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2014

Honours for young PIK scientists

Honours for young PIK scientists

12/31/2014 - Jonathan Donges of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research received the Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize for his achievements in modelling the climate system. The award of the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP (Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction) in Hamburg honours outstanding doctoral theses of young scientists under the age of thirty years. The jury described Donges dissertation, submitted to Berlin’s Humboldt University, as an innovative and outstanding contribution to current climate research.

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Beyond Lima: Looking ahead to Paris 2015

Beyond Lima: Looking ahead to Paris 2015

12/30/2014 - With the climate conference in Lima closed again after prolonged and tough negotiations, and the year 2014 closing on course to be one of the hottest on record, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are looking ahead to next year’s summits on the road to COP21 in Paris. “2015 will set the stage for the living conditions of our grandchildren – and their grandchildren, too,” news agency Agence France Press, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media quoted Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, PIK's director.

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Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam

Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam

12/17/2014 - At 29, Ricarda Winkelmann has already accomplished what others may only dream of: She joined a scientific expedition to Antarctica, and is now set to become a junior professor for Climate Systems Analysis at the University of Potsdam. "Ms. Winkelmann is known for her excellent research in a highly relevant field," said Robert Seckler, Vice President for Research and Junior Academics of the university. "This joint appointment with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is s an excellent way of promoting young academics." During a ceremony, the physicist received her official appointment letter from the Science Minister of the German State of Brandenburg, Sabine Kunst, and also took her oath of service.

Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam - Read More…

Chair of the Green parliamentary group visits PIK

Chair of the Green parliamentary group visits PIK

12/16/2014 – The chair of the Green parliamentary group in the German parliament, Anton Hofreiter, was briefed on the latest research results by leading climate scientists. During his visit at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research he discussed topics like the energy transition in Germany, the European Emissions Trading System, and carbon pricing with chief-economist Ottmar Edenhofer and with the head of the PIK research group Energy Strategies for Europe and Germany, Brigitte Knopf. Hofreiter also met with PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber to talk about the scientific background of the two degrees limit for global warming, tipping elements in the climate system, and the increasing risks of unabated global warming.

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How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project

How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project

12/15/2014 - The Anthropocene project at the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” in Berlin came to a conclusion after two years with a comprehensive campus programme. "Our notion of nature is out of date. Humanity forms nature" – this was the core premise of the underlying Anthropocene thesis, that has been discussed in events, exhibitions and discussions between natural sciences, culture, politics and everyday life since 2013. Numerous eminent artists, architects and researchers of the humanities as well as the natural sciences contributed to the project and the final campus sessions. Wolfgang Lucht of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was part of the project from the very beginning.

How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project - Read More…

Crown Princess of Norway meets with Schellnhuber

Crown Princess of Norway meets with Schellnhuber

12/07/2014 - The Crown Princess of Norway, Mette-Marit, spoke at a roundtable discussion on climate change with distinguished researchers and selected business leaders. To share insights, she met with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the other participants on this occasion. The event was hosted by Statkraft, the renewable energy provider of Norway.

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UN Climate Conference COP20: The challenges of climate change and poverty

UN Climate Conference COP20: The challenges of climate change and poverty

12/05/2014 - Delegates from more than 190 nations are gathering in Peru these days for the UN Climate Conference COP20. Among the conference participants are also scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, namely Chief-Economist Ottmar Edenhofer who is also a leading scientist in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Already in November, he spoke at the joint briefing by the Federal Foreign Office and the German Climate Consortium. Researchers of PIK, with their expertise in earth system changes and in solutions for the climate challenge, were frequently interviewed in the run-up to the summit.

UN Climate Conference COP20: The challenges of climate change and poverty - Read More…

Exploring image politics of climate change

Exploring image politics of climate change

12/08/2014 - Scientists as well as professionals in politics, education, media or fine arts have long been struggling to depict climate change, a highly abstract concept by definition. In their recently published book "Image Politics of Climate Change", PIK's Thomas Nocke and Birgit Schneider of the University of Potsdam examine a variety of images picturing global warming sparked by climate change research. They explore how these graphics have not only increased knowledge about the subject, but have begun to influence popular awareness. These visualizations vary significantly depending on their purpose, complexity and style - ranging from colorful scientific diagrams and model visualizations to photographs and paintings of extreme weather events or polar bears.

Exploring image politics of climate change - Read More…

Ethics and economics: study on values in simulations

Ethics and economics: study on values in simulations

12/05/2014 - Computer simulations of the impacts of global trade policy, for example, generally contain ethical value assumptions. In order to make these assumptions more transparent, and to enhance our understanding of possible trade-offs, scientists have developed a novel methodological approach and applied it to agro-economic modelling of global water scarcity. Their newly released study, the result of an unusual collaboration between economists, scientists and philosophers, contends that the incorporation of value assumptions in scientific scenarios can improve the usability of those scenarios for decision-makers in politics and business.

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“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

12/01/2014 - In time with this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, a group of leading scientists, including Earth League members– a global alliance of prominent climate scientists –laid out in a joint paper the key elements of the ‘the necessary, the possible and the desirable’ in relation to climate change. Authors include Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Nick Stern of the London School of Economics, Peter Schlosser of Columbia University in New York City, and two scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of research domain Earth System Analysis, and director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.

“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable” - Read More…

Brandenburg young researcher's award honours Anne Biewald

Brandenburg young researcher's award honours Anne Biewald

11/25/2014 - Anne Biewald of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has been awarded with the young researcher's prize of the state of Brandenburg. The prize honours outstanding achievements by young scientists of the state’s universities or other research institutions. “We need such motivated young researchers,” said Sabine Kunst, Brandenburg’s minister of science at the awards ceremony. “They help to bring Brandenburg forward and contribute to the state’s international competiveness. We recognise the importance of this by commending these young people - who also represent many other committed scientists in Brandenburg - for their outstanding work”.

Brandenburg young researcher's award honours Anne Biewald - Read More…

PIK Director receives cultural award and becomes honorary citizen of his hometown

PIK Director receives cultural award and becomes honorary citizen of his hometown

11/10/2014 - More than 500 guests gathered recently to witness how Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, received the Cultural Award of Passau County. Schellnhuber's hometown Ortenburg also awarded him honorary citizenship in another ceremony. Mayor Stefan Lang presented him with the official document. "There are countless wonderful childhood memories tying me to my hometown, so I'm particularly delighted by this honor," said Schellnhuber.

PIK Director receives cultural award and becomes honorary citizen of his hometown - Read More…

Green Party head in exchange with climate researchers

Green Party head in exchange with climate researchers

10/31/2014 - The co-chair of the German Green party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Simone Peter, recently visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for several hours of talks on current developments in climate science. Among the subjects discussed were sea-level rise, extreme weather situations and how they are caused by disruptions to global circulation patterns, the challenges arising from the German energy transition, and the chances for international climate policy. PIK, a research institute whose mission is to generate interdisciplinary insights and to provide sound scientific information for decision-makers, is visited regularly by representatives of various political parties and governments.

Green Party head in exchange with climate researchers - Read More…

Mitigating climate change through fighting poverty

Mitigating climate change through fighting poverty

10/29/2014 - Progress in climate change mitigation hinges on the alleviation of poverty in developing countries. To this end, the international community should pursue a policy that prioritizes the global reduction of greenhouse gases just as much as the development objectives of poorer countries. This is the result of a study conducted by a team of scientists led by experts from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Mitigating climate change through fighting poverty - Read More…

PIK among top ten research institutes for economics in Germany

PIK among top ten research institutes for economics in Germany

10/17/2014 - For the first time, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been ranked as one of the top ten German economic research institutes with influential economists. Climate change is often seen as a subject primarily involving the natural sciences. Yet the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper has now assessed PIK as an economics institute. It was ranked in seventh place, above many other well-known and highly respected institutes. The top ranking went to DIW Berlin.

PIK among top ten research institutes for economics in Germany - Read More…

Educational project 'GemüseAckerdemie' wins special innovation award

Educational project 'GemüseAckerdemie' wins special innovation award

10/15/2014 - The educational project 'GemüseAckerdemie' (a play of words on vegetable field/field for learning) has been designated an "Excellent Place in the Land of Ideas", a special award which honors innovative projects helping to make rural areas fit for the future. A certificate signed by German President Joachim Gauck was handed over to the initiator of the GemüseAckerdemie Christoph Schmitz by Brandenburg's agriculture minister Jörg Vogelsänger.

Educational project 'GemüseAckerdemie' wins special innovation award - Read More…

Edenhofer presents reform concept for EU emissions trading scheme in Brussels

Edenhofer presents reform concept for EU emissions trading scheme in Brussels

09/29/2014 - The emissions trading scheme as the most important pillar of European climate policy is currently under great scrutiny, as permit prices have been low. Europe’s technical academies (Euro-CASE) just published a comprehensive reform concept that outlines pathways to advance the emissions trading scheme. Ottmar Edenhofer presented this report in Brussels, in personal meetings with Jos Delbeke, Director General for Climate Action of the European Commission, and Ivo Belet, rapporteur of the ETS reform for the European Parliament.

Edenhofer presents reform concept for EU emissions trading scheme in Brussels - Read More…

New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project

New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project

09/25/2014 - The UN climate summit this week in New York brought progress in an unexpected way. "Most of the politicians in the hall gave speeches of the same old conventional type – effusive formulation, minimalistic commitment," said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who himself took part in the meeting of 120 heads of state. "But it took place against a novel background, generated on the streets of New York by more than 300,000 people. If the politicians don't pull from the front, civil society will just have to push. Last week we saw how climate protection is developing into a world citizens' movement."

New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project - Read More…

Local food supply could help propel global food security

Local food supply could help propel global food security

9/4/2014 - Local or regional food supply could help ensure food security across continents, a new study conducted by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) says. It explores under which conditions a shift to local food supply may result in food self-sufficiency. The researchers found that by increasing crop yield in a number of ways, every continent could become food self-sufficient by 2050. This could substantially diminish the current demand for international agricultural trade, although it will continue to be relevant to some regions. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that actions at a local level could help achieve food self-sufficiency in many regions.

Local food supply could help propel global food security - Read More…

High-ranking Taiwanese delegation visits PIK

High-ranking Taiwanese delegation visits PIK

09/16/2014 – During a recent visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Minister of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wei Kuo-yen, was briefed on the latest climate change research findings. The 14-member delegation included the Representative of the Taipei Office in Germany, Agnes Hwa-Yue Chen, her deputy Klement Gu and scientists from leading Taiwanese universities and business representatives. During his discussion with the group, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber acknowledged the influence of the island, "What Taiwan does for climate change matters."

High-ranking Taiwanese delegation visits PIK - Read More…

Charity concert on the Telegraph Hill: The sound of the forest

Charity concert on the Telegraph Hill: The sound of the forest

09/02/2014 - For the second time, soloists of the renowned Staatskapelle Berlin and singers of the State Opera gathered for an exceptional charity concert on the Telegrafenberg (Telegraph Hill) in Potsdam. In the suspenseful darkness of the Great Refractor, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - spoke of the reason for creating and promoting this unique mix of music and science: "Science can appeal to the the mind of man, but music can win over his heart." Complemented by short presentations of PIK researchers Hermann Lotze-Campen, Susanne Rolinski and Christopher Reyer, this year's concert focused on "The Sound of the Forest" and included both classical and contemporary compositions.

Charity concert on the Telegraph Hill: The sound of the forest - Read More…

The cost of delay: White House report citing PIK research

The cost of delay: White House report citing PIK research

08/30/2014 - Delaying climate policy might enhance costs substantially. The US government in a major recent report makes this finding a central message, citing a number of studies led by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors states in the report. Inaction is likely to cause persistent economic damages, they argue – many billions of Dollars each year in the US alone.

The cost of delay: White House report citing PIK research - Read More…

Reforming emissions trading: Failure is not an option

Reforming emissions trading: Failure is not an option

07/30/2014 - Courageous steps are required to reform the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, argues Ottmar Edenhofer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in a comment piece now published in Nature Climate Change. The centerpiece of the European climate policy is currently under great scrutiny, as permit prices have been too low to incentivize a switch to low- or zero-emission alternatives. While some ideas to correct this already move in the right direction, only a broad approach embedding for instance a price corridor could restore the main pillar of climate policy in the EU, argues Edenhofer.

Reforming emissions trading: Failure is not an option - Read More…

IPCC Co-Chair calls for re-thinking of policy assessments

IPCC Co-Chair calls for re-thinking of policy assessments

07/04/2014 – When the Working Group III (WGIII) contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, the most comprehensive assessment of climate change mitigation options to date, was accepted by IPCC member governments in April this year, governments could not agree on parts of its Summary for Policymakers during the approval process. As a result the material was cut. In the current edition of the journal Science, a Co-Chair and leading authors of Working Group III re-visit the approval session and comment on deleted content and the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC process in a series of articles.

IPCC Co-Chair calls for re-thinking of policy assessments - Read More…

CO2 is fertilizing hidden hunger

CO2 is fertilizing hidden hunger

06/27/2014 - While CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are a driver of climate change with potentially negative impacts on crop yields, they are also a fertilizer for the plants. However, this effect comes at the expense of a deterioration of the current nutritional value of food, new research by the Harvard School of Public Health and others shows. This might lead to hidden hunger, researchers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research argue in a recent commentary published in Nature Climate Change. Diets with sufficient calorie content could come with an insufficient supply of vitamins and minerals.

CO2 is fertilizing hidden hunger - Read More…

High-ranking Chinese researchers visit PIK

High-ranking Chinese researchers visit PIK

06/17/2014 - A high-level delegation from China was brought up to speed on a variety of topics - from rising sea levels to the problems of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - during a visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The delegation was led by Du Xiangwan, Director of the China Expert Panel on Climate Change (EPCC), which advises the Chinese State Council. Other acclaimed scholars from renowned Chinese institutions such as Tsinghua University were also present, including He Jiankun, Zhou Dadi and Chao Qingchen. The delegation also included Tian Chengchuan, Yuan Jiashuang and Zhu Songli, all of whom hold notable positions in key advisory bodies such as the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC). China is currently discussing its future carbon emission targets. Due to the country’s critical impact on the global climate and international climate policy, the outcome of this deliberation has been the subject of intense speculation and anticipation.

High-ranking Chinese researchers visit PIK - Read More…

Air pollution and climate policies: workshop in Beijing

Air pollution and climate policies: workshop in Beijing

06/20/2014 – Policies aimed at countering climate change can have important co-benefits in terms of reduced air pollution and hence on public health. Now for the first time, a so-called multi model comparison was used by researchers to scrutinize this interplay using a whole set of different computer simulations of economic and social processes. Their findings, including a robust win-win-scenario, were recently at the center of a workshop in smoggy Beijing. It was hosted by the Energy Research Institute of the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (ERI-NDRC), which is one of the most important players in the field, whereas the research project itself is coordinated by the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM). The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is part of the steering group and led a major analysis of 2 degree scenarios that was conducted by the project.

Air pollution and climate policies: workshop in Beijing - Read More…

First Potsdam Summer School to focus on Arctic climate change

First Potsdam Summer School to focus on Arctic climate change

06/13/2014 - "Arctic in the Anthropocene" – the present geological era which has been dominated by humankind – will be the main focus of the Potsdam Summer School. During the two-week program, 40 selected young international scientists and experts will exchange ideas on a wide range of issues, including the melting of Greenland’s ice sheets and marine biology. In northern regions of the world, the effects of climate change have already become quite apparent. In collaboration with the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and the University of Potsdam, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will be organizing the event, which will be held from June 23 to July 4, 2014, and is likely to be continued on an annual basis in the future.

First Potsdam Summer School to focus on Arctic climate change - Read More…

World Bank hosts IPCC report presentation

World Bank hosts IPCC report presentation

06/12/2014 - Dealing with climate change is an exercise of risk management, two leading authors of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports said at a major World Bank event in Washington D.C. last week. Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, co-chair of the IPCC working group on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability addressed about 600 people both in the room and online, together with Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-chair of the IPCC working group on climate change mitigation.

World Bank hosts IPCC report presentation - Read More…

German Federal Environment Minister Hendricks Visits PIK

German Federal Environment Minister Hendricks Visits PIK

06/03/2014 – German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks was briefed by scientists of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) on current research developments. The minister, who has only held this office for several months, discussed recent findings and their impact on politics with PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber as well as other researchers. The focus of the talks was on the difficulties encountered in implementing climate policies.

German Federal Environment Minister Hendricks Visits PIK - Read More…

"Excellent researcher, warm manners": farewell symposium for Gerstengarbe

"Excellent researcher, warm manners": farewell symposium for Gerstengarbe

06/02/2014 - One of the founding members and key figures of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honored with a farewell symposium last week. Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, assistant director of the institute and co-chair of its research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, embarked on his retirement. About 200 peers, colleagues, and friends, gathered to debate an issue dear to Gerstengarbe, a meteorologist who always cared about the practical implications of his findings: 'Climate and Climate Impact Research between Science and Society'.

"Excellent researcher, warm manners": farewell symposium for Gerstengarbe - Read More…

Emissions trading reform could result in billions of euros for European countries

Emissions trading reform could result in billions of euros for European countries

05/23/2014 - With a reform of the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the economically troubled countries of southern Europe could increase their revenues by several billion euros per year while also increasing their competitiveness. This was the finding of an analysis conducted by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) headed by Ottmar Edenhofer, chief-economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It was one of the issues debated at an international workshop in Berlin under the title "Closing the carbon price gap: public finance and climate policy", chaired by Edenhofer.

Emissions trading reform could result in billions of euros for European countries - Read More…

Two PIK researchers appointed professor at Humboldt University

Two PIK researchers appointed professor at Humboldt University

05/23/2014 - Industrial ecology and land use: for these two research areas leading scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have recently been appointed professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin. “We are glad that Professor Helga Weisz and Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen, two renowned climate scientists, are joining HU, and that PIK and HU today are connected through no less than five professorships,” says Peter Frensch, Vice-President for Research at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Two PIK researchers appointed professor at Humboldt University - Read More…

Expert survey on the German Energiewende: Mapping the targets

Expert survey on the German Energiewende: Mapping the targets

05/19/2014 - The targets of the German Energiewende are much debated. For the first time, scientists published a comprehensive mapping of these targets – from climate change mitigation to energy security and the creation of jobs. The analysis is based on anonymized interviews with 54 high-ranking experts from policy, business and science. 80 percent of them say that emissions reduction is the highest priority – but there is a bulk of additional and contradictory targets.

Expert survey on the German Energiewende: Mapping the targets - Read More…

Science night: Thousands of visitors on telegraph hill

Science night: Thousands of visitors on telegraph hill

05/14/2014 - Once again the Long Night of the Sciences attracted thousands to visit telegraph hill. Until midnight all institutes of the Albert Einstein science park opened their doors for interested guests. Talks, experiments, guided tours: The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research presented itself with a varied program for visitors of all ages.

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“Outstanding young scientist” awarded

“Outstanding young scientist” awarded

05/13/2014 - The European Geosciences Union (EGU) gave the award “Outstanding Young Scientist” of its division Energy, Resources and the Environment to Tabea K. Lissner from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The PhD-student received the prize at the annual meeting of more than 12,000 scientists form 106 countries in Vienna last week. She was honoured for contributing “to important advancements in the work needed to tackle the challenges associated with the provision of energy and other social resources,” according to the laudatio.

“Outstanding young scientist” awarded - Read More…

Global warming can be limited to 2 degrees with major technological and institutional change: IPCC report

Global warming can be limited to 2 degrees with major technological and institutional change: IPCC report

Many pathways to substantial greenhouse-gas reductions are available at relatively little cost, a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows. Among the options put on the table there are the use of bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage, and comprehensive pricing of CO2 emissions. The report's team of authors has been led by Ottmar Edenhofer, vice-director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Global warming can be limited to 2 degrees with major technological and institutional change: IPCC report - Read More…

IPCC landmark report on climate change mitigation to be launched

IPCC landmark report on climate change mitigation to be launched

04/07/2014 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will soon launch its much-awaited report on climate change mitigation. On April 14, key findings of the Working Group led by Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research will be presented at the Technical University in Berlin. The public event will be attended by Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel.

IPCC landmark report on climate change mitigation to be launched - Read More…

„The risk is clear and present“: IPCC report on climate impacts

„The risk is clear and present“: IPCC report on climate impacts

04/03/2014 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this Monday released its milestone report on climate change impacts on societies and nature and on adaptation. From the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Wolfgang Cramer was one of just eleven German scientists to participate in the final approval sessions with government representatives from all over the world in Yokohama, Japan. In Berlin, he was one of the speakers at the first presentation of the report at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. Another speaker was Katja Frieler, also from PIK, who led the first comprehensive intersectoral impacts model Intercomparison (ISI-MIP). Many important findings from this project have in fact been incorporated into the new IPCC report.

„The risk is clear and present“: IPCC report on climate impacts - Read More…

Elbe has low water levels: „A rainy summer would be nice“

Elbe has low water levels: „A rainy summer would be nice“

03/28/2014 - Water levels of the Elbe and other big German rivers are currently as low as normally in late summer. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have examined extremely low water levels as well as floods for a long time, but the current observed aridness goes beyond the scientists´ scenarios. This could have serious impacts on shipping and agriculture. Individual actors already warn of a record drought. -

Elbe has low water levels: „A rainy summer would be nice“ - Read More…

Capacity-building workshop on forthcoming World Bank Report

Capacity-building workshop on forthcoming World Bank Report

03/21/2014 - To share insights on a forthcoming report for the World Bank, including data and modelling, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) recently hosted a workshop for regional scientists. The report will provide analyses of climate change impacts on issues ranging from heat extremes to sea-level change in the Middle East and North Africa, agriculture in the Western Balkans/Central Asia and forests in Russia. It is the third in a series entitled “Turn down the heat” and is being produced in collaboration with Climate Analytics (CA). The aim is to identify development challenges created by global warming in order to assess social vulnerabilities.

Capacity-building workshop on forthcoming World Bank Report - Read More…

New number two for equal opportunities within Leibniz Institutes

New number two for equal opportunities within Leibniz Institutes

03/21/2014 - The equal opportunities officers of the institutes that are members of the Leibniz Association chose Christine Bounama from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to become the deputy chair of their speakers’ council. This body is where the equal opportunity officers discuss statements and strategies that aim at getting more women into executive positions, fostering the reconciliation of work and family life, and promoting young female scientists.

New number two for equal opportunities within Leibniz Institutes - Read More…

Climate-KIC wins 60+ million grant

Climate-KIC wins 60+ million grant

03/12/2014 - This year, a record sum of 63.5 million Euros is allocated to the Climate-Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) to foster entrepreneurship that leads to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. This is the essence of the grant agreement signed by the European Institute of Innovation Technology recently. The funding is provided by the European Union and aims at ramping up activities in helping Europe lead the world in commercialising climate change technologies.

Climate-KIC wins 60+ million grant - Read More…

Networks in the climate system: Research gap is closed

Networks in the climate system: Research gap is closed

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.

Networks in the climate system: Research gap is closed - Read More…

Colombia’s Minister of the Environment visits PIK

Colombia’s Minister of the Environment visits PIK

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.

Colombia’s Minister of the Environment visits PIK - Read More…

Which adaptation is possible? Climate Service Center meets in Potsdam

Which adaptation is possible? Climate Service Center meets in Potsdam

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.

Which adaptation is possible? Climate Service Center meets in Potsdam - Read More…

The European Emissions Trading System: options for reform

The European Emissions Trading System: options for reform

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.

The European Emissions Trading System: options for reform - Read More…

Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs investigated

Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs investigated

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.

Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs investigated - Read More…

Edenhofer speaks at Munich Security Conference

Edenhofer speaks at Munich Security Conference

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.

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World Bank launches online course on climate change

World Bank launches online course on climate change

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.

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“Global problems require globally coordinated science”: First German Future Earth Summit

“Global problems require globally coordinated science”: First German Future Earth Summit

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.

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