23/12/2016 - Groundwater has contributed greatly to increasing food security by ensuring water availability for irrigation at critical times. Today, 43 percent of global food production depends on groundwater use. However, water reserves are not endless, and climate change puts additional pressure on groundwater management. A new transdisciplinary and international research group on Water Management in the Future Earth Framework will address these challenges, co-chaired by Anne Biewald of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). As part of the Sustainable Water Future Programme, several research groups will bring together the best international expertise to drive solutions to the world’s water problems.
12/19/2016 - Benchmarks to guide countries in ratcheting-up their ambition to remain well-below 2°C and pursue 1,5°C in an equitable manner are critical but not yet determined in the context of the Paris Agreement. A new study published in Nature Climate Change analyzes the national climate targets needed to meet the 1.5°C and 2°C goals according to five different equity principles, and how these compare with the current climate pledges.
16/12/2016 - The holiday season is in full swing and many enjoy the opportunity to feast – or to make new year resolutions for a healthier diet. What we eat is more than a private decision – the agriculture and land use sector is one of the central players in ambitious climate change mitigation efforts. Yet, mitigation policies in agriculture may conflict with food security. A team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research analyzed the impacts on food prices under mitigation policies – targeting either incentives for producers or consumer preferences. They show that policy instruments to mitigate climate change with an educational approach to change food preferences can avoid unwanted impacts of climate change mitigation measures on food security.
14/12/2016 – Germany has taken the presidency of the G20 in the beginning of December. Leading PIK-scientists support the Federal Government in this process on several levels. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), handed over a Special Report with concrete recommendations for action on a transformation together with the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Last week at the kick-off of the so-called T20-process, the team of PIK’s chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer took the lead of the task force on climate policy.
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.
11/10/2016 - The Federal Cabinet appointed the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) for its next term - five of the nine Council members have been reappointed, among them PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute (DIE). For new positions, four women were appointed. With this cast, the council will work for the German government until 2020.
11/09/2016 - Science cannot expect positive climate action from President-elect Donald Trump, says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "The world has now to move forward without the US on the road towards climate-risk mitigation and clean-technology innovation," he states.
11/09/2016 - In stark contrast to previous plans, the German Federal Government did not pass its much debated climate action plan "Klimaschutzplan 2050" today. "Germany missed a major opportunity - an opportunity for businesses, since the climate mitigation plan would have offered a framework for developing clean technologies, and an opportunity for reforming the European Emissions Trading System," says Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The government might adopt a revised version of the plan next Wednesday, yet there's uncertainty about how the new document will look like.
11/09/2016 - Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are attending the current UN climate summit COP22 in Marrakesch from November 7 to 18. Amongst other events, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will speak at a side-event of the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the science-policy dialogue to reach Paris targets. PIK chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss the potential of the Paris Agreement in a side event with colleagues from Arizona State University, Harvard Kennedy School and others.
07/11/2016 - During a visit to Japan, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber further deepened the collaboration between the country´s scientific and political experts and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In July, PIK director Schellnhuber had visited Fukushima and held a keynote at the International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP). This time he elaborated concrete scientific exchange and policy advice.
11/03/2016 - From mean temperatures to weather extremes: the probably most comprehensive compendium on climate change in Germany was presented in Berlin today. 126 authors describe the possible impacts and adaptation strategies on different natural environments, economic sectors and areas of life. The report is designed as a complement to the work of the IPCC and will be published a few days before the next UN climate-conference in Marrakech.
10/24/2016 - To meet the climate stabilization targets of the Paris Agreement, the greenhouse gas emission reduction plans so far presented by nations worldwide have to be substantially improved. While renewables can almost fully decarbonize the power sector, aiming at a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit for global warming would require major additional efforts to also reduce emissions from demand sectors, for instance through a shift to electric and hydrogen vehicles. These are just some of the findings presented at the final meeting of the ADVANCE project this Monday in Brussels. The Acronym stands for “Advanced Model Development and Validation for Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation policies”, an unprecedented research effort funded by the European Union.
19/10/2016 - Carlos A. Nobre, one of the world-leading researchers on the Amazon rainforest and, among several high-ranking engagements, Member of the UN-Secretary General's Science Advisory Board on Global Sustainability, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
09/30/2016 - Volkswagen appointed a sustainability council - one of the members is Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The new body will meet for the first time at the end of October in Berlin. VW is selling more cars than any other corporation worldwide. The company is currently under pressure because of manipulations of diesel engines' emission measurements.