02/24/2014 - There are networks within the climate system of the earth: Changes at one point can trigger changes at another, far away point – so an El Niño-event in South America can interfere with the Asian monsoon. Up to now, these correlations could only be determined statistically by comparing observation data and time series. A study now for the first time reveals the physical mechanisms behind the statistics. According to an article published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in the journal Scientific Reports, a new open access journal of the renowned Nature group, flows are of prime interest here.
02/18/2014 - Glaciers are melting in the Andes and the rain forest of the Amazon is threatened – Colombia knows the risks of global warming. The Minister of the Environment Luz Helena Sarmiento Villamizar together with her vice minister and other high-ranking representatives of the South American country came to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for discussions about the research on climate impacts and countermeasures. The end of the internal armed conflicts of many years leads to increased forest clearing – the pressure on the ecosystems is thus increasing from all sides, according to the Minister. Therefore, she is urgently seeking scientific support.
02/17/2014 - Renowned scientists met at the annual conference of the Climate Service Center last week on Potsdam´s Telegraph Hill. Under the motto “Society under climate change: Which adaptation is necessary, possible, and sustainable?” the issue of adaptation was in the focus for two days – since even if global warming was limited to two degrees Celsius, the impacts would already be significant. The Climate Service Center (CSC) of the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht, whose offices are located in Hamburg, is funded by the Federal Government.
02/11/2014 - The most crucial instrument of European climate policy, the Emissions Trading System (ETS), is currently questioned to deliver the desired results as the sum to pay per ton of carbon is dwindling. To move beyond a narrow discussion of the adequate allowance price level, the association of European national academies of applied sciences Euro-CASE along with the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) is convening a high-level workshop in Brussels this week. It aims at exploring options for a reform, and to do so by embedding the discussion about the ETS in the context of its interaction with national policies as well as public finance.
02/04/2014 - Without increased coastal protection, between one and ten out of 200 people per year could be affected by flooding by the end ouf our century. In such a scenario of unmitigated climate change, the damages induced by sea-level rise without adaptive measure could be expected to be between 1.2 and 9.3 percent of economical activity. These are some results of a yet unprecedentedly broad analysis now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Building dikes would cost substantial amounts of money – yet much less than the damages by flooding without protection, according to the analysis.
01/31/2014 - Ottmar Edenhofer discusses “Climate Change as a Challenge for International Politics” at the 50th Munich Security Conference. From crop failure due to climate change to scarcity of resources or migration flows – the potential risks of climate change for stability, development and security are in the focus of the event with renowned experts and decision makers.
01/27/2014 - The World Bank is launching its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) based on the report “Turn down the Heat – Why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided” conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The online course offers a curriculum of four weeks of learning about climate change, from observed changes and impacts of the past to a 4°C warmer world, with leading experts as lecturers, among them PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf, chair of PIK’s research domain Earth System Analysis.
01/27/2014 - The ten-year research programme “Future Earth”, an initiative of leading international scientific organizations bringing together existing programmes on global environmental change, starts its first German summit in Berlin today. More than 230 experts from natural and social sciences as well as engineering, the humanities and law will discuss new, interdisciplinary approaches or research in three core areas: Dynamic Planet, Global Development, and the Transition towards Sustainability. They aim at providing knowledge needed to tackle the most urgent challenges of the 21st century related to global sustainability through open and collaborative processes in partnership with society and users of science.
11/24/2013 - As the world climate conference in Warsaw closes, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research are focusing on the next summits, and they are also investigating complementary approaches for tackling the climate challenge. “We still can achieve an agreement to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, but 2014 really has to bring some substantial progress,” PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber says, referring to the meeting of world leaders in September 2014 to be convened by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, as well as COP20 in Lima, Peru. “Warsaw did not yet deliver such progress, not surprisingly.”
11/15/2013 - In two categories at once, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has won the Potsdam Congress Award 2013. PIK´s international climate impacts conference “Impacts World 2013” as well as the „Global Sustainability Summer School“ that PIK has organized together with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) twice already were honoured by Potsdam´s mayor Jann Jacobs at the Potsdam convention center.
11/15/2013 - The British writer Jay Griffiths is the current “Artist in Residence” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and will read from her new book “Kith” tonight. Since summer 2011, PIK uses the building of a former photo refractor at Potsdam´s Telegrafenberg as a studio for artists and a meeting place for scientists and artists. Jay Griffiths has been at PIK since October.
11/14/2013 - This year´s international climate conference that started this Monday in Warsaw is overshadowed by typhoon Haiyan that caused severe damages in the Philippines and is reported to have cost the lives of many thousands of people. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research were consulted by a number of media in Germany and abroad.
11/04/2013 - An evening of the special kind took place last Friday in the Allianz Stiftungsforum in Berlin. The renowned bass baritone Thomas Quasthoff met the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. With the theme “Culture meets Environment” topics like sustainability, generational equity and partially quite personal things were discussed and musically accompanied by soloists of the Staatskapelle Berlin, the trio Apollon.
11/04/2013 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) again received the title “Total-E-Quality”. The title was awarded on Thursday in Ehningen close to Stuttgart to companies, associations and scientific institutions as well as administrations that have anchored equal opportunities firmly to their personnel management. This year, 59 organizations from all over Germany received the award.
10/31/2013 - How can the next global climate agreement combine bottom-up initiatives from the national or subnational levels with multilateral top-down coordination? And how can such “hybrid” approaches deliver ambitious mitigation? These questions are addressed in a joint Issue Brief now published by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) – founded by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Stiftung Mercator last year – and the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. The findings will be discussed on November 20 at a side-event at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, COP-19, in Warsaw, often referred to as the world climate summit.
19/23/2013 - Cities heat up stronger than the rural regions surrounding them – and if climate change continues, this will become a risk for the inhabitants. On the basis of satellite data, researchers have now more comprehensively than ever before investigated this so-called heat island effect for thousands of cities in Europe. This effect can be noticed in everyday life: If you ride your bicycle from the green surroundings into a city on a hot day, you will often notice a temperature change. The larger a city is, the stronger is the effect, previous studies assumed. Now scientists could for the first time show that the urban heat island effect is in fact increasing with the size of the city – yet only up to a certain threshold value. The analysis revealed that even large cities are getting hotter than their surrounding by only two to three degrees on the average.
10/23/2013 - Global research opportunities will be available to the next generation of climate change and energy experts to tackle major environmental issues, with the launch of a new graduate research college in Melbourne today. The Australian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions will offer PhD candidates the opportunity to pursue research in areas relating to climate and energy, while also undertaking a six-month exchange program at a partner institution. The College is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and German partners the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the University of Potsdam, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Technical University of Berlin.
10/21/2013 - The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate called on Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Deputy Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), to join its advisory panel. The commission – also named ‘Calderon Commission’ after its head, the former Mexican president – aims at elucidating the financial effects of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. As a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of The New Climate Economy, Edenhofer will be siding world-leading economists including Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and Nick Stern of the London School of Economics.
10/16/2013 - The “World Food Prize” is considered as something like the Nobel Prize of Agricultural Science. It will be awarded within the framework of the Borlaug Dialogue Symposium starting today, where numerous internationally renowned experts from science, politics and economy will meet. Among the speakers is also Hermann Lotze-Campen from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
10/16/2013 - Sharing information and ideas about adaptation to climate change in Africa and identifying science-based recommendations on strategies for policymakers was the aim of a workshop held in Cameroon last week. It was organized by the Network of African Science Academies together with the German National Academy Leopoldina and assembled representatives from 14 countries. The keynote on the climate challenge was provided by PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.