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Klaus Bellmann Obituary

11/18/2008 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research deeply regrets the loss of its co-founder and honorary member, Dr. habil. Klaus Bellmann. He passed away unexpectedly on November 10, 2008, at 79 years of age. Bellmann brought to the institute his lifetime experience in systems ecology and mathematical modelling, thereby providing one of the scientific cornerstones of PIK, as well as the core of its Department of Global Change and Natural Systems. Bellmann is remembered by his colleagues as an engaged and concerned scientist, worrying about environmental degradation as well as about what he perceived as a great loss of human values in modern society. Klaus Bellmann was an inspired and humorous leader, constantly ready to assist his colleagues with advice and motivation.
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Federal Minister greets Edenhofer’s professorship at the Berlin Institute of Technology

11/05/2008 - On Tuesday, Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist and deputy director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), held his inaugural lecture at the Berlin Institute of Technology (BIT). In his speech on the occasion, the German Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel applauded Edenhofer as an outstanding scientist. Gabriel also stressed the importance of university education to the challenge of securing sustainable economic success in developed countries.
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Why so much water runs down the rivers

10/22/2008 - Humans are increasingly altering the amount of water that runs from the land to the sea or inland waters. Calculations with a global vegetation and hydrology model indicate that precipitation had the largest impact on global river discharge over the 20th century. Regionally, however, discharge varied according to factors such as land use change and irrigation practices, temperature, and the concentration of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) report in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”. The impact of these mainly anthropogenically driven factors on discharge and the availability of water for human use is expected to grow in the future.
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Good Prospects for Eastern Germany’s Agriculture

09/16/2008 – More than most other economic sectors agriculture depends on climatic conditions. On behalf of the German Bodenverwertungs- und -verwaltungs GmbH (BVVG), researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have analysed the effects of climate change on Eastern Germany’s agriculture. The risk of Eastern Germany’s acreage losing in value is low, Frank Wechsung said at a press conference held by the BVVG in Berlin last Friday. Negative impacts of climate change could be countered by appropriate adaptation measures and crop yields could even be raised.
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Ottmar Edenhofer takes on chairmanship within IPCC

09/04/2008 - Ottmar Edenhofer was appointed as joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology will be co-chairing the Working Group “Mitigation of Climate Change” with Ramón Pichs Madruga from Cuba and Youba Sokona from Mali. In the next seven years the co-chairs will map out strategies for solutions in climate and energy issues and lay out the groundwork for worldwide emissions trading.
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Future tipping points in the climate could be unveiled

09/01/2008 - Past events of abrupt climatic change were preceded by characteristic symptoms that may also indicate future abrupt changes induced by global warming.
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Climate change threatens one in five plant species

08/07/2008 - Climate change alters growing conditions in many regions of the world. How global warming could affect Germany’s flora researchers have now simulated using computer models.
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Three new partners for PCF Pilot Project

07/21/2008 - The Pilot Project "Product Carbon Footprint" Germany presents three new corporate partners from the wholesale, retail and chemicals sectors. DSM, REWE Group and the Tengelmann Group join the project to measure greenhouse gas emissions for selected products.
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Against the Global Bluff

07/08/2008 - Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist and deputy-director at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK), was appointed professor of “Economics of Climate Change” at the Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University Berlin, TU Berlin). The professorship, a collaborative effort of PIK and TU Berlin, was co-initiated by the Michael Otto Foundation, who supports it with approximately Euro 520,000. By establishing the first professorship on the economics of climate change, the university and the foundation commit themselves to groundbreaking climate policy research, and react to the associated new demands on research and teaching.
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Barroso opens European-Indian climate talks in Potsdam

05/28/2008 – The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso met the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change and a delegation of Indian experts in Potsdam. The participants of the workshop discussed how climate protection, economic growth, and poverty alleviation could be combined in a fair global deal.
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Protecting climate is protecting biodiversity

05/16/2008 - Climatic change is endangering Earth’s biodiversity, the natural variety of plants and animals. Ahead of the upcoming conference of the parties of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, researchers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) point out that climate protection and protection of biodiversity are closely related. Implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a precondition to conserve many ecosystems and their functionality for human society. To protect biodiversity facilitates adaptation to climatic change, aids mitigation of climate impacts and generally maintains a broader scope of ecosystem-related policies.
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International emissions trading needs harmonization

05/07/2008 - A PIK study of the future of international emissions trading shows how emissions trading can be globalized in order to reach climate protection goals like the European Union’s two degree target. Christian Flachsland, Ottmar Edenhofer and other scientists of PIK’s research domain “Sustainable Solutions” investigated ways to link the EU’s emissions trading system with emerging trade systems in the USA, Australia and New Zealand and looked at where these systems need to be further harmonized. The study was sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office.
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Girls's Day at the PIK

04/24/2008 - Which questions do natural and social scientist as well as economists try to answer in the context of climate change? Which instruments do they use? How are strategies for dealing with global warming being developed? How can the cost for climate protection be calculated? How effective is the trade with emission allowances and how could it be organized?
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Six companies start Product Carbon Footprint pilot scheme in Germany

04/15/2008 - Supported by WWF, Öko-Institut Freiburg, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and THEMA1 today six companies start a joint pilot scheme in Berlin. For selected products they will assess emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, so called Product Carbon Footprints (PCF).
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Ministry of Environment of Rhineland-Palatinate and PIK initiate research collaboration

04/03/2008 - The Potsdam Institute and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Consumer Protection of the German federal state Rhineland-Palatinate are co-operation partners. The state’s Environment Minister and PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber signed today an agreement for an open-ended collaboration. The first joint research activity is a project about climate change and its impacts on landscapes in Rhineland-Palatinate – “KlimLandRP”.
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Online lesson for Ukrainian students

02/29/2008 - PIK researcher Dr. Gunnar Luderer this Friday answered Ukranian students’ questions about climate change via the web. A Canadian teacher from the Meridian International School in Kiev had initiated the online-lesson with PIK scientist as interview partner.
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Debate over: Human-induced climate change under way

02/02/2007 - The new climate science assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to which scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) contributed, was released in Paris on 2 February. This 4th IPCC report confirms earlier projections of global temperature increase and should dispel any remaining doubts that all regions of the Earth are already experiencing human-induced climate change.
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Massive climate change is avoidable at low cost

05/04/2007 - The third volume of the UN climate report identifies strategies to mitigate global warming. The most serious impacts of climate change can still be avoided. What's more, effective climate protection through the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions is affordable and makes economic sense. These are the main messages sent out by the latest report published by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The findings are based on research carried out by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). According to the UN report, energy efficiency, renewable energies and carbon capture and storage will all play a key role in cutting emissions. Nuclear energy will play a smaller role.
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Surprise during the Search for a Second Earth

06/11/2007 - A team of scientists led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) investigated the habitability of the planetary system Gliese 581 in the constellation of Libra, 20 light-years away. With the help of a model for the evolution of Earth-like planets coupled with a climate model they were able to demonstrate habitable conditions on the planet Gl 581d, while its smaller brother, Gl 581c, has to be classified uninhabitable.
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Heat Record in Germany

06/27/2007 - In Germany, temperatures have never been as high over a 12 month period as between June 2006 and May 2007. During a routine analysis of meteorological observations from Potsdam, the attention of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was drawn to a temperature phenomenon.
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Risk of breakdown of Atlantic Ocean circulation

06/29/2007 - Triggering a breakdown of a major part of the Atlantic Ocean circulation within this century is a non-negligible risk, as a new survey amongst leading climate scientists reveals. The results of the survey, conducted by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany jointly with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, are published in the June issue of the journal "Climatic Change". The survey is based on in-depth interviews with experts in the field of Atlantic Ocean dynamics.
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Towards a Global CO2 Market?

07/07/2007 - International linking of emissions trading systems represents an important option for climate protection. The European Emissions Trading Scheme could serve as a starting point for a global permit trading scheme. This is the finding of a report by the PIK, commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office.
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Geoscientific work of PIK in top-ranking position

08/31/2007 - The Potsdam Institute has become one of the top 1% of institutions whose publications in the field of geosciences have been cited most frequently
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Nobel Laureates agree on a Global Contract – a proposition for a Great Transformation

10/10/2007 - The Nobel Laureates Symposium “Global Sustainability: A Nobel Cause” in Potsdam was concluded yesterday with a Memorandum that all participants agreed to. Some 15 Nobel Laureates and internationally renowned experts like Sir Nicholas Stern and Rajendra Pachauri had discussed new solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
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Nobel Peace Prize 2007 goes to the IPCC

10/12/2007 - The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 will go to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore. Numerous scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have contributed substantially to this year's IPCC report as lead authors or review editors.
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Stefan Rahmstorf receives Media Award

12/11/2007 – The Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DUH) has awarded Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) the Environment Media Award. The German environmental organization honored the oceanographer and climate researcher for his engagement in raising the awareness of climate change.
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21st century water management: Calculating with the unknown

02/01/2008 - Climate change is making a central assumption of water management obsolete: Water-resource risk assessment and planning are currently based on the notion that factors such as precipitation and streamflow fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability. But anthropogenic change of Earth’s climate is altering the means and extremes of these factors so that this paradigm of stationarity no longer applies, researchers report in the latest issue of “Science”.
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Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system

02/05/2008 - Anthropogenic forcing could push the Earth’s climate system past critical thresholds, so that important components may “tip” into qualitatively different modes of operation. In the renowned magazine PNAS (online-edition) an international team of researchers describes, where small changes can have large long-term consequences on human and ecological systems.
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World renowned experts to advise President Barroso on energy and climate change

03/06/2007 - A newly established Advisory Group of world renowned experts will advise the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso on energy and climate change issues. Among the advisors, who act in a personal capacity, is the Director of the Potsdam Institute.
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