“The Great Urban Transformation“: Nobel Laureates call on cities to tackle sustainability challenge

04/25/2015 - Cities around the globe need to re-invent themselves if they want to be a safe home for generations to come. Nobel Laureates call upon cities to tackle the dual challenge of population growth and climate change and seize the opportunity to lead the transition to sustainability. National and internationally agreed greenhouse-gas reduction targets need to guide and support local action. The distinguished scientists signed a memorandum this week in Hong Kong at the end of the three-day Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability, convened for the first time in Asia. The Symposium was co-hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.
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Pope Francis' encyclical: PIK-scientists to speak in the Vatican and in Berlin

06/12/2015 - When the much anticipated environmental encyclical will be launched on 18 June, John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will give a speech in the Vatican. He's the only scientist to join Cardinal Peter Turkson for the presentation. In the run-up of the encyclical, Schellnhuber participated in a number of workshops organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The document issued by the leader of more than one billion Catholics around the world is expected to be an important signal on the road to a global agreement on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions which will be negotiated by governements at the world climate summit in Paris later this year.
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„A moral imperative“: Schellnhuber speaks at Vatican climate meeting

04/29/2015 - In the run-up of the much anticipated encyclica on climate change by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop with researchers as well as religious, business and civil society leaders this week. The list of distinguished speakers in the Vatican included UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the Nobel Laureates Yuan Tseh Lee and Paul Crutzen, Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California, the economist Jeffrey Sachs of New York's Columbia University, and John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The goal was, according to the organizers, to build a global movement to deal with climate change and sustainable development throughout 2015 and beyond.
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“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 - Nobel Laureates across the world and across disciplines this week are gathering in Hong Kong to elevate the debate on climate change to a new level and to feed into the world climate summit in Paris later this year. For the first time, the Nobel Laureates are meeting in Asia for the symposium, “4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities”. Cities are key to addressing the challenge of climate change which, if unabated, might result in a 4°C rise in mean temperature by the end of this century. Participants of the symposium include Nobel Prize winners Yuan T. Lee (Chemistry, 1986) from Taiwan, Brian Schmidt (Physics, 2011) from Australia, and James A. Mirrlees from the United Kingdom (Economics, 2006), complemented by international renowned experts such as K.S. Wong, Secretary for the Environment, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Aromar Revi of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
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Earth Day: Leading climate scientists publish essential elements for a global climate agreement

04/22/2015 - The Earth League, an international alliance of prominent climate scientists, outlined the elements of a global climate agreement in a stark statement published today, coinciding with Earth Day. Written by 17 world-leading scientists, among them PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, their statement clarifies in eight essential elements, what an international climate agreement in line with the 2 degree target should achieve in Paris in December. Bold action by decision-makers is required now to pave the way for a successful international agreement to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change, the Earth League members say.
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A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

20/04/2015 - From nature photography to climate research: The renowned French-Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado met with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, last weekend in Berlin. Following the opening of Salgado’s exhibition “Genesis”, hosted by C/O Berlin, they came together for a public discussion on Saturday at Delphi film palace.
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Panel Discussion on Climate Justice in Berlin

17/04/2015 - In collaboration with the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice (MRFCJ) the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) organized a public event in Berlin this week: Members of the Climate Justice Dialogue, including former Irish President Mary Robinson and PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, discussed in two interactive panels how vulnerable regions of the world are already undermined by climate change and what opportunities 2015 holds to counteract this development. “Protecting Human Rights in the Face of Climate Change” was the theme of the first panel while the second discussion focused on the requirements for a fair and sustainable shift to a zero carbon, climate-safe economy. The well attended event was hosted by Humboldt University Berlin.
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Top marks for PIK: Senate of the Leibniz Association confirms excellence

03/24/2015 - The senate of the Leibniz Association - an organisation uniting more than 80 scientific institutions - issued a statement on Monday which brings the evaluation of PIK to a successful conclusion. The research results of the institute as a whole were rated “outstanding”. The rating is based on a review carried out by a team of top international researchers, which takes place only once every seven years. The reviewers judged that PIK has developed into a globally leading institute for climate science. As well as its achievements in research, the institute's important role in scientific policy advice was praised.
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„Two Big Bangs“: PIK Research Days

02/04/2015 - Current and future research projects have been debated at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research last week – while also looking back at outstanding events of last year. The Research Days each year are a meeting of virtually all members of the institute, two days packed with lectures and discussions. This time topics ranged from the next world climate summit in Paris at the end of this year, to advancing computer simulation models of the climate system as well as the energy sector, something to achieve until the end of this decade.
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Schellnhuber speaks at World Economic Forum in Davos

01/23/2015 - The World Economic Forum in Davos, assembling hundreds of government and business leaders, invited the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, to speak. He joined a panel on climate risks with the Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the President of the financial services and rating company Standard & Poor's , and the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. The audience included scientists like Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University and policy-makers such as Christiana Figueres of the UNFCCC.
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Beyond Lima: Looking ahead to Paris 2015

12/30/2014 - With the climate conference in Lima closed again after prolonged and tough negotiations, and the year 2014 closing on course to be one of the hottest on record, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are looking ahead to next year’s summits on the road to COP21 in Paris. “2015 will set the stage for the living conditions of our grandchildren – and their grandchildren, too,” news agency Agence France Press, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media quoted Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK's director.
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Chair of the Green parliamentary group visits PIK

12/16/2014 – The chair of the Green parliamentary group in the German parliament, Anton Hofreiter, was briefed on the latest research results by leading climate scientists. During his visit at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research he discussed topics like the energy transition in Germany, the European Emissions Trading System, and carbon pricing with chief-economist Ottmar Edenhofer and with the head of the PIK research group Energy Strategies for Europe and Germany, Brigitte Knopf. Hofreiter also met with PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber to talk about the scientific background of the two degrees limit for global warming, tipping elements in the climate system, and the increasing risks of unabated global warming.
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Crown Princess of Norway meets with Schellnhuber

12/07/2014 - The Crown Princess of Norway, Mette-Marit, spoke at a roundtable discussion on climate change with distinguished researchers and selected business leaders. To share insights, she met with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the other participants on this occasion. The event was hosted by Statkraft, the renewable energy provider of Norway.
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UN Climate Conference COP20: The challenges of climate change and poverty

12/05/2014 - Delegates from more than 190 nations are gathering in Peru these days for the UN Climate Conference COP20. Among the conference participants are also scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, namely Chief-Economist Ottmar Edenhofer who is also a leading scientist in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Already in November, he spoke at the joint briefing by the Federal Foreign Office and the German Climate Consortium. Researchers of PIK, with their expertise in earth system changes and in solutions for the climate challenge, were frequently interviewed in the run-up to the summit.
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“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

12/01/2014 - In time with this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, a group of leading scientists, including Earth League members– a global alliance of prominent climate scientists –laid out in a joint paper the key elements of the ‘the necessary, the possible and the desirable’ in relation to climate change. Authors include Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Nick Stern of the London School of Economics, Peter Schlosser of Columbia University in New York City, and two scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of research domain Earth System Analysis, and director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.
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„Confronting the new normal“: World Bank launches PIK climate report

11/23/2014 - Weather extremes such as heat waves that up to now were highly unusual are likely to become the new normal, according to a report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now launched by the World Bank. Climate Change impacts are already being felt today and will grow even if warming is limited below 2 degrees. However, with unabated warming of probably 4 degrees within our century, the consequences increase drastically. The report is the third in a series, entitled “Turn down the heat” by the World Bank – now focused on how climate impacts and social vulnerability interact, or how the poor are hit hardest in Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and East and Central Asia.
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PIK Director receives cultural award and becomes honorary citizen of his hometown

11/10/2014 - More than 500 guests gathered recently to witness how Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, received the Cultural Award of Passau County. Schellnhuber's hometown Ortenburg also awarded him honorary citizenship in another ceremony. Mayor Stefan Lang presented him with the official document. "There are countless wonderful childhood memories tying me to my hometown, so I'm particularly delighted by this honor," said Schellnhuber.
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Green Party head in exchange with climate researchers

10/31/2014 - The co-chair of the German Green party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Simone Peter, recently visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for several hours of talks on current developments in climate science. Among the subjects discussed were sea-level rise, extreme weather situations and how they are caused by disruptions to global circulation patterns, the challenges arising from the German energy transition, and the chances for international climate policy. PIK, a research institute whose mission is to generate interdisciplinary insights and to provide sound scientific information for decision-makers, is visited regularly by representatives of various political parties and governments.
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Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes

08/12/2014 - Weather extremes in the summer - such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 - have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Man-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained. It has been linked to a recently discovered mechanism: the trapping of giant waves in the atmosphere. A new data analysis now shows that such wave-trapping events are indeed on the rise.
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New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project

09/25/2014 - The UN climate summit this week in New York brought progress in an unexpected way. "Most of the politicians in the hall gave speeches of the same old conventional type – effusive formulation, minimalistic commitment," said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who himself took part in the meeting of 120 heads of state. "But it took place against a novel background, generated on the streets of New York by more than 300,000 people. If the politicians don't pull from the front, civil society will just have to push. Last week we saw how climate protection is developing into a world citizens' movement."
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High-ranking Taiwanese delegation visits PIK

09/16/2014 – During a recent visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Minister of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wei Kuo-yen, was briefed on the latest climate change research findings. The 14-member delegation included the Representative of the Taipei Office in Germany, Agnes Hwa-Yue Chen, her deputy Klement Gu and scientists from leading Taiwanese universities and business representatives. During his discussion with the group, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber acknowledged the influence of the island, "What Taiwan does for climate change matters."
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Charity concert on the Telegraph Hill: The sound of the forest

09/02/2014 - For the second time, soloists of the renowned Staatskapelle Berlin and singers of the State Opera gathered for an exceptional charity concert on the Telegrafenberg (Telegraph Hill) in Potsdam. In the suspenseful darkness of the Great Refractor, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - spoke of the reason for creating and promoting this unique mix of music and science: "Science can appeal to the the mind of man, but music can win over his heart." Complemented by short presentations of PIK researchers Hermann Lotze-Campen, Susanne Rolinski and Christopher Reyer, this year's concert focused on "The Sound of the Forest" and included both classical and contemporary compositions.
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High-ranking Chinese researchers visit PIK

06/17/2014 - A high-level delegation from China was brought up to speed on a variety of topics - from rising sea levels to the problems of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - during a visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The delegation was led by Du Xiangwan, Director of the China Expert Panel on Climate Change (EPCC), which advises the Chinese State Council. Other acclaimed scholars from renowned Chinese institutions such as Tsinghua University were also present, including He Jiankun, Zhou Dadi and Chao Qingchen. The delegation also included Tian Chengchuan, Yuan Jiashuang and Zhu Songli, all of whom hold notable positions in key advisory bodies such as the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC). China is currently discussing its future carbon emission targets. Due to the country’s critical impact on the global climate and international climate policy, the outcome of this deliberation has been the subject of intense speculation and anticipation.
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"Excellent researcher, warm manners": farewell symposium for Gerstengarbe

06/02/2014 - One of the founding members and key figures of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honored with a farewell symposium last week. Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, assistant director of the institute and co-chair of its research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, embarked on his retirement. About 200 peers, colleagues, and friends, gathered to debate an issue dear to Gerstengarbe, a meteorologist who always cared about the practical implications of his findings: 'Climate and Climate Impact Research between Science and Society'.
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German Federal Environment Minister Hendricks Visits PIK

06/03/2014 – German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks was briefed by scientists of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) on current research developments. The minister, who has only held this office for several months, discussed recent findings and their impact on politics with PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber as well as other researchers. The focus of the talks was on the difficulties encountered in implementing climate policies.
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From Chaos to Order: How Ants optimize Food Search

05/27/2014 - Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways, biologists found. Yet the collective foraging behaviour of ants goes well beyond that, as a mathematical study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a surprisingly efficient self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena - for instance how humans roam in the internet.
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Capacity-building workshop on forthcoming World Bank Report

03/21/2014 - To share insights on a forthcoming report for the World Bank, including data and modelling, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) recently hosted a workshop for regional scientists. The report will provide analyses of climate change impacts on issues ranging from heat extremes to sea-level change in the Middle East and North Africa, agriculture in the Western Balkans/Central Asia and forests in Russia. It is the third in a series entitled “Turn down the heat” and is being produced in collaboration with Climate Analytics (CA). The aim is to identify development challenges created by global warming in order to assess social vulnerabilities.
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Climate negotiations overshadowed by typhoon

11/14/2013 - This year´s international climate conference that started this Monday in Warsaw is overshadowed by typhoon Haiyan that caused severe damages in the Philippines and is reported to have cost the lives of many thousands of people. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research were consulted by a number of media in Germany and abroad.
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Of grandchildren and foxes: Thomas Quasthoff in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

11/04/2013 - An evening of the special kind took place last Friday in the Allianz Stiftungsforum in Berlin. The renowned bass baritone Thomas Quasthoff met the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. With the theme “Culture meets Environment” topics like sustainability, generational equity and partially quite personal things were discussed and musically accompanied by soloists of the Staatskapelle Berlin, the trio Apollon.
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International climate research college opens in Melbourne

10/23/2013 - Global research opportunities will be available to the next generation of climate change and energy experts to tackle major environmental issues, with the launch of a new graduate research college in Melbourne today. The Australian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions will offer PhD candidates the opportunity to pursue research in areas relating to climate and energy, while also undertaking a six-month exchange program at a partner institution. The College is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and German partners the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the University of Potsdam, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Technical University of Berlin.
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