“Closely related fates”: German and African scientists discuss climate change

10/16/2013 - Sharing information and ideas about adaptation to climate change in Africa and identifying science-based recommendations on strategies for policymakers was the aim of a workshop held in Cameroon last week. It was organized by the Network of African Science Academies together with the German National Academy Leopoldina and assembled representatives from 14 countries. The keynote on the climate challenge was provided by PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.
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“The body of evidence is overwhelming”: Prominent climate scientists issue stark statement

09/17/2013 - Two weeks prior to the launch of the first section of the latest IPCC’s report on climate change, twelve members of the newly established Earth League – a global initiative of prominent climate scientists – have jointly published a stark statement. “The body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming,” they argue.
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Breakthrough in El Niño-Forecasting

07/02/13 - Irregular warming of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, dubbed El Niño by Peruvian fishermen, can generate devastating impacts. Being the most important phenomenon of contemporary natural climate variability, it may trigger floods in Latin America, droughts in Australia, and harvest failures in India. In order to extend forecasting from 6 months to one year or even more, scientists have now proposed a novel approach based on advanced connectivity analysis applied to the climate system. The scheme builds on high-quality data of air temperatures and clearly outperforms existing methods. The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Floods in the light of climate change

06/21/2013 - The nationwide floods have been keeping the country´s attention for some time now. This week, the Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier, visited flooded regions near Dessau/Bitterfeld. He was accompanied by Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), who briefed him on the relation between climate change and extreme weather events, as well as a number of other high-ranking experts. In the previous weeks, Gerstengarbe and other PIK scientists have given several interviews on the subject, mainly on the question if climate change is one of the causes for the floods.
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Schellnhuber reappointed for government advisory council

05/08/2013 - The Federal Governement of Germany today decided upon the appointments for the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Globale Umweltveränderungen, WBGU). Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and long-standing chair of the council, has been confirmed as a member. Being an independent scientific counseling body, WBGU is charged to develop recommendations for the governement. Its members will be in office until 2016.
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Schellnhuber briefs stakeholder conference on the 2015 agreement on climate policy

04/17/2013 - The preparations for the next climate agreement that is supposed to be reached in 2015 are already taking shape – and civil society is being asked to accompany and support the EU´s development/decision process. On invitation by Connie Hedegaard, the EU´s Commissioner for Climate Action, a number of experts and decision makers meet at a stakeholder´s conference in Brussels today. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has been asked to hold a keynote on the state of play in climate science.
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Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

03/28/2013 - For his „important contribution to research on the global impact of civilization on the climate, and fostering awareness for these findings in society and politics”, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, was awarded the Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013 of Urania Potsdam last night. Among the many felicitators were the Brandenburg Minister of Science, Research and Culture, Sabine Kunst, and Potsdam´s mayor Jann Jakobs.
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Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity

02/28/2013 - The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, yesterday in Brussels met the newly appointed members of his Science and Technology Advisory Council (PSTAC). Physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will be part of this independent group of eminent experts. The Council is charged to provide foresight and recommendations that could be used to explore opportunities and make informed judgements based on the evidence and advice provided.
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Climate scientist Schellnhuber to brief UN Security Council

02/15/2013 - As climate change starts being recognized as a security issue on the highest international levels, Pakistan and the United Kingdom have asked Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to speak at an in-depth discussion event for the UN Security Council members. The meeting aims at addressing “potential threats posed by possible adverse effects of climate change to the maintenance of international peace and security”. It will take place on February 15th at the UN headquarters in New York City. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to attend.
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Earth League: International network established by leading research institutes

02/14/13 - Leading research institutes from more than 10 nations joined forces last week in London and launched the “Earth League”. As a global alliance of eminent scientific representatives from climate research, environmental sciences and economics, this distinguished network focuses on planetary processes and sustainability issues. The Earth League will meet once a year to provide robust background information for decision makers on the most urging challenges for the future.
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„Promoting evidence-based decision-making“: Qatar and PIK announce creation of climate change research institute

05.12.2012 - Qatar Foundation in partnership with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) announced the creation of a pioneering climate change research institute. It will be the first of its kind “in a country whose wealth is founded on fossil fuels,” PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber said. “Qatar declares to confront the climate challenge, and to do so by promoting research and evidence-based decision-making. This might be a turning point for a transition towards sustainability.” The science is clear, Schellnhuber said, that global greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption “have to decrease sharply by 2020 if we want to avoid dangerous climate change”.
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Doha World Climate Summit: Schellnhuber gives talk to high-ranking representatives of states

12/06/2012 - “Don’t ask what global climate protection can do for your country; ask what your country can do for climate protection…” – it was by rephrasing former US president John F. Kennedy’s famous words that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), addressed the highest-ranking representatives of states in Doha. He had been asked to present the keynote at the gala dinner on Tuesday night that opened the high-level segment of the world climate summit COP18 – an unsual honour for a scientist.
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4-degrees briefing for the World Bank: The risks of a future without climate policy

11/19/2012 - Humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases are breaking new records every year. Hence we’re on a path towards 4-degree global warming probably as soon as by the end of this century. This would mean a world of risks beyond the experience of our civilization – including heat waves, especially in the tropics, a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, and regional yield failures impacting global food security. These are some of the results of a report for the World Bank, conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Climate Analytics in Berlin. The poorest in the world are those that will be hit hardest, making development without climate policy almost impossible, the researchers conclude.
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„You cannot negotiate with nature“: Leading scientists on COP18 in Doha

11/26/2012 - Media worldwide asked leading scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for comments and interviews on the world climate summit COP18 that started today in Doha, Qatar. Despite the widespread scepticism that the meeting of representatives of nearly 200 states will achieve much progress, PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber stressed that much is at stake for the international community if global warming goes on unabated. “You cannot negotiate with nature,” Schellnhuber told the Chinese news agency Xinhua. “While we are quarreling, nature will just march on."
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“Orchestra of Change”: Schellnhuber joins board of trustees of NaturTon Foundation

10/12/2012 - The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, becomes a member of the board of trustees of NaturTon Foundation. The charitable foundation was founded in 2009 by musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin. Their initiative „Orchestra of Change“ combines cultural and environmental commitments. „Science can reach the minds of men, but music reaches the heart,“ PIK-director Schellnhuber says. „The writing of thousands of scientific papers cannot stimulate enough momentum, therefore it is good for science and music to work together.“
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Schellnhuber campaigns for Europe

08/23/2012 - Prominent German public figures take a stand for the European idea to counter growing skepticism caused by the Euro-crisis. Siding former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, the national soccer team's captain Philipp Lahm, and Daimler’s chairman Dieter Zetsche, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), is taking part in a large-scale campaign. “Europe is reducing CO2 emissions more decisively than any other continent in the world" – that is his statement to promote European unity.
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Federal Minister for the Environment discusses energy transformation with scientists

08/14/2012 - Right on the first day after his vacation, Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for the Environment, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to learn about the activities of the institute, current research and solution pathways. “Climate change is the problem, the energy transformation is the solution,” Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK director, said during his presentation, and a lively exchange about how to achieve a restructuring of the energy system emerged.
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Climate-KIC Academy of Innovation starts

08/10/2012 - „Climate politics alone won´t be enough to mitigate global warming - we need innovations,“ said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), at the Climate-KIC founders academy kick-off in Berlin and Potsdam this week. The abbreviation stands for “Knowledge and Innovation Community“, a European network for climate innovations. PIK is a co-founder and Schellnhuber is the chair of the board of directors. About 50 potential young entrepreneurs from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland visited PIK. “The risks of climate change are great - but so are the chances for innovative start-ups,” Schellnhuber said.
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"Qatar could become a powerful change agent"

07/18/2012 - A high-level delegation from Qatar visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to discuss future cooperation initiatives, the next climate conference in Doha (COP18) and to learn about PIK´s latest findings in the fields of climate research and sustainable solutions. One specific point of interest was the future of water management for agricultural needs.
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Geo-Engineering: Debate between "stable solutions" and "fancy fantasies"

07/16/2012 - Gigantic sun mirrors in the earth’s orbit, the vaccination of clouds or the fertilization of oceans: well-known scientists discussed the possibilities and risks of large-scale interventions in the earth system last week. The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), John Schellnhuber, the scientific director of IASS, Marc Lawrence, Ken Caldeira from the University of Stanford in California and professor of philosophy Konrad Ott from the University of Greifswald debated the topic of “Geo-Engineering – blessing or curse?” at the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin.
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Berlin Bishop: Climate change „touches the core of the Christian message“

07/06/2012 - The protestant church of Germany recognizes global warming as a central challenge. “The climate problem touches the core of the Christian message”, said Bishop Markus Dröge, head of the Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz on the occasion of a visit at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Preserving the integrity of creation is our mission.” It is all the more painful, he pointed out, that some of the successes of the development work achieved in the poorest countries of the world are being thwarted by climate change impacts.
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No beach holiday: climate researchers meet up-and-coming scientists at summer school in Potsdam

07/06/2012 - Some of the world’s spearheading climate scientists will convene in Potsdam to contribute their knowledge to young, international up-and-coming researchers and practitioners beginning on July 8th. Over the following two weeks, instead of heading to the beaches they will focus on confronting the risks of climate warming in the face of uncertainties and extreme events. This is the “Global Sustainability Summer School 2012” (GSSS), an intensive professional development course for specialists, organized jointly between the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) in New Mexico. The GSSS is made possible by the generous support of the Robert Bosch Foundation.
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„Truths and values“: Schellnhuber awarded with the honorary doctorate of TU Berlin

06/29/2012 - For his outstanding achievements in the field of climate research and political consulting, the Technische Universität Berlin awarded Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the honorary doctorate this week. “Professor Schellnhuber inspired entirely new approaches in research, like the research of the world climate’s tipping points and its consequences, or the action-orientated 2 degrees target”, said TU president Jörg Steinbach during the ceremony which was attended by 200 guests in the university’s atrium.
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EU-Commissioner Oettinger visits PIK

06/26/2012 - Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an exchange of ideas this week. Three presentations provided information on current research on climate change as well as scientific findings on chances and risks of the transformation of the energy system. Oettinger was impressed by the “profound and objective presentation”. He invited PIK-scientists to Brussels for expert discussions “to maintain the conversational thread”.
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“A house for the 21th century“: To celebrate its 20th anniversary, PIK is laying the foundation stone for a new research building

06/20/2012 - Climate research in Potsdam will get a new home. Adjacent to the historic main buildings of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) dating from the 19th century, a new energy-optimized building will come into existence. The laying of the foundation stone for this exceptional new research building also marks PIK’s 20th anniversary. Representatives of science and politics congratulated the institute, underlining that it has become one of the world’s leading climate research centres.
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The dilemma of geoengineering

12/13/2011 – End-of-the-chimney fixes for anthropogenic global warming are becoming increasingly popular in public debate. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), now sheds some light on the fundamental dilemma of geoengineering in a comment published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “This is a tale of two fairies: the rather wicked one conjures up solar radiation management, and the tolerably good one delivers CO2 removal through schemes like industrial ‘air capture,” says Schellnhuber. The latter however would generate “a multitrillion dollar bill,” he points out.
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Science and Policy: Dialogue in Durban

12/06/2011 - Leading policy-makers and researchers met today in Durban to urge climate negotiators to acknowledge scientific findings and address the sustainability challenge. Amongst the participants of this dialogue were Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, and the European Union’s Climate Comissioner Conny Hedegaard, as well as Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Nicholas Stern from the London School of Economics. The event was hosted by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Johan Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute.
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Stiftung Mercator and PIK initiate new institute with EUR 17m budget

11/28/2011 - Today Stiftung Mercator and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) announced the foundation of a joint institute for research and policy advice in Berlin. The Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) will address interdisciplinary research on questions of sustainable growth in a finite world. The MCC will be run by Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, who will also remain as Deputy Director at PIK. Stiftung Mercator is providing financing of around EUR 17m over eight years. This is the largest individual funding contribution ever provided by a private foundation in the field of climate research in Germany. Up to 40 jobs will be created over the course of the coming year. The institute is likely to be located at the Euref site in Schöneberg, Berlin.
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Schellnhuber receives renowned Volvo Environment Prize

11/04/2011 - The Volvo Environment Prize was awarded to the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in Stockholm yesterday. The internationally recognized prize for “outstanding innovations or scientific discoveries” is in its 20th year and is endowed with 160.000€. Schellnhuber is the first German to receive the prize.
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„Tireless admonisher“ receives Federal Cross of Merit

10/06/2011 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), was awarded the Order of Merit, first class, of the Federal Republic of Germany by President Christian Wulff this tuesday.
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