decisions related to its climate policy, namely the EU Emissions Trading System. On this occasion, Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), issued a PIK Statement.
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New PIK Podcast: The bitter taste of loss & damage

12/16/2022 - What does coffee have to do with climate change & loss and damage? Koko Warner from the UNFCCC Secretariat and Christoph Gornott from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK dive into the loss & damage debate.
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Europe's forests increasingly under pressure

12/12/2022 - European forests are increasingly affected by natural disturbances, a new monitoring study shows - and climate change is likely exacerbating this, according to the results of an international team of scientists.
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Global inequality prevents effective climate protection in the land sector

12/08/2022 - Land-based climate protection in line with the Paris Agreement can only succeed by overcoming global inequality, according to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). This requires a shift towards healthier nutrition, less food waste and lower population growth. It is also necessary to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forestry at the global level.
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Press Release

“10 Must Dos” from biodiversity science in the run-up to COP15 UN World Conference on Nature

12/05/2022 - By 2030, 30 per cent of the planet's land and sea areas should be protected. All subsidies leading to the degradation of nature should be reallocated. These are two of the recommendations from the Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity's "10 Must Dos". The researchers are publishing their proposals on the occasion of the United Nations’ COP15 World Conference on Nature, which begins Wednesday in Montreal, Canada.
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Award for outstanding commitment: Ottmar Edenhofer receives Bavarian Order of the Constitution 2022

12/02/2022 - For his research on the most pressing challenges of our time, Ottmar Edenhofer is being awarded today the Bavarian Order of the Constitution. The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is originally from Gangkofen (district of Rottal-Inn).
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Tipping Points in the Earth System: Potsdam Young Scientist Award for Nico Wunderling

11/25/2022 - Nico Wunderling was awarded the Young Scientist Prize of the state capital Potsdam for his research on tipping points in the Earth system. Mayor Mike Schubert awarded the post-doctoral researcher of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) the prize based on his scientifically and socially relevant work. Wunderling's work on "Nonlinear dynamics and interactions of tipping elements in the Earth system" addresses some of the particularly consequential impacts of human-induced global warming. His findings have been picked up by media around the world - including Guardian, Spiegel and Zeit. Nico Wunderling completed his PhD at the University of Potsdam and at PIK with a position in an international doctoral program and a doctoral fellowship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.
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COP27 world climate summit: “Results are not good enough”

11/22/2022 – A COP failure was avoided, but it was only a very moderate success for the climate. While 1.5 as a global goal is still there on paper, COP27 does not offer a concrete plan on how to achieve that. These are, in a nutshell, the assessments by PIK Directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström just after the 27th edition of the world climate summit COP concluded on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Positive outcomes of the summit include a first-of-its-kind set up of a ‘loss and damage fund’ that shall aim at compensating climate impacts for developing countries.
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Finding equity in climate mitigation finance: new study in 'Science'

11/18/2022- Considerations of equity in directing global financial flows for regional climate mitigation investments are critically important. It is in the leading journal 'Science' that team of researchers led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) published a new study to help inform climate policy. The researchers explored how global investments could be divided among the countries in the world. The team applied a systematic approach with different equity and fairness considerations and estimated the “fair” financial flows between regions.
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Potsdam researchers amongst top 1% most cited worldwide

11/14/2022 - For the fifth year in a row, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are among the top 1 percent of the globally most scientifically influential authors. The renowned "Highly Cited" ranking is published once a year by Clarivate Analytics' science platform Web of Science. The ranking is based on the number of times researchers are cited in other academics' works - one of the most important indicators of scientific relevance. Twelve PIK researchers are listed, just like last year, including the institute's directors, and from all research departments.
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World climate summit COP27: Potsdam researchers highlight need for action

11/11/2022 - Climate policy-makers and experts are gathering in Sharm-el-Sheikh at the world climate summit COP27, amongst them researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The negotiations hosted by the United Nations also make media worldwide reach out to science.
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Astronomical cycles changed the climate 200 million years ago

10/11/2022 - The celestial bodies of the solar system also influence the Earth's climate cycles. The question of how this astronomical "heartbeat" changed the Earth's climate in an early warm period was investigated by an international team of geo- and climate researchers. Using simulations and data from drill cores, they were able to prove that astronomical cycles - in addition to shifts in continental plates and fluctuating CO2 levels in the atmosphere - drove climate changes around 200 million years ago. These new data from past warm climate phases with higher greenhouse gas concentrations can also be interesting for improved forecasts. The results were published in the scientific journal PNAS.
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