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Energy independence policies will not save the climate

Energy independence policies will not save the climate

06/10/2016 - Reducing energy imports and mitigating climate change are often portrayed as complementary. However, new research published in the journal Nature Energy shows that while ambitious climate policies would lower energy imports, energy independence would not bring significant climate benefits. Co-benefits of climate policies are of key importance for decision-makers choices, the authors highlight.

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Health, energy and extreme events in a changing climate

Health, energy and extreme events in a changing climate

06/07/2016 - Floods, droughts, blackouts of power networks – the potential for risks that can be linked directly or indirectly to public health grows with a changing climate. In a now published special issue of the European Physical Journal, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other institutions analyze the complex interactions of public health, energy production and climate change. They shed light on the linkages, and also present new methods how these interrelations of different sectors can be further examined.

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“The world in 2050”: Mercator Climate Lecture with economists Sachs and Edenhofer

“The world in 2050”: Mercator Climate Lecture with economists Sachs and Edenhofer

06/01/2016 – More than 1000 people attended the 2016 Mercator Climate Lecture "The World in 2050 - Towards Sustainable Development and Deep Decarbonization" in Berlin on Wednesday. Top US-economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor on Sustainable Development for the United Nations, gave a much-applauded keynote. This was followed by an intense discussion with Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin. The lecture is a joint project by Stiftung Mercator, Technische Universität Berlin, and PIK. The spectators in the Auditorium Maximum - in fact a mix of students and experts from business, politics, NGO and science – was joined by a worldwide audience following the event via livestream.

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Migration in the age of climate change

Migration in the age of climate change

05/20/2016 - Migration is currently a no 1 issue in Germany as well as Europe – but what will future migration look like globally, in the age of climate risks? Where is environmental migration happening already today, and what can we learn from it? The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) teamed up with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - the biggest intergovernmental institution in the field - for a media briefing in Berlin. Migration is mostly driven by a multitude of factors – be it political, social, demographic, economic, or by security concerns - and almost never by a single cause. At the same time, global environmental change, and specifically climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, is an additional and potentially severe risk factor.

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Young scientists meet at PIK: What comes after a PhD?

Young scientists meet at PIK: What comes after a PhD?

Young scientist from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) discussed their working routines and career perspectives with regard to their doctorate. Once a year the “PhD-Day” offers the opportunity to meet up in the whole group of PhD candidates to share experiences, talk about research projects and train in science related skills. The focus of the current meeting was on possible career steps following the doctoral thesis.

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Girls' Day: students learn about research careers

Girls' Day: students learn about research careers

On the occasion of this year’s Girls Day, 18 students from Berlin and Brandenburg visited the Potsdam-Insitute for Climate Impact Research. They were invited to get in touch with female scientists of the institute to learn more about career perspectives in research. The Girls’ Day was initiated in 2001 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and offers the opportunity to girls between 12 and 16 to explore career prospects in technical and scientific branches.

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German government appoints Wolfgang Lucht to advisory council

German government appoints Wolfgang Lucht to advisory council

04/29/2016 - The Federal Goverment of Germany this week appointed Wolfgang Lucht from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to its Advisory Council on the Environment (Sachverständigenrat Umweltfragen, SRU). The Berlin-based board consists of seven renowned scientists. It is mandated by the government to give policy recommendations as well as issue comprehensive reports, with a focus on Germany. The new members of the body will start their four-year term in July.

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2°C or 1,5°C: Why half a degree matters

2°C or 1,5°C: Why half a degree matters

27.04.2016 - Climate change impacts differ substantially for the two temperature limits included in the Paris agreement, a team of European researchers found. Published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, the analysis considers 11 different indicators including extreme weather events, water availability, crop yields, coral reef degradation and sea-level rise for a global warming of 1,5°C and 2°C by the end of the century. The additional half degree would mean a 10-cm-higher global sea-level rise by 2100, longer heat waves, and would result in virtually all tropical coral reefs being at risk, the researchers found.

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Schellnhuber honoured with the Enercity Energy Efficiency Prize

Schellnhuber honoured with the Enercity Energy Efficiency Prize

04/28/2016 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is honoured with the Enercity Energy Efficiency Prize for North Germany for his outstanding scientific achievements. The award of the Public Utilities Hannover highlights pioneering projects and activities that foster a responsible dealing with energy. The laureates in three categories are being chosen by a twelve-person jury from the energy sector, science and business. The Mayor of Hannover, Stefan Schostok, handed the prize to Schellnhuber, director of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in appreciation of his lifework.

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"Humanity on the move": Scientific Advisory Board hands report to German Government

"Humanity on the move": Scientific Advisory Board hands report to German Government

04/25/2016 - More than 2-3 billion people worldwide will move from the country to the cities within the next few decades, doubling the population of the world's slums. It will be the biggest migration of our time. The power of this urbanization surge will be the key driver of global change in the 21st century, reveals the report 'Humanity on the move – Unlocking the transformative power of cities'. It is handed to the German government today by the Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen, WBGU), co-chaired by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Cities are responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of greenhouse-gas emissions – more than two thirds globally. At the same time, they are particularly hard hit by the consequences of global warming. Instead of ever greater densification, therefore, urban development should focus its attention more on the surrounding regions. Developing multiple medium-sized centres instead of a few rampantly expanding megacities increases humankind's resistance to crises and takes the pressure off local resources such as water and land.

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"Below 2 degrees": Edenhofer in book on Paris Agreement

"Below 2 degrees": Edenhofer in book on Paris Agreement

04/18/2016 - National minimum prices for CO2 emissions combined with international climate finance could be a way to put the Paris Agreement into practice. This is a key message from Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Director of the Mercator Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change, in his contribution to the book "Below two degrees". The Anthology is assembling quite a number of prominent voices: from the President of the German Environment Agency to Members of Parliament, from NGO heads to the Director of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. This week, the new publication will be presented by the German Federal Environmental Foundation along with the Federal Environment Ministry's Secretary of State Jochen Flasbarth, who's also a co-author.

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Japanese Ambassador visits Telegraphenberg

Japanese Ambassador visits Telegraphenberg

04/14/2016 - The Japanese Ambassador to Germany, his Excellency Takeshi Yagi, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to exchange some ideas with PIK director John Schellnhuber and learn about the latest research on climate change.

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CO2 practitioners meet modelers

CO2 practitioners meet modelers

03/24/2016 - PIK scientists gathered for a one-day-conference this week to discuss limits and possibilities of CO2 fertilization both in models and observations in order to achieve the best scientific results. As special guests, they welcomed two experimentalists in the field: Bruce Kimball from the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, who is also a longstanding companion in CO2 research, and Onno Muller from the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich as acknowledged expert in phenotyping. Their input was complemented by contributions from PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and researchers Hermann Lotze-Campen, Katja Frieler, Christoph Müller and Frank Wechsung.

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"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue

"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue

03/16/2016 - Potsdam's scientific institutions published an open letter for a tolerant society, rejecting all expressions of hatred, violence, and intolerance towards people on the basis of their origins, appearance, religion, or other grounds. They position themselves in the ongoing discussion about refugees in the state of Brandenburg, and in Germany.

"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue - Read More…

Scientists and policy-makers discuss Planetary Boundaries

Scientists and policy-makers discuss Planetary Boundaries

03/04/2016 - How can humankind limit global environmental change and stay within a safe operating space for development? This question is an issue both for scientists investigating environmental guardrails as well as for policy makers looking for feasible pathways. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) together with Berlin-based science policy thinktank ”adelphi research” and the Stockholm Environment Institute brought together leading international scientists and German policymakers in a workshop to discuss opportunities and limits for an operationalization of the Planetary Boundaries framework for national governance. The role of policies for increasing resource efficiency were a key issue throughout the meeting.

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Future Earth Summit in Berlin

Future Earth Summit in Berlin

02/01/2016 - Researchers from the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and engineering came together in Berlin last week with stakeholders from policy, business and civil society at the “Future Earth Summit”. The second major conference of German sustainability research focused on topics like Earth system modeling and social macrodynamics or science and society and discussed international sustainability science in the light of the Paris agreement and other recent developments.

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Research Days: Potsdam post Paris

Research Days: Potsdam post Paris

01/28/2016 - All members of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gathered this week to discuss current and future research – and the outcomes of COP21 in Paris. Every year, the so called Research Days are an opportunity to present the various scientific activities of the institute, and to debate the challenges ahead.

Research Days: Potsdam post Paris - Read More…

Tracing observed climate impacts to greenhouse gas emissions

Tracing observed climate impacts to greenhouse gas emissions

01/28/2016 - Roughly two-thirds of observed climate change impacts related to atmospheric and ocean temperature over the past 40 years can be confidently attributed to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, an international team of scientists found. For the impacts observed not just on regional but on continental scales, even three quarters are mainly due to our burning of burning fossil fuels. Evidence connecting changes in precipitation and their respective impacts to human influence is still weak, but is expected to grow.

Tracing observed climate impacts to greenhouse gas emissions - Read More…

Leibniz President Kleiner visits PIK

Leibniz President Kleiner visits PIK

01/27/2016 - The president of Leibniz Association, Matthias Kleiner, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an exchange on current projects and developments. Among other topics the focus of the meetings was also on research strategies. Kleiner met with PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber as well as with the Chairs of PIK’s four research domains.

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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.

New top German IPCC scientist visits PIK - Read More…

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