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2013

Beyond Warsaw: Looking forward to COP20

Beyond Warsaw: Looking forward to COP20

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.”

Beyond Warsaw: Looking forward to COP20 - Read More…

PIK wins Potsdam Congress Award

PIK wins Potsdam Congress Award

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.

PIK wins Potsdam Congress Award - Read More…

Jay Griffiths at PIK

Jay Griffiths at PIK

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.

Jay Griffiths at PIK - Read More…

Climate negotiations overshadowed by typhoon

Climate negotiations overshadowed by typhoon

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.

Climate negotiations overshadowed by typhoon - Read More…

Of grandchildren and foxes: Thomas Quasthoff in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Of grandchildren and foxes: Thomas Quasthoff in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

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.

Of grandchildren and foxes: Thomas Quasthoff in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Read More…

Award for equal opportunities in personnel policy

Award for equal opportunities in personnel policy

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.

Award for equal opportunities in personnel policy - Read More…

Pathways to a new international climate regime: Scientists present options at COP 19 in Warsaw

Pathways to a new international climate regime: Scientists present options at COP 19 in Warsaw

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.

Pathways to a new international climate regime: Scientists present options at COP 19 in Warsaw - Read More…

Cities show characteristic heat island effects

Cities show characteristic heat island effects

10/23/2013 - 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.

Cities show characteristic heat island effects - Read More…

International climate research college opens in Melbourne

International climate research college opens in Melbourne

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.

International climate research college opens in Melbourne - Read More…

Advisory panel of world-leading economists: Ottmar Edenhofer appointed member

Advisory panel of world-leading economists: Ottmar Edenhofer appointed member

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.

Advisory panel of world-leading economists: Ottmar Edenhofer appointed member - Read More…

World Summit of Agriculture Experts

World Summit of Agriculture Experts

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).

World Summit of Agriculture Experts - Read More…

“Closely related fates”: German and African scientists discuss climate change

“Closely related fates”: German and African scientists discuss climate change

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.

“Closely related fates”: German and African scientists discuss climate change - Read More…

Headlines and more on the IPCC’s new report

Headlines and more on the IPCC’s new report

10/15/2013 - „Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia“ – this is the first of 18 headline statements provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC with the recently published first part of its new Assessment Report (AR5). The media covered the reports’s release widely, asking lead authors and eminent experts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for their comments.

Headlines and more on the IPCC’s new report - Read More…

„Nature“ features portrait of  Ottmar Edenhofer

„Nature“ features portrait of Ottmar Edenhofer

09/19/2013 - The renowned scientific journal this week features an unusual article – a portrait of Ottmar Edenhofer. He’s not just vice-president and chief-economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research but also co-chair of the IPCC’s working group on mitigation of climate change. It is this position that the article highlights. Next week, the first part of the IPCC’s new assessement report will be published in Stockholm – it is about the physical science basis, summarizing the state of science after half a decade of intense research. The working group 3 is scheduled to present its results April next year, in Berlin.

„Nature“ features portrait of Ottmar Edenhofer - Read More…

“The body of evidence is overwhelming”: Prominent climate scientists issue stark statement

“The body of evidence is overwhelming”: Prominent climate scientists issue stark statement

09/17/2013 - Two weeks prior to the launch of the first section of the latest IPCC’s report on climate change, twelve members of the newly established Earth League – a global initiative of prominent climate scientists – have jointly published a stark statement. “The body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming,” they argue.

“The body of evidence is overwhelming”: Prominent climate scientists issue stark statement - Read More…

Water management in China: High-ranking delegation discusses with scientists

Water management in China: High-ranking delegation discusses with scientists

09/16/2013 - A high-ranking group of Chinese experts visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for discussions about water management under the conditions of climate change. The Haihe River Commission's delegation was led by its General Director Ren Xianshao, who is directly linked to the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic. Both sides discussed how a new cooperation project on the river basin of Luan can be realised. This river basin supplies Tianjin with water – the third largest city of China.

Water management in China: High-ranking delegation discusses with scientists - Read More…

Climate game successfully crowdfunded

Climate game successfully crowdfunded

09/18/2013 - The crowdfunding campaign for a new edition of the climate board game KEEP COOL has been closed successfully. 353 supporters paid altogether more than 13,000 Euros into the platform Startnext. Thanks to its fans, the game will be available again for schools and universities, organisations and private players in November 2013.

Climate game successfully crowdfunded - Read More…

Science meets music – the Staatskapelle Berlin at Telegrafenberg

Science meets music – the Staatskapelle Berlin at Telegrafenberg

09/13/2013 - Soloists from the Staatskapelle Berlin will come to Telegrafenberg Potsdam for a charity concert of a very special kind tonight to support an environmental protection project. The "orchestra of change” wants to break open old habits and that not only musically – the concert will take place in the dark of the unique atmosphere of the cupola of the “Great Refractor”. Host will be Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who will accompany the evening with scientific insights. Under a huge astronomical telescope, the past will meet the present, the guests will hear works of Johann Sebastian Bach and modern composers like Eugène Ysaÿe, Daniel Schnyder and László Dubrovay.

Science meets music – the Staatskapelle Berlin at Telegrafenberg - Read More…

Income more important for carbon footprint than metropolitan living

Income more important for carbon footprint than metropolitan living

09/11/2013 - Socio-economic drivers like income, education, car ownership or household size seem to be much more important for the carbon footprint of local areas than geographic and infrastructural drivers, a study by Jan Minx from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and his colleagues shows. Using data from the United Kingdom, the scientists compared consumption-based carbon footprints of 434 municipalities across the country with territorial CO2 emission estimates and found that – whether rural or urban – the way of living makes the real difference.

Income more important for carbon footprint than metropolitan living - Read More…

"Energiewende": Cost Driver or Climate Rescuer?

"Energiewende": Cost Driver or Climate Rescuer?

08/30/2013 - One of the greatest challenges for the new federal government to be in office as of autumn is - independent of its political composition – the energy turnaround. In the target triangle of food security, efficiency and sustainability, tension is increasing. At the background meeting of the German Climate Consortium last week, the central question therefore was “Energiewende: Cost driver or climate rescuer? The answer: “So far neither nor” said Brigitte Knopf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Together with Erik Gawel from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), she answered questions from journalists.

"Energiewende": Cost Driver or Climate Rescuer? - Read More…

Extreme events forcing global warming? Climate extremes and the carbon cycle

Extreme events forcing global warming? Climate extremes and the carbon cycle

08/15/2013 – Extreme events like heat waves, droughts, heavy rain might not only occur more frequently due to climate change. They could also force global warming if terrestrial ecosystems release CO2 as a result of those extremes. An international team of researchers now analyzed the impacts of extremes on forests, bogs, grass landscapes and arable areas througout the world, among them scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Terrestrial ecosystems absorb about 11 billion tons less carbon dioxide every year as the result of the extreme climate events than they could if the events did not occur, the researchers write in the renowned journal Nature. This is equivalent to approximately a third of global CO2 emissions per year.

Extreme events forcing global warming? Climate extremes and the carbon cycle - Read More…

Reaping the benefits of renewables in a nonoptimal world

Reaping the benefits of renewables in a nonoptimal world

07/02/2013 - Upscaling renewable energy technologies such as wind or solar has a number of direct effects – less greenhouse-gas emissions for instance, and lower local air pollution. Economists rightly recommend a well-tailored set of policy instruments such as emissions cap-and-trade for CO2 or SO2 to tackle these effects. However, in a world in which these instruments cannot be implemented effectively – that is reality in some parts of the world – cobenefits of climate policy like reduced local air pollution might be a compelling narrative. This can be actually observed in the US right now. Still, these are not a substitute for efficient policy instruments, argue Ottmar Edenhofer and his colleagues of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in a comment to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week.

Reaping the benefits of renewables in a nonoptimal world - Read More…

Intense exchange with African experts

Intense exchange with African experts

07/01/2013 - Two groups of high-level experts from Africa came to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an intense exchange on pressing issues like changing precipitation patterns and water availability under unabated global warming. Most importantly, one delegation sought advice for designing the Pan African Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) at the Abou Bakr Belkaïd University in Tlemcen, Algeria - this institute is supposed to provide expertise for the whole continent. Before visiting PIK, the group met with the German Minister of Economic Development and Cooperation to officially announce financial support for the project.

Intense exchange with African experts - Read More…

Carbon Dioxide Removal: Assessing potentials - and risks

Carbon Dioxide Removal: Assessing potentials - and risks

06/24/2013 - With global greenhouse-gas emissions continuing to rise and a possibility that international cooperation in climate policy will continue to be delayed, a number of large-scale technical approaches have been suggested to counter strong climate change. Direct carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere is a measure that two groups of scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK) are now looking into. Theoretically, it could make ambitious mitigation economically more feasible, increase the likelihood of achieving the 2-degrees warming threshold agreed by the international community, or lower atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the future to partially compensate for lack of mitigation today. The PIK projects are part of a programme financed by Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft on climate engineering that is starting this month.

Carbon Dioxide Removal: Assessing potentials - and risks - Read More…

Floods in the light of climate change

Floods in the light of climate change

06/21/2013 - The nationwide floods have been keeping the country´s attention for some time now. This week, the Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier, visited flooded regions near Dessau/Bitterfeld. He was accompanied by Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), who briefed him on the relation between climate change and extreme weather events, as well as a number of other high-ranking experts. In the previous weeks, Gerstengarbe and other PIK scientists have given several interviews on the subject, mainly on the question if climate change is one of the causes for the floods.

Floods in the light of climate change - Read More…

Top rank amongst European climate think tanks

Top rank amongst European climate think tanks

06/19/2013 - Of all European think tanks focusing on climate change issues, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) holds the first place, according to a new analysis. The ranking is based on the record of publications and events. It builds on actual data, not just a survey, the authors from the International Center for Climate Governance, Italy, point out.

Top rank amongst European climate think tanks - Read More…

“Vulnerable regions are where the climate rubber meets the road”: 2nd report for World Bank

“Vulnerable regions are where the climate rubber meets the road”: 2nd report for World Bank

06/19/2013 - Crop yields put at risk in Sub-Saharan Africa, extremes of water scarcity and excess in South Asia and floodings of coastal cities in South-East Asia are but a few of the likely impacts of unabated climate change. They are investigated in the second report of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Climate Analytics commissioned by the World Bank: “Turn down the Heat II: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience”. The analysis scrutinizes the state of science on impacts in a 4 degree warming world up to the end of this century. It was presented in London today.

“Vulnerable regions are where the climate rubber meets the road”: 2nd report for World Bank - Read More…

Art and science met in „climate city“ Bremerhaven

Art and science met in „climate city“ Bremerhaven

06/17/2013 - For two weekends, climate was in the center of attention in Bremerhaven. The festival ODYSSEE: KLIMA of the city theater Bremerhaven presented a number of artists and scientists, among them some experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to introduce their projects.

Art and science met in „climate city“ Bremerhaven - Read More…

Summerly "Smartest Night of the Year"

Summerly "Smartest Night of the Year"

06/11/2013 - Bright sunshine and a varied program attracted many visitors at this year´s 13th Long Night of Science at Potsdam´s Telegrafenberg. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research took part with a whole number of choices for curious people of all ages – this year for the first time in Berlin as well. The program included everything from a panel discussion on climate impacts in Germany to movies to crime fiction. Yet the historic buildings in the park turned out to be the night´s brightest star, considering the great weather.

Summerly "Smartest Night of the Year" - Read More…

Compensation fund for climate change impacts: study explores fund  architecture

Compensation fund for climate change impacts: study explores fund architecture

06/10/2013 - International climate policy is increasingly aware of the need of compensation for “loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change”, as it has been put in the final text of the recent world climate summit in Doha, Qatar. However, a practical mechanism is missing. Now scientists outline options for a voluntary, international compensation fund with specialized, independent climate courts to elucidate how damages should be actually compensated. The purpose of the fund is to compensate those who experience anthropogenic climate impacts in a structured way.

Compensation fund for climate change impacts: study explores fund architecture - Read More…

PIK’s junior scientists address uncertainties

PIK’s junior scientists address uncertainties

05/10/2013 - „Nothing is as uncertain as the future“ – about 100 aspiring junior scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research discussed uncertainties in climate impact research at their annual „PhD Day“ this week. At the fourth meeting of that kind, the scientists talked about various aspects of uncertainties in their research in „World Café“ style, switching discussion groups and topics regularly to exchange views with each other. Tony Patt from the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) gave a keynote on uncertainty and the science/policy interface.

PIK’s junior scientists address uncertainties - Read More…

Schellnhuber reappointed for government advisory council

Schellnhuber reappointed for government advisory council

05/08/2013 - The Federal Governement of Germany today decided upon the appointments for the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Globale Umweltveränderungen, WBGU). Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and long-standing chair of the council, has been confirmed as a member. Being an independent scientific counseling body, WBGU is charged to develop recommendations for the governement. Its members will be in office until 2016.

Schellnhuber reappointed for government advisory council - Read More…

Research on Antarctica awarded with prize for upcoming scientists

Research on Antarctica awarded with prize for upcoming scientists

05/03/2013 - For her research on climate change and the Antarctic ice shield, Ricarda Winkelmann was awarded with a young scientists prize. The Natural Sciences Department at the University of Potsdam presents this prize for outstanding publications. Winkelmann, aged 27, leads the group on projections of Antarctica´s contribution to future global sea level rise at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The jury highlighted her "most impressive contribution to our understanding of the physics of Antarctica's ice shield dynamics."

Research on Antarctica awarded with prize for upcoming scientists - Read More…

Climate-KIC: Strategy retreat and green garage

Climate-KIC: Strategy retreat and green garage

04/25/2013 – More than 60 representatives of science and industry meet at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this week for a two-day strategy meeting of Climate-KIC. The European network of Climate Knowledge and Innovation Communities brings together research, businesses and technology to kick off innovation in climate mitigation and adaptation with creative partnerships. Partners of Climate-KIC in addition to PIK are for instance the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich, the Imperial College in London and companies like Bayer Technology Services or Electricité de France.

Climate-KIC: Strategy retreat and green garage - Read More…

Schellnhuber briefs stakeholder conference on the 2015 agreement on climate policy

Schellnhuber briefs stakeholder conference on the 2015 agreement on climate policy

04/17/2013 - The preparations for the next climate agreement that is supposed to be reached in 2015 are already taking shape – and civil society is being asked to accompany and support the EU´s development/decision process. On invitation by Connie Hedegaard, the EU´s Commissioner for Climate Action, a number of experts and decision makers meet at a stakeholder´s conference in Brussels today. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has been asked to hold a keynote on the state of play in climate science.

Schellnhuber briefs stakeholder conference on the 2015 agreement on climate policy - Read More…

Risk management in climate impact research

Risk management in climate impact research

04/04/2013 - Even the best research cannot predict the future. To respond to the challenges of climate mitigation and adaptation, decisions have to be made based on uncertainties – for example when a new embankment is to be built that is supposed to withstand even a strong storm surge. Systematic strategies of risk management could enhance such decision processes and play an important part in the development of robust policy options, a team of international scientists, among them Ottmar Edenhofer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), writes in Nature Climate Change. Their study “Risk Management and Climate Change” analyses the use of appropriate instruments for the assessment of potential climate impacts.

Risk management in climate impact research - Read More…

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

03/28/2013 - For his „important contribution to research on the global impact of civilization on the climate, and fostering awareness for these findings in society and politics”, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, was awarded the Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013 of Urania Potsdam last night. Among the many felicitators were the Brandenburg Minister of Science, Research and Culture, Sabine Kunst, and Potsdam´s mayor Jann Jakobs.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013 - Read More…

A cold March despite of climate change

A cold March despite of climate change

03/28/2013 - March 2013 in Europe has been somewhat cold. How this might be linked to global warming was shown by a study by PIK scientist Vladimir Petoukhov in 2010 already. The shrinking of sea-ice in the eastern Arctic causes some regional heating of the lower levels of air – which may lead to strong anomalies in atmospheric airstreams, triggering an overall cooling of the northern continents. These anomalies could increase the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia, the analysis showed.

A cold March despite of climate change - Read More…

From climate to medicine: complex systems science shows broad range of applications

From climate to medicine: complex systems science shows broad range of applications

2013/03/21 – Researchers from various fields of complex systems science, and from various countries, are gathering this week in Potsdam. They tackle issues from astrophysics to climate research, fromj neuroscience to physiology – thereby illustrating the strong interdisciplinary character as well as the broad range of applications for the mathematical methodologies of nonlinear data analysis. The meeting marks the occasion of the 60th birthday of Jürgen Kurths, co-chair of the department 'Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods' at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). An internationally recognized complex systems scientist, during his career he has explored issues of virtually all the fields that now being discussed at the conference.

From climate to medicine: complex systems science shows broad range of applications - Read More…

Permafrost soil thawing accelerates climate change despite more abundant vegetation

Permafrost soil thawing accelerates climate change despite more abundant vegetation

2013/03/13 - Global warming affects permafrost soils, for instance in Siberia, in two opposing ways. Their thawing accelerates decomposition processes in the soil, leading to higher CO2 emissions. On the other hand, enhanced vegetation growth due to higher temperatures leads to carbon intake by the plants, and consequently storage in the soil. However, the – often neglected – second effect in the long run cannot counter the first one, reveals a study now published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Permafrost soil thawing accelerates climate change despite more abundant vegetation - Read More…

Naturkundemuseum and PIK link history and future

Naturkundemuseum and PIK link history and future

03/08/2013 - Naturkundemuseum Berlin, Germany´s leading natural history museum, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have agreed to work closer together at a meeting in early March. When a delegation from the museum, led by its Director-General Prof. Dr. Johannes Vogel, visited PIK, a number of ideas for a closer cooperation were identified.

Naturkundemuseum and PIK link history and future - Read More…

Call for Applications: Global Sustainability Summer School 2013

Call for Applications: Global Sustainability Summer School 2013

03/07/2013 - "Complex(c)ity – urbanization and energy transitions in a changing climate": this is the title of the 2013 Global Sustainability Summer School. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) now call for applications. The intense two-week programme explores global sustainability issues from a complex systems’ perspective with particular focus on urbanization, energy transition and climate change.

Call for Applications: Global Sustainability Summer School 2013 - Read More…

IPCC calls for expert reviewers

IPCC calls for expert reviewers

03/04/2013 - In the run-up to the publication of its fifth assessment report which will present the state of climate science next year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for expert reviewers to provide comments on the second order draft of the working group III contribution, which covers the mitigation of climate change. The scientists who are organizing this process ask for voluntary contributions from experts across all sectors, from scholars to business people or NGO representatives.

IPCC calls for expert reviewers - Read More…

Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity

Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity

02/28/2013 - The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, yesterday in Brussels met the newly appointed members of his Science and Technology Advisory Council (PSTAC). Physicist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will be part of this independent group of eminent experts. The Council is charged to provide foresight and recommendations that could be used to explore opportunities and make informed judgements based on the evidence and advice provided.

Schellnhuber to advise EU Commission’s President in new capacity - Read More…

Earth League: International network established by leading research institutes

Earth League: International network established by leading research institutes

02/14/13 - Leading research institutes from more than 10 nations joined forces last week in London and launched the “Earth League”. As a global alliance of eminent scientific representatives from climate research, environmental sciences and economics, this distinguished network focuses on planetary processes and sustainability issues. The Earth League will meet once a year to provide robust background information for decision makers on the most urging challenges for the future.

Earth League: International network established by leading research institutes - Read More…

Scenario 2040 for Germany: How climate change alters our daily life

Scenario 2040 for Germany: How climate change alters our daily life

02/08/2013 - “Two degrees Celsius more in Germany” – scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and sociologists analyzed what this might mean in detail. A book with the same title was just released by Fischer publishing house, addressing a broad public. Hot summers with average temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius are only one example of many potential impacts of climate change in Germany: “People in the cities will be affected as well as agriculture and forestry,” says PIK scientist and co-editor Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe. The “Scenario 2040” outlines these impacts and illustrates how climate change alters our everyday life.

Scenario 2040 for Germany: How climate change alters our daily life - Read More…

New faces in Board of Trustees and Scientific Advisory Board

New faces in Board of Trustees and Scientific Advisory Board

01/29/2013 - The two supervisory bodies of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research both show a new line-up in 2013. The head of the executive board of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), Hildegard Müller, is now a member of the board of trustees. “Climate research provides central insights for sustainable climate protection,” Müller says. “PIK has delivered important scientific contributions for years. The German Energy and Water Industries are committed to climate protection. They are holding to the goal they already adopted in 2009, to ensure a CO2 neutral energy supply by 2050, and hence to unite sustainable climate protection with affordable energy supply. They support the goals of the German energy system transformation.”

New faces in Board of Trustees and Scientific Advisory Board - Read More…

Early emissions peak more relevant than emissions reduction rate: study

Early emissions peak more relevant than emissions reduction rate: study

01/14/2012 - Avoiding negative impacts of global warming depends more on starting early to let greenhouse-gas emissions decline than on the rate of reductions after the peak. This is one key outcome of the first global-scale assessment of climate change impacts across sectors, from coastal flooding to crop failure, now published in Nature Climate Change. The analysis suggests that a policy of remaining below a 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise target could reduce impacts by 20 to 65 percent relative to a business-as-usual scenario.

Early emissions peak more relevant than emissions reduction rate: study - Read More…

Shareholder liability: key to energy systems transformation

Shareholder liability: key to energy systems transformation

01/08/2013 – Assigning full liability for environmental impacts to the shareholders of corporations would reduce the rigidity of the fossil-nuclear energy economy and help establish an alternative energy system, a new study shows. Without such changes of regulation, a dynamic lock-in pattern of the energy economy dominates: Capital flows to the established corporations and technologies instead of flowing to nascent alternative and more sustainable ones, this pattern is known as the ‘success to the successful mode’. The paper by Jérôme Dangerman of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will be published this week in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Shareholder liability: key to energy systems transformation - Read More…

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