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PIK's 2020 Resident Artist: Sheila Hayman

09/23/2020 - Renowned British filmmaker and author Sheila Hayman is this year’s Artist in Residence at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The three-month residency is made possible by a cooperation between the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (BKP), the Department of Culture and Museums of the City of Potsdam, and PIK.
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Towards a climate resilient Europe: EU Mission Board with Johan Rockström releases report

09/22/2020 Turning the urgent challenge of adapting to climate change into an opportunity to make Europe resilient, climate-prepared and just – this is the aim of the EU Mission Board report that has been released today, in the course of the European Research and Innovation Days 2020. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), took part in the Mission Board to support strengthening the role of science in the areas of adaptation and resilience and the associated social and technological transformation processes.
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Indian monsoon can be predicted better after volcanic eruptions

09/18/2020 - Large volcanic eruptions can help to forecast the monsoon over India – the seasonal rainfall that is key for the country’s agriculture and thus for feeding one billion people. As erratic as they are, volcanic eruptions improve the predictability, an Indian-German research team finds. What seems to be a paradox is in fact due to a stronger coupling between the monsoon over large parts of South and South-East Asia and the El Niño phenomenon after an eruption. Combining data from meteorological observations, climate records, computer model simulations, and geological archives such as tree-rings, corals and ice-cores from past millennia of Earth history, the researchers found that a synchronization of the monsoon with the strongest mode of natural climate variability, the El Niño, makes it easier to anticipate the strength of seasonal rainfall in the Indian subcontinent.
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Cold Summers, Shrinking Monsoon Season: How Record Artic Warming is Changing the Climate All Over the World

Arctic warming may be one of the reasons India´s monsoon season will be shorter this year – the early withdrawal in the beginning of October was predicted by a unique forecasting method by Elena Surovyatkina from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
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NASA-led research on sea-level rise with PIK contribution: Global intercomparison of projected mass loss from ice sheets

09/18/2020 In an international effort, 60 researchers including several researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have produced extensive analyses of Antarctica’s and Greenland’s future mass loss.
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Economist Edenhofer on the climate proposals of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

09/ 16/2020 - In her State of the Union address EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the EU would be subject to more stringent climate protection conditions. The new goal is to reduce CO2 emissions in the European Union by 2030 to 55 percent below the 1990 level.
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Facebook launches Climate Science Information Center with scientific contributions by PIK

09/15/2020 – Facebook, a major global social media channel, starts a Climate Science Information Center featuring scientific contributions from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other leading institutions. PIK will contribute alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Marine and Polar Research (AWI), and Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD). Since long, Potsdam researchers provide scientific information to stakeholders across economic sectors and across the political spectrum, as well as to media and a broader public.
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Climate Change triggers migration – particularly in middle-income and agricultural countries

09/14/2020 - Environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions. Changes in temperature levels, increased rainfall variability, and rapid-onset disasters, such as tropical storms, are important factors as shown by a new study led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Environmental migration is most pronounced in middle-income and agricultural countries but weaker in low-income countries, where populations often lack resources needed for migration. The findings make it possible to identify geographical regions that may be especially susceptible to migration movements in the future.
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"Now is the time to turn these words into deeds"

09/11/2020 - Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, today made a far-reaching proposal for increased climate protection. By introducing a "Charter for Climate Neutrality and Economic Power" as well as a 20-point program the Minister wants to ensure a broad social consensus on the matter.
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Unraveling 66 million years of climate history from ocean sediments: study in Science

09/10/2020 - Researchers have analyzed data from deep-sea sediments in order to reconstruct Earth’s climate with an unprecedented temporal resolution. To achieve this, the international team, led by Dr. Thomas Westerhold of MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen and Dr. Norbert Marwan of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), compiled and analyzed a comprehensive dataset obtained from sediment cores from the ocean floor. Innovative statistical methods for studying complex dynamical systems were applied revealing fundamental climate states. They show the deterministic nature of climate changes over very long periods of time. The team’s new climate reference curve have been published in the prestigious journal Science.
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Reversing the Loss of Biodiversity: Researchers Present Ambitious Plan

09/10/2020 - The rapid extinction of animal and plant species could be reversed by 2050 – by doing two things: Investing in better land-use management and transforming agriculture and the food industry. A new study by an international team of scientists, including Hermann Lotze-Campen, Alexander Popp, and Florian Humpenöder from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, lays out what it will take to reverse the current alarming trends of biodiversity loss – without endangering other important Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly.
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Historical climate fluctuations in Central Europe overestimated due to tree ring analysis: Present warming is extraordinary

09/10/2020 - Tree rings exaggerate, a team of researchers finds. Scientists deduce historical climatic conditions for the past hundreds of years from the width of the annual growth rings of trees. Previous temperature reconstructions from the annual tree rings are however to some extent inaccurate, according to a new study published in Climate Dynamics. Tree rings overstate the natural climatic variations of past centuries. A comparison of data from church and city archives shows that the climate has developed much more evenly. This in turn provides further evidence of how extraordinary modern human-made warming really is.
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Shrinking Home Lands: How Island and Archipelagic States address climate migration

09/04/2020 – Small Island and archipelagic States are amongst those who feel climate change impacts the earliest and the severest. Their livelihoods at risk, people face the decision to move to safer grounds. A new report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the German Cooperation agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) has now scrutinised policy responses by the States to migration in the context of climate change and provides policy recommendations.
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Edenhofer awarded with most prestigious environmental prize

09/02/2020 - This year’s "Umweltpreis" – the most prestigious environmental prize in Germany – goes to Ottmar Edenhofer. Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt honours the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK, member of Leibniz Association), and of the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), for his groundbreaking work namely in the field of carbon pricing. The award will be presented to Edenhofer by the German head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on 25 October in Hanover.
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PIK director Johan Rockström elected to German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

08/28/2020 - Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues, was elected member of the Leopoldina in the Geosciences section. The Leopoldina provides policymakers and the public with science-based advice; its members already include PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer and Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.
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Heating our climate damages our economies – study reveals greater costs than expected

08/19/2020 - Rising temperatures due to our greenhouse gas emissions can cause greater damages to our economies than previous research suggested, a new study shows. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) took a closer look at what climate change does to regions at the sub-national level, such as US states, Chinese provinces or French départements, based on a first-of-its-kind dataset by MCC. If CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are not reduced rapidly, a global warming of 4°C until 2100 can make that regions lose almost 10% of economic output on average and more than 20% in the tropics.
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Climate Stabilization: Lessons from the Corona Crisis

08/17/2020 - The dynamics of the current COVID-19 pandemic could offer valuable insights for the efforts to mitigate climate change. Highlighting the parallels between the global health and the climate emergency, a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has analyzed what policy makers and citizens can learn from the corona outbreak and how to apply it to the global effort of reducing CO2 emissions. Their proposal: A Climate Corona Contract that unites the younger and the older generations.
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“One Health”: PIK researcher Sabine Gabrysch appointed to BMZ advisory council

08/14/2020 - What can we learn from the current Corona pandemic, especially with regards to the relationship between people and the planet? How are human and animal health, environment, climate and biodiversity linked? The advisory council ‘One Health’, recently established by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), looks into such questions – and Sabine Gabrysch, head of PIK´s Research Department on Climate Resilience and Charité Professor, has been appointed as a member.
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Engage with the altruists, ignore the free-riders: New study explores communication dynamics in climate negotiations

07/16/2020 - Communication is the key to overcoming the social dilemma of mitigating climate change, which requires investments from various actors towards a common goal. According to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and co-authored by Jürgen Kurths and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, communicating sentiment and outlook significantly improves group interactions in climate change mitigation processes.
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An Economic Case for the UN Climate Targets: Early and strong climate action pays off

07/13/2020 - Climate action is not cheap – but climate damages aren’t, either. So what level of climate action is best, economically speaking? This question has puzzled economists for decades, and in particular since the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics went to William Nordhaus, who found 3.5 degrees of warming by 2100 might be an economically desirable outcome. An international team of scientists led by the Potsdam Institute has now updated the computer simulation model used to come to this conclusion with latest data and insights from both climate science and economics. They found that limiting global warming to below 2 degrees strikes an economically optimal balance between future climate damages and today’s climate mitigation costs. This would require a price of CO2 of more than 100 US Dollar per ton.
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Road access for all would be costly, but not so much for the climate

07/10/2020 - One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aims to ensure access to transport infrastructure for all. A team of researchers led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has now brought together various data sets to quantify the economic costs as well as climate implications of achieving this goal by providing universal road access. The result: While such road extension would weigh very heavily on individual countries’ budgets, on the global CO2 emissions budget it would not. To connect almost all the world’s population, the global road network would only need to be extended by 8 per cent, causing a total CO2 emissions of about 1.5 per cent of what we can emit while keeping global warming below 2 degree Celsius.
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Science Platform Climate Protection: The German government's Corona economic stimulus package needs a climate impact assessment

07/09/2020 - On July 9, 2020, the Steering Committee of the German Science Platform Climate Protection (WPKS) presented and discussed with State Secretaries Jochen Flasbarth (BMU) and Wolf-Dieter Lukas (BMBF) a statement on climate policy requirements for the design of economic stimulus packages in the Corona crisis. Eight renowned scientists from various disciplines coordinate the tasks of the Science Platform Climate Protection in the Steering Committee. In doing so, they support the Federal Government in the implementation and further development of the Climate Protection Plan 2050 and thus contribute to achieving national, European and international climate protection goals.
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Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future

07/07/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into turmoil and disrupted the status quo, but it is also providing opportunities for innovation in the way we live and work. According to the latest report released by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative, the crisis can lead to creating sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all. Beyond political will, small-scale, granular innovations that are affordable and can be widely applied are key here.
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Shaping the energy transition together: Kopernikus project Ariadne launched

07/03/2020 - From our energy supply to the industry and the Paris climate targets, from individual sectors to the big picture: a network of leading research institutions is now starting an unparalleled research process focused on shaping the German energy transition. The Ariadne project aims at improving our understanding of the impact of different policy instruments in order to develop sound strategies for change. From the very beginning, a comprehensive dialogue between decision-makers from politics, business, and civil society will be a core part of the project.
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Direct CO2 pricing gives room for additional voluntary emissions reductions

06/30/2020- Most climate economist agree that it makes sense to put a price tag on the emission of the most important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, CO2. The discussion primarily revolves around whether it would be better to achieve this through a tax or emissions trading. Arguments include the administrative effort involved, the signal effect for investors, and the political enforceability. A new study based on a scientifically controlled experiment now sheds light on another aspect that has barely been researched so far: the incentive effect of both options on actors who want to act morally beyond their economic interests. The study was conducted by the economists Axel Ockenfels, Peter Werner and Ottmar Edenhofer, and has now been published in the renowned journal Nature Sustainability.
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Minister Schüle visits PIK: "Brandenburg's institute of the future"

06/24/2020 - The Minister for Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg, Manja Schüle, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) today. PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer informed the Minister about the institute's current research priorities and exchanged views with her on strategies to further strengthen Brandenburg's research landscape.
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Climate research informing global finance: Scenarios can serve as yardstick for central banks’ risk assessment

06/24/2020 – Stability is at the core of central banks’ objectives. To assess climate destabilization risks, major central banks and supervisors plan to utilise climate scenarios developed by a team of researchers led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. These scenarios will inform the climate stress tests that central banks like the Bank of England or the Banque de France are planning to apply to the financial institutions they regulate. The work was commissioned by the “Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System” (NGFS), a group of 66 central banks and supervisors around the globe which aims to develop climate risk management in the financial sector.
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World Food Convention 2020 features keynote by Professor Lotze-Campen on food security

06/24/2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the volatility of our global food supply. In his keynote "Cooperation, preparation, information – how to prepare the food system for economic shocks", Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen, Head of PIK’s Climate Resilience Department, will contribute to this year's annual World Food Convention by addressing the crucial role international collaboration plays for averting future hunger crises in the wake of climate-related disasters.
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