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SPECIAL: Indian monsoon: novel approach allows early forecasting

Indian rice farmer The Indian monsoon’s yearly onset and withdrawal can now be forecasted significantly earlier than previously possible. A team of scientists developed a novel prediction method based on a network analysis of regional weather data, and will propose this approach to the Indian Meteorological Department. The heavy summer rains are of vital importance for millions of farmers feeding the subcontinent’s population. Future climate change will likely affect monsoon stability and hence makes accurate forecasting even more relevant. Read more...

The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy

The Great Investment Turnaround: how to finance a sustainable world economy

07/20/2016 - Banks and insurers can play a crucial part in stabilizing the climate, while at the same time safeguarding their clients’ assets. Leading representatives of finance and climate research will discuss the best strategies for a turnaround in investing this Thursday in Berlin. The event is hosted by the Swiss global bank UBS, the French multinational insurance firm AXA, CDP, the European innovation initiative Climate-KIC, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Divestment – the diversion of capital from fossil fuel industries to green innovation and sustainable businesses – is a new approach to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, which could turn out to be a global “game changer”.

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Flood damages in Germany could multiply under climate change

Flood damages in Germany could multiply under climate change

07/19/2016 - Flood-related losses can be expected to increase considerably in Germany as a result of climate change, a new study shows. Extreme events like the severe floods along the river Elbe have already illustrated the potentially devastating consequences of certain weather conditions such as severe rainfall events, when continuing intense rain can no longer be absorbed by the soil and water levels in the rivers rise. Without appropriate adaptation, flood-related damage of currently about 500 million euros a year could multiply in the future, the comprehensive expert analysis published in the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences highlights.

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Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

07/14/2016 - The well-known author Karen Duve discussed questions of climate change and the future of societies with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) at the Pre-Opening of Potsdam´s festival of literature, LIT:Potsdam. In the new auditorium of PIK´s new research building, a delighted audience followed this exchange between literature and science.

Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Read More…

Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon

Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon

2016/07/14 - A novel approach of unprecedentedly early forecasting of the Indian Monsoon proved to be successful. The new methodology - developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - correctly predicted this year’s monsoon onset over central India and met great interest by both Indian academics and stakeholders, including the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The accurate long-range monsoon forecasting is of critical importance for millions of farmers in India.

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Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

06/30/2016 - The individual country pledges to reduce greenhouse gases made for the Paris agreement need to be strengthened in order to limit future climate change to well below 2°C. A new analysis by an international team of scientists illustrates that the current Paris pledges would lead to global temperature rise of 2.6 to 3.1°C by the end of the century. In fact, the entire carbon budget for limiting warming to below 2°C might have been emitted by 2030, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

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PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

06/27/2016 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) belongs to the best climate think tanks worldwide, the new ICCG Climate Think Tank Ranking shows. The assessment by the International Center for Climate Governance analyzed 240 cutting-edge institutions working in the field of climate change economics and policy. Based on a solid quantitative methodology and analytical data, the ICCG lists non-university affiliated think tanks in an absolute and a standardized ranking - the latter based on an institute's output in relation to the number of its researchers. In both competitions, PIK ranks fourth best global climate think tank.

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Controlled implosion of fossil industries and explosive renewables development can deliver on Paris

Controlled implosion of fossil industries and explosive renewables development can deliver on Paris

06/23/2016 - While some criticize the Paris climate target as impracticable, a team of scholars argues that it is – on the contrary – a triumph of realism. First, and most importantly, adhering to the Paris target of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius is necessary in view of the massive risks that unchecked climate change would pose to society. A crucial type of threats, associated with the crossing of tipping points in the Earth system, is summarized in a landmark map for the first time. Second, implementing the Paris target is feasible through the controlled implosion of the fossil industry, instigated by a technological explosion related to renewable energy systems and other innovations. Third, the target is simple enough to create worldwide political momentum, the scientists say in their comment published in Nature Climate Change.

Controlled implosion of fossil industries and explosive renewables development can deliver on Paris - Read More…

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