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International praise for young PIK scientists

05/29/2015 - They work on carbon taxes, the German Energiewende and “flying rivers” in the Amazonian basin – the research of several young scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has recently been awarded for its excellence.
International praise for young PIK scientists

Young scientists explore the future of the planet in manyfold ways. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Max Franks, who is a member of PIK’s Policy Instruments research group, discusses the fiscal benefits of a carbon tax. His paper “Why finance ministers favor carbon taxes, even if they do not take climate change into account” was selected out of 200 submissions to be awarded with the “Best Overall Paper” at the Third Annual Conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, a conference that was hosted in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank. Franks assessed the fiscal incentive of imposing a tax on carbon rather than on capital. He concludes that carbon taxes lead to higher welfare than capital taxation.

Eva Schmid, part of PIK´s research group Energy Strategies Europe and Germany, investigates stakeholders who can implement known technical options of the Energiewende as well as their motivation and institutional background. Her paper “Qualitative scenarios of infrastructure for the German Energiewende: integration of actors and institutions in long term technological futures” was awarded the “Young Scientist Best Paper Award” by Vienna´s Technical University during its ninth International Congress on Energy Economics.

Delphine Zemp explores the complex network of cascading moisture recycling in South America. She won the Merian Award for her poster on so called “flying rivers”: 20 billion tons of water vapor is pumped by Amazonian trees and released into the atmosphere every day through transpiration. This atmospheric moisture is transported by wind (“flying rivers”) up to 3000km south where it contributes to precipitation. On the way, moisture is exchanged between the vegetation and the atmosphere. The Merian Award honours the best contributions given by young scientists during the annual meeting of the Society for Tropical Ecology.

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