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New top German IPCC scientist visits PIK

New top German IPCC scientist visits PIK

2016/01/25 - The newly elected top German scientist in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Hans-Otto Pörtner, visited the Potsdam Institute (PIK) this week for an intense exchange about challenges of the next climate science assessment report. It will be the sixth of its kind and due in 2022. Pörtner, a senior biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, heads the part of the report assessing climate change impacts. This is a core research issue of PIK. What is more, for half a decade PIK’s chief economist was head of the IPCC’s working group on mitigation.

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US Ambassador discusses Paris Agreement in Potsdam

US Ambassador discusses Paris Agreement in Potsdam

01/14/2016 - The Ambassador of the United States to Germany, John B. Emerson, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this week to discuss the consequences of the recent UN summit in Paris. Following a meeting behind closed doors with PIK director John Schellnhuber, the high-ranking guest gave a talk to researchers and students. Both the Ambassador and the PIK director highlighted the urgency of achieving further progress towards effective climate stabilization.

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Climate macroscope: new software for future research

Climate macroscope: new software for future research

12/23/2015 - Researchers have developed a new open source Python-based software package for examining climate change and other data-heavy networks on a macroscopic level.

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Historic climate agreement: “The spirits of Paris have defeated the ghosts of Copenhagen"

Historic climate agreement: “The spirits of Paris have defeated the ghosts of Copenhagen"

12/14/2015 - 195 states worldwide adopted a breakthrough climate agreement at the UN climate summit in Paris, COP21. Leading scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research actively participated in the historic meeting that put the world on the path to limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and bring down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades. While implementing the treaty will be an enormous challenge, for the first time ever climate stabilization and hence limiting climate risks including weather extremes and sea-level rise comes into reach. It is the beginning, not the end, of a process that now requires rapid implementation strong policy instruments that live up to the aspirations of the agreement.

Historic climate agreement: “The spirits of Paris have defeated the ghosts of Copenhagen" - Read More…

Nobel Laureates together with Schellnhuber meet French President

Nobel Laureates together with Schellnhuber meet French President

12/07/2015 - More than 70 recipients of the Nobel Prize urgently warn of the consequences of climate change. They support a declaration that has been handed over to the President of France François Hollande at the Élysée Palace in Paris today by the Physics Nobel Laureates Serge Haroche and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, together with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The nations of the world must take the opportunity at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to take decisive action to limit future global emissions,” the Mainau Declaration on Climate Change states. It is an outcome of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Mainau Island in Lake Constance, Germany, in July.

Nobel Laureates together with Schellnhuber meet French President - Read More…

Potsdam meets China

Potsdam meets China

12/04/2015 - China is an important participant at the ongoing climate summit. It is one of the countries with the highest CO2 emissions and could be highly affected by changes in the climate system. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) collaborates on several levels with Chinese partners - Chinese delegations visit PIK regularly and PIK scientists travel to China.

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Science to Paris: The Potsdam Institute at the UN climate summit COP21

Science to Paris: The Potsdam Institute at the UN climate summit COP21

12/01/2015 - Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) actively participate in the Paris “Conference of the Parties” COP21. Director John Schellnhuber for instance will speak at a side-event of the Vatican as well as at one with the EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner. Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of PIK, talks at an event with the EU Finance Commissioner as well as meetings with representatives of the World Trade Organisation and the OECD – see below. Both Schellnhuber and Edenhofer will be present in Paris during all of the second week. Other leading scientists, including Anders Levermann, Elmar Kriegler or Ricarda Winkelmann, will also give talks and participate in side events and informal meetings.

Science to Paris: The Potsdam Institute at the UN climate summit COP21 - Read More…

Unprecedented number of briefings in run-up of climate summit

Unprecedented number of briefings in run-up of climate summit

11/16/2015 - In the run-up of the much anticipated UN climate summit in Paris, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are involved in an unprecedented number of briefings and public events. In this crucial time, stakeholders and media increasingly ask for the perspective of science on the state of the Earth and perspectives for climate policy. Yet PIK scientists also try to directly inform interested citizens. It is impossible to provide a complete list of all such outreach efforts, but here are some noteworthy examples.

Unprecedented number of briefings in run-up of climate summit - Read More…

Making sense of emission reduction pledges: modeling experts gather in Potsdam

Making sense of emission reduction pledges: modeling experts gather in Potsdam

11/16/2015 - Economists and scientists this week come from all over the world to Potsdam for the annual meeting of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC). In the run-up of the UN climate summit in Paris, one focus of the experts’ discussions will be the greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges of governments, the so-called INDCs. To assess their real-world effects is crucial for mapping out policy options for and beyond the summit. Other issues to be debated include the modeling of climate impacts and sustainable development implications, the use of scenarios and the evaluation of model analysis.

Making sense of emission reduction pledges: modeling experts gather in Potsdam - Read More…

Edenhofer: A price for CO2 instead of emission targets at the World Climate Summit?

Edenhofer: A price for CO2 instead of emission targets at the World Climate Summit?

10.11.2015 - A global price target for CO2 might be a more sensible objective for the COP21 Climate Conference instead of the currently discussed emission volume targets. This is what Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, is stating together with the renowned economic researcher Axel Ockenfels from Cologne, in a major guest article in the influential German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung only weeks before the much awaited UN climate conference in Paris. Such a price could provide incentives to invest in alternative technologies and to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Edenhofer: A price for CO2 instead of emission targets at the World Climate Summit? - Read More…

Climate change may affect global food costs - and vulnerability to hunger

Climate change may affect global food costs - and vulnerability to hunger

11/09/2015 - Unabated man-made climate change would likely increase the risk of hunger through rising food costs, a paper by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact (PIK) shows. The findings contribute to a major World Bank Report now published. The Potsdam paper investigates three key regions vulnerable to hunger – Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa – and shows that each region faces severe problems already by 2030, but that the structure of the problems strongly differs. The risks substantially increase over time if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to the computer simulations.

Climate change may affect global food costs - and vulnerability to hunger - Read More…

A visit from the White House: US science advisor meets Schellnhuber

A visit from the White House: US science advisor meets Schellnhuber

10/22/2015 - President Obama’s Science Advisor John Holdren visited the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research to discuss climate change issues with its director John Schellnhuber. Holdren is Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy . Before taking office, he was a Professor at Harvard University; like Schellnhuber, he is a physicist.

A visit from the White House: US science advisor meets Schellnhuber - Read More…

Longterm Potsdam measurements confirm aerosol effect

Longterm Potsdam measurements confirm aerosol effect

10/15/2015 - Longterm measurements from the Potsdam weather station are confirming assumptions about the effects of greenhouse-gases and aerosols in the atmosphere used in current computer simulations of the climate system. Tiny particles in the atmosphere, emitted for instance from coal power plants, reduce the amount of solar radiation that hits the ground - hence they have some cooling effect. This effect is correctly represented in climate models, shows a new analysis of weather data recorded in Potsdam since 1937. This series of continued measurements is one of the longest on Earth.

Longterm Potsdam measurements confirm aerosol effect - Read More…

Rise and fall of societies linked to climatic conditions

Rise and fall of societies linked to climatic conditions

10/14/2015 - Societies seem to have been rising and falling with the stability of climatic conditions, a new study indicates. Published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A of London, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the Pennsylvania State University in the United States analyzed 2000 year old climate records of Mexican and Andean highlands and compared them to historic records. The results indicate that persistently volatile climatic conditions can contribute to the collapse of preindustrial agrarian states.

Rise and fall of societies linked to climatic conditions - Read More…

Schellnhuber meets with President of Taiwan

Schellnhuber meets with President of Taiwan

09/17/2015 - Greenhouse gas reduction pathways to limit climate change risks have been the core topic of a meeting of the President of Taiwan Ying-jeou Ma with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Ma received Schellnhuber for an official discussion this week before Taiwan published its intended contributions to global emissions reductions. Schellnhuber also gave a keynote address at a forum sponsored by Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration with Minister Kuo-yen Wei. Another highlight was a scientific symposium on deep decarbonization pathways organized by the Academia Sinica under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Yuan-Tseh Lee.

Schellnhuber meets with President of Taiwan - Read More…

How new coal power plants let climate goals go up in smoke

How new coal power plants let climate goals go up in smoke

09/17/2015 - The window of opportunity for a global fossil fuel phase out is closing faster than expected. In particular poor but fast-growing developing countries are currently investing heavily in the construction of new coal power plants. However, one reason why this source of fuel is so cheap is that its price does not incorporate the social costs, such as health. This is the topic of the article “King Coal and the Queen of Subsidies” by Ottmar Edenhofer, chief-economist at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research and Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), now published in the journal Science.

How new coal power plants let climate goals go up in smoke - Read More…

"Facing Natural Hazards" – the Second international Potsdam Summer School will Start on 14 September 2015

"Facing Natural Hazards" – the Second international Potsdam Summer School will Start on 14 September 2015

09/11/2015 - The growing world population, climate change, rapid urbanisation, and the international interdependence of economies are all increasing our vulnerability to natural hazards. Such major global challenges are the focus of the second Potsdam Summer School on "Facing Natural Hazards". From 14 to 23 September 2015, 40 young professionals from 28 countries will meet with renowned scientists from Potsdam's Earth and Environmental Science institutions as well as with international experts. Participants will discuss the most pressing scientific and socially relevant issues concerning natural hazards. Earth and climate scientists, oceanographers, and mathematicians will exchange ideas and personal perspectives with social scientists, industry representatives, and politicians. Why do we tend to play down certain natural hazards while we dramatise others? What can we do in future to protect us from natural hazards? These questions will not only be discussed among the participants, but will also be addressed in a public lecture by the risk researcher Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn on 21 September in Potsdam's Hans Otto Theatre.

"Facing Natural Hazards" – the Second international Potsdam Summer School will Start on 14 September 2015 - Read More…

Debate in the run-up to Paris

Debate in the run-up to Paris

09/10/2015 - What´s in store at the next climate conference, COP21, later this year? This week, staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gathered for an exchange of insights and perspectives. There were a number of contributions from post-docs and senior scientists on the latest research that stimulated a vibrant discussion.

Debate in the run-up to Paris - Read More…

Yearbook Ecology on global environment policy

Yearbook Ecology on global environment policy

09/01/2015 - From planetary boundaries to the impacts of a four-degree world to COP21 in Paris: experts take stock of international environment policies in the recently published Yearbook Ecology entitled: “Wanted: a global environment policy”. Among the authors are Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and other specialists from PIK.

Yearbook Ecology on global environment policy - Read More…

Snowball Earth: algae triggered cooling millions of years ago

Snowball Earth: algae triggered cooling millions of years ago

08/27/2015 - The advance of certain algae was probably one key contribution to an almost complete glaciation of the Earth millions of years ago. The consequent rise in emissions of organic cloud-condensation nuclei led to increased cloudiness. Thereby, they likely contributed crucially to the cooling of the climate, because clouds reduce solar radiation on the Earth´s surface. This was discovered by a team of scientists in a new study to be published today in the renowned journal Nature Geoscience.

Snowball Earth: algae triggered cooling millions of years ago - Read More…

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