To bridge the gap between science-based targets focused on cutting greenhouse gases, and national commitments to such efforts, international experts propose in the highly renowned journal ‘Science’ a decadal roadmap strategy for achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century. They base this on a simple “carbon law” of halving anthropogenic carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions each decade.
04/24/2017 - More than 400 researchers and representatives from politics, businesses and society will discuss the concept of Planetary Boundaries this week in Berlin. Environmental pressures are rapidly increasing worldwide, with mounting risks for sustainable development. To allow future generations to live in dignity and peace, humanity needs to operate within a safe operating space delineated by the Planetary Boundaries. Keynote speakers include German Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, Heinrich Bottermann, General Secretary of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and Johan Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
04/19/2017 - As an "attack on the Enlightenment", the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, described the post-truth populism in a guest contribution to the leading German weekly "Zeit". In more than 500 cities worldwide, the "March for Science" - demonstrations for science - takes place on April 22nd. Schellnhuber supports the corresponding activities in Germany. Other PIK scientists are involved as well, a number of them have already articulated their stance in advance.
04/05/2017 - While start-up costs of thermal power plants increase due to the energy transition, they remain on a rather low level. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Energy by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). Before power plants fueled by coal, gas or oil are able to generate electricity, they have to be started up to a minimum load level. This incurs costs related to additional fuel consumption as well as wear and tear.
31/03/2017 - In a policy brief for the G20, an expert group urges the governments of the world's leading economies to track progress on the state of food security and, based on this, to scale investment opportunities and target their interventions. Hermann Lotze-Campen, head of the research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, contributed to this report which is part of the Think Tank 20 (T20) process under Germany’s G20 presidency.
03/30/2017 - When anonymity between people is lifted, they more likely cooperate with each other. Playing nice can thereby become a winning strategy, an international team of scientists shows in a study to be published in Science Advances. The findings are based on experiments with a limited number of participants but might have far-reaching implications, if confirmed. Reducing anonymity could help social networks such as Facebook or Twitter that suffer from hate and fake news. It might also help in conflicts about environmental resources.
03/29/2017 - US President Trump recently signed an executive order to roll back US climate policies. "Donald Trump's attempt to turn the US into a Jurassic Park run by dinosaur energy will eventually fail," comments Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
03/27/2017 - The increase of devastating weather extremes in summer is likely linked to human-made climate change, mounting evidence shows. Giant airstreams are circling the Earth, waving up and down between the Arctic and the tropics. These planetary waves transport heat and moisture. When these planetary waves stall, droughts or floods can occur. Warming caused by greenhouse-gases from fossil fuels creates favorable conditions for such events, an international team of scientists now finds.