Climate disasters like heat-waves or droughts enhance the risk of armed conflicts in countries with high ethnic diversity, scientists found. They used a novel statistical approach to analyze data from the past three decades. While each conflict is certainly the result of a complex and specific mix of factors, it turns out that the outbreak of violence in ethnically fractionalized countries is often linked to natural disasters that may fuel smoldering social tensions. This finding, to be published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, can help in the design of security policies – even more so since future global warming from human-made greenhouse-gas emissions will increase natural disasters and therefore likely also risks of conflicts and migration.
Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), speaks at the distinguished Tanner Lecture at Princeton University. Free and open to the public, the Tanner Lectures On Human Values are conducted by leaders of their field. The lectures are considered to be among the most renowned lecture series in the United States, presented annually at each of nine renowned universities including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Utah, Yale, and the University of California, Berkeley.
2016/11/28 – Max Franks from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honoured with the Potsdam Young Scientist Award. Mayor Jann Jakobs handed the prize to Franks at the Einstein Day of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in appreciation of his outstanding achievements in the field of economic sciences.
11/21/2016 – After the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the climate conference in Marrakech confirmed once more that energy production based on the use of coal has no future, if international climate targets are to be met. This was not only relevant for the United Nations, but also for Europe, Germany or the Federal State of Brandenburg. Business as usual with lignite would not only harm the world climate, but also the economic development of regions like the German Lausitz. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, recently spoke about these topics at the state of Brandenburg’s press conference. Together with Marc Lawrence of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), he was invited by the journalists to comment on the first year of the Paris Agreement, on German climate policy and the relevance for the Federal State of Brandenburg. Schellnhuber promoted the idea of developing a phase-out plan for coal use which would shape the transformation towards clean energy technologies with the aim of creating sustainable jobs in lignite-minig areas such as the Lausitz and the Rhineland.
11/18/2016 - The UN climate summit COP22 in Morocco sent a signal of renewed confidence in the Paris climate agreement - despite the widespread concern that the USA under President Donald Trump might drop out of international climate policy. Leading scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research most actively participated in the international meeting which concluded today. Countries including oil-exporting Saudia Arabia expressed the wish to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Almost 200 nations at two-week talks agreed a statement that the fight against climate change was an "urgent duty" and "irreversible".
11/15/2016 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) again received the award "Total E-Quality". The award is granted for a period of three years to companies, scientific institutions and administrations for exemplary personnel management in terms of equal opportunities. PIK has now received the award for the third time.
11/14/2016 - A team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was able to predict the withdrawal of the Indian Summer Monsoon 70 days in advance and therefore much earlier than previously possible. While their assessment on the expected onset earlier this year already proved correct, the actual weather observations from NOAA now confirm that their unprecedentedly early forecast on the monsoon withdrawal was accurate as well. The heavy summer rains are of crucial relevance for agriculture and accordingly for millions of people on the subcontinent. The improved monsoon predictions are based on a cutting-edge methodology developed at the Potsdam Institute.
11/09/2016 - A new analysis of more than 700,000 years climate history shows that with ongoing greenhouse gas emissions our planet might warm even more than previously predicted. In the past, Earth’s temperatures varied strongly, driven by a variety of factors including CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This provides valuable information for assessing the climate effect of modern times’ burning of fossil fuels. A study now published in Science Advances indicates that human-caused warming might even exceed earlier projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This would mean that we can emit even less CO2 to meet the temperature target of the Paris Agreement: keep warming below 2 degrees.