Dr Bjoern Soergel

I investigate the interactions between climate change, mitigation efforts, global inequality, and sustainable development. In particular, I study how to achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement without adverse side effects for other objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most notably the eradication of extreme poverty. I also work on modelling sustainable development pathways, i.e. holistic strategies to make as much progress towards the full spectrum of SDGs by 2030 as possible. Our latest study on this topic can be read here.

Another strand of my research deals with climate change impacts and how to represent them in integrated assessment models. I am also a member of the cross-sectoral science team of the ISIMIP project that compares impact models across a broad range of sectors.

I was originally trained as an astrophysicist: For my PhD at the University of Cambridge I studied the scattering of the cosmic microwave background in clusters of galaxies (the so-called Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect), using a mixture of observational data, theoretical calculations, and numerical simulations.


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20776
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


  • 2018: PhD in Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2014: MSc in Physics & Astrophysics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • 2012/13: exchange term at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain
  • 2011: BSc Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Research interests:

  • interlinkages between climate change, mitigation strategies, and sustainable development
  • consequences of climate impacts and mitigation strategies for global inequality and poverty
  • sustainable development pathways combining climate action with the SDGs
  • representation of the income distribution in integrated assessment modelling

  • B. Soergel, E. Kriegler, I. Weindl, S. Rauner, et al., A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda, Nature Climate Change, 11, 656–664 (2021) -> Read it for free here.
  • D. van Vuuren, et al. (incl. B. Soergel), Defining a Sustainable Development Target Space for 2030 and 2050 (2021), One Earth (in review), preprint
  • A. Méjean, C. Guivarch, F. Piontek, B. Soergel, N. Taconet, Climate Change Impacts and Economic Inequality (2021), review article (in prep.)
  • F. Piontek, L. Drouet, J. Emmerling, T. Kompas, A. Méjean, C. Otto, J. Rising, B. Soergel, N. Taconet, M. Tavoni, From biophysical to economic impacts of climate change: an integrated perspective (2021), Nature Climate Change 11, 563–572 (2021)
  • B. Soergel, et al., Combining ambitious climate policies with efforts to eradicate poverty (2021), Nature Communications 12, 2342 (2021)
  • Baumstark, L., et al. (incl. B. Soergel), REMIND2.1: Transformation and Innovation Dynamics of the Energy-Economic System within Climate and Sustainability Limits, Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, April, 1–50 (2021)
  • A. Schultes, F. Piontek, B. Soergel, et al., Economic damages from on-going climate change imply deeper near-term emission cuts (2020), Environmental Research Letters (in review), preprint
  • B. Soergel, The kinematic and thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects as probes of cosmology and astrophysics, PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, (2018)
  • H.T. Diehl et al. (incl. B. Soergel), Dark energy survey operations: years 4 and 5, Proc.SPIE Int.Soc.Opt.Eng. 10704 (2018) 107040D,
  • B. Soergel et al., Cosmology with the pairwise kinematic SZ effect: calibration and validation using hydrodynamical simulations, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 478 (2018) 4, 5320-5335
  • J. Zuntz et al. (incl. B. Soergel), Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Results: Weak Lensing Shape Catalogues, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 481 (2018) 1, 1149-1182
  • B. Soergel, et al., Constraints on AGN feedback from its Sunyaev–Zel'dovich imprint on the cosmic background radiation, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 468 (2017) 1, 577-596
  • A. Kovács et al. (incl. B. Soergel), Imprint of DES superstructures on the cosmic microwave background, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 465 (2017) 4, 4166-4179
  • A. Saro et al. (incl. B. Soergel), Optical–SZE scaling relations for DES optically selected clusters within the SPT-SZ Survey, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 468 (2017) 3, 3347-3360
  • B. Soergel, et al., Detection of the kinematic Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect with DES Year 1 and SPT, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 461 (2016) 3, 3172-3193
  • T. Giannantonio et al. (incl. B. Soergel), CMB lensing tomography with the DES Science Verification galaxies, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 456 (2016) 3, 3213-3244
  • B. Soergel et al., Constraining dark sector perturbations II: ISW and CMB lensing tomography, JCAP 02 (2015) 037