News

 

“Australia in a hot world”

07/12/2011 - Right in the middle of a heated debate in Australia about the carbon tax just announced by the government, a scientific event in Melbourne this week sheds light on the consequences of climate change for down under. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has been invited by Australian climate scientists to give the opening lecture as well as the public keynote speech plus some concluding remarks at the conference “Four degrees or more? Australia in a hot world”.
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Indian Minister of Environment and Forests proposes science and politics to meet in Potsdam

07/04/2011 - Leading scientists and politicians from all over the world are to debate new pathways for international climate negotiations – this was suggested by the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests during a visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research this Monday. In time before the next round of negotiations of the global community of states will take place in Durban, South Africa, before the end of the year, Ramesh wants stakeholders to exchange views with the sciences. The question of a fair share of rights for greenhouse gas emissions could be central. “The work of the Potsdam Institute in this field has been groundbreaking”, Ramesh said.
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Researchers refine assessment of tipping elements of the climate system

06/23/2011 - The West Antarctic ice sheet is a potential tipping element of the climate system that might have partially tipped already. According to a study now published in Climatic Change, experts can not rule out that ice masses in the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica have already begun to destabilize. This is one of the results of a new assessment of the current state of six potentially unstable regions in the climate system with large direct impacts on Europe. The likelihood of climatic transitions of these elements generally increases as global mean temperature increases due to greenhouse gases emitted by human activity.
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Sea levels rising at fastest rate in 2000 years

06/20/2011 - The rate of sea-level rise since the beginning of industrialization is greater than ever before in the last two thousand years. After many centuries with stable or slowly increasing sea level, around the year 1900 the data curve starts to rise steeply. This is shown by an analysis of sediments from the US Atlantic coast – it is the first continuous sea-level reconstruction covering such a long time span.
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Exit from nuclear power is affordable – but entering a new energy system is challenging

06/10/2011 - The much debated date for phasing out nuclear power in Germany has little impact on consumer prices of electricity, according to scientists. An exit before 2020, however, could push up emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the short term. Yet security of supply is the crucial point. This security can only be guaranteed if both renewable energies and fossil power generation along with power grids are scaled up, shows a study which for the first time presents a comprehensive calculation of the effects. Deploying power plants fired by gas instead of coal could, at an equal price, lead to less emissions and more competition.
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Exiting from nuclear power, entering a new energy system

05/06/2011 - Exiting from nuclear power today is a consensus in Germany. It's less clear, however, how entering a new energy system should look like. What are the costs of phasing out nuclear power, depending on the timeline? Which power plant capacities have to be built using not just renewable energy sources but also additional power generation from fossil fuels? Answers to these questions will be given by a new study of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Institute for Infrastructure and Resource Management of the Leipzig University. The results are going to be presented on friday, june 10th, in Berlin.
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Good progress on the road to 100 percent renewable electricity – despite obstacles

05/31/2011 - Progress towards achieving one hundred percent renewable electricity in Europe and North Africa by 2050 is largely good, according to a report released on may 31st in Brussels. However, in the cross-border grid development, little progress has been made on the ground. This is due to a lack of regulatory harmonization and a lack of mechanisms to deal with growing public opposition to infrastructure projects, the report shows. The report – a collaboration of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and the advisory firm PwC – is building a bridge between science and the business and investment community to investigate the transformation of the power sector. (Joint Press Release by PIK, IIASA, PwC, SEFEP)
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Long Night of Science: thousands of visitors at Telegraphenberg

05/31/2011 – The “Smartest Night of the Year” took place for the 11th time this year and attracted a lot of visitors this weekend. Next to scientific talks and guided tours, the “little climate princess”, a play for children, found great approval.
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More storms, more floods in Germany

05/25/2011 - Weather extremes caused by climate change will significantly increase damage in Germany. For the first time, scientists now developed concrete scenarios on possible effects up to the end of this century. “Major floods will appear two or three times more often in the next decades”, says Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Storm damages could potentially rise by more than 50 percent.
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Nobel Laureates hand over recommendations to UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability

05/18/2011 - The Stockholm Memorandum concludes that the planet has entered a new geological age, the Anthropocene. It recommends a suite of urgent and far-reaching actions for decision makers and societies to become active stewards of the planet for future generations. (This press release has been drafted by the Swedish organizers of the symposium - the PIK sent out it's own press release only for German language media.)
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