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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…

Renowned climate scientists explain climate change

Renowned climate scientists explain climate change

08/18/2015 - In the run-up of the international climate negotiations in Paris, leading German climate scientists explain climate change and its impacts in an interdisciplinary Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). In five chapters with short video lectures, animations and pictures they depict the basics of climate science, climate impacts and the ensuing challenges for society. Everyone interested can now register, the course will start in November.

Renowned climate scientists explain climate change - Read More…

Climate Impacts in Germany: Special Issue of the Meteorological Journal

Climate Impacts in Germany: Special Issue of the Meteorological Journal

08/18/2015 - The impacts of global warming in Germany until mid-century won´t be catastrophic, but serious – while other countries will be affected a lot more. In a now published special edition of the German Meteorological Journal, scientists from the environmental and social sciences shed a new light on the interactions between climate changes and economic sectors like agriculture, forestry, energy or water management as well as societal reactions in Germany.

Climate Impacts in Germany: Special Issue of the Meteorological Journal - Read More…

Edenhofer speaking to finance ministers at OECD green tax conference

Edenhofer speaking to finance ministers at OECD green tax conference

07/15/2015 - Strategies for environmental tax reform and growth were at the focus of a talk given by Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, at a high-level conference in the run-up of the world climate summit in Paris COP21 later this year. The recent meeting was a joint initiative by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Worldbank and others. It was attended by Finance and Environment Ministers, senior policy makers and experts from more than 90 countries, including China and Indonesia, Mexico and Egypt, Sweden and Portugal.

Edenhofer speaking to finance ministers at OECD green tax conference - Read More…

Our Common Future Under Climate Change

Our Common Future Under Climate Change

07/10/2015 - This week, thousands of climate and social scientists as well as policy experts have met for the “Our Common Future under Climate Change” conference at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, among them a large number of experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). It has been the biggest gathering of high-ranking scientists paving the way for COP21 in December, laying out the state of science for fact-based decision-making.

Our Common Future Under Climate Change - Read More…

Waste works: new Artist in Residence

Waste works: new Artist in Residence

06/29/2015 - One ton of recycled plastic boards pose as surrogate books, filling library shelves – this is just one example of Dan Peterman’s works. The Chicago-based art professor from the University of Illinois is this summer’s Artist in Residence at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research (PIK). With long-term commitment to the socially oriented and environmentally conscious art, he has widely exhibited in the United States and internationally. Now he’s seeking the exchange with climate scientists, from Antarctica experts to energy economists. On 30 June, he will give a talk at the Kunstraum, Schiffbauergasse Potsdam.

Waste works: new Artist in Residence - Read More…

Schellnhuber appointed to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Schellnhuber appointed to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

06/26/2015 - The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, one of the most renowned around the globe, has selected climate scientist John Schellnhuber to become a member. Pope Francis himself nominated him last week. Schellnhuber, a professor of physics and director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, participated in a number of the Academy’s workshops on the sustainability challenge before, and he was the only scientist to speak at the presentation of the environmental encyclical “Laudato Si” in the Vatican.

Schellnhuber appointed to Pontifical Academy of Sciences - Read More…

Thousands of media reports on Pope´s environmental encyclical

Thousands of media reports on Pope´s environmental encyclical

06/25/2015 - Worldwide, the presentation of the Pope´s encyclical “Laudato Si” in Rome last week has triggered tremendous coverage in the media. The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, had been invited by the Vatican to speak about the scientific reasoning of the encyclical as the only scientist at its presentation. Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at PIK, discussed the significance of the Pope´s words at an event of the German Catholic Academy in Berlin on the same day; next week he will also be at the Vatican.

Thousands of media reports on Pope´s environmental encyclical - Read More…

Long Night of Science: Many visitors despite of thunderstorms

Long Night of Science: Many visitors despite of thunderstorms

06/15/2015 - Regardless of the weather, about 26.500 people took the chance to learn more about science in Berlin and Potsdam and talk to scientists during the Long Night of Science last Saturday. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) at Potsdam´s Telegrafenberg hill participated with various attractions for the young and the young at heart.

Long Night of Science: Many visitors despite of thunderstorms - Read More…

Pope Francis' encyclical: PIK-scientists to speak in the Vatican and in Berlin

Pope Francis' encyclical: PIK-scientists to speak in the Vatican and in Berlin

06/12/2015 - When the much anticipated environmental encyclical will be launched on 18 June, John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will give a speech in the Vatican. He's the only scientist to join Cardinal Peter Turkson for the presentation. In the run-up of the encyclical, Schellnhuber participated in a number of workshops organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The document issued by the leader of more than one billion Catholics around the world is expected to be an important signal on the road to a global agreement on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions which will be negotiated by governements at the world climate summit in Paris later this year.

Pope Francis' encyclical: PIK-scientists to speak in the Vatican and in Berlin - Read More…

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