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 sustainable development objectives, such as the eradication of poverty. My work also contributes to finding strategies that can still achieve many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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 et al., Combining ambitious climate policies with efforts to eradicate poverty, EAERE conference paper (2020)
  • 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., 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., 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., Imprint of DES superstructures on the cosmic microwave background, Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 465 (2017) 4, 4166-4179
  • A. Saro et al., 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., 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