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Extreme events and planetary waves: new index approach

Extreme events and planetary waves: new index approach

09/22/2016 - Both heat waves like 2010 in Russia or cold spells like 2014 in the US have a common feature – they appeared together with certain patterns of gigantic airstreams in the atmosphere. This so called jetstream circles around the globe in waves swinging up and down between the Tropics and the Arctic. These large meandering planetary waves can have huge impacts – the economic damages of the 2014 cold spell at the US east coast with record-breaking cold temperatures for instance were estimated up to 5 billion Dollars.

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Climate impacts on amphibians and reptiles

Climate impacts on amphibians and reptiles

09/07/2016 - How does climate change affect amphibians and reptiles – animals whose body temperature depends directly on ambient temperature? A team of international scientists, involving the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and WWF Germany, analyzed the peer reviewed literature on the subject of the past ten years – their findings were now published in Royal Society Open Science.

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Edenhofer ranked amongst Germany’s top economists

Edenhofer ranked amongst Germany’s top economists

09/06/2016 - In a ranking of Germany’s “most influential economists”, Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, was placed amongst the top researchers in the field. The grouping published by the renowned daily ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’ (FAZ) is based on data on the scientific, political and media impact of the individual researchers. Edenhofer, who also directs the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change and is a Professor at Technische Universität Berlin, is the only economist with a focus on climate who scored this high in the ranking.

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Friends of PIK: Simonis honoured, Stock nominated

Friends of PIK: Simonis honoured, Stock nominated

28/07/2016 - The Society of Friends and Promoters of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has honoured its longstanding president Udo Simonis for his tremendous efforts and made him honorary chairman. Manfred Stock took over the lead of the society. The tribute took place during festive symposium on biodiversity, and the institute´s scientists applauded their old and new supporters of their work. The symposium was organized by the research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods.

Friends of PIK: Simonis honoured, Stock nominated - Read More…

New interactive climate spirals online

New interactive climate spirals online

07/27/2016 - Global-mean temperatures are breaking one record after the other since instrumental observations began. Driven by burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, carbon dioxide concentrations have also soared to unprecedented levels. In fact, today's CO2 concentrations are higher than they have ever been over the last 800 thousand years. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the University of Melbourne now put all these elements together to provide a set of new interactive Climate Spiral visualizations.

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Sustainable cities: Researchers discuss urban complexity

Sustainable cities: Researchers discuss urban complexity

07/26/2016 - From mega-cities like Shanghai or New York to the small town around the corner: International researchers gathered in Hanover to discuss “Cities as complex systems – structure, scaling and economics”. The symposium brought together physicists, economists, geographers, and urban planners to explore the underlying mechanisms of the efficiency of our cities. Currently more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase considerably, reaching over 90 percent of the global population by the end of this century. While about two thirds of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by urbanites, at the same time cities are hit particularly hard by the impacts of climate change.

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Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

07/14/2016 - The well-known author Karen Duve discussed questions of climate change and the future of societies with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) at the Pre-Opening of Potsdam´s festival of literature, LIT:Potsdam. In the new auditorium of PIK´s new research building, a delighted audience followed this exchange between literature and science.

Literature meets science: Karen Duve and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Read More…

Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon

Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon

2016/07/14 - A novel approach of unprecedentedly early forecasting of the Indian Monsoon proved to be successful. The new methodology - developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - correctly predicted this year’s monsoon onset over central India and met great interest by both Indian academics and stakeholders, including the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The accurate long-range monsoon forecasting is of critical importance for millions of farmers in India. [Please find an UPDATE on the withdrawal below.]

Successful early forecasting of Indian Monsoon - Read More…

Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

06/30/2016 - The individual country pledges to reduce greenhouse gases made for the Paris agreement need to be strengthened in order to limit future climate change to well below 2°C. A new analysis by an international team of scientists illustrates that the current Paris pledges would lead to global temperature rise of 2.6 to 3.1°C by the end of the century. In fact, the entire carbon budget for limiting warming to below 2°C might have been emitted by 2030, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C - Read More…

PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

06/27/2016 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) belongs to the best climate think tanks worldwide, the new ICCG Climate Think Tank Ranking shows. The assessment by the International Center for Climate Governance analyzed 240 cutting-edge institutions working in the field of climate change economics and policy. Based on a solid quantitative methodology and analytical data, the ICCG lists non-university affiliated think tanks in an absolute and a standardized ranking - the latter based on an institute's output in relation to the number of its researchers. In both competitions, PIK ranks fourth best global climate think tank.

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Long Night of Science: climate researchers, computer experts, waffle bakers

Long Night of Science: climate researchers, computer experts, waffle bakers

06/13/2016 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research opened its doors to the public last Saturday at the Long Night of the Sciences. Dozens of volunteers committed themselves to this purpose - ice researchers for a kids presentation, computer experts to present the new high capacity computer, but also scientists and other employees who prepared excellent waffles. About 29.000 interested guests visited the 70 participating scientific institutions in Berlin and at Potsdam´s Telegrafenberg, about a thousand more than last year.

Long Night of Science: climate researchers, computer experts, waffle bakers - Read More…

Extreme weather events linked to stalling of planetary waves

Extreme weather events linked to stalling of planetary waves

06/11/2016 - Many extreme weather events in the Northern hemisphere have recently been accompanied by a stalling of huge airstreams high up in the atmosphere that normally circle our planet, taking the form of gigantic waves swinging up and down between the Tropics and the Arctic. Looking into the events of the summers three and four years ago, a new study by a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research finds that in fact a majority of extremes go with observed disturbances of the so-called planetary waves, adding evidence to the assumption that this connection might be of key importance.

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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.

Energy independence policies will not save the climate - Read More…

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.

Health, energy and extreme events in a changing climate - Read More…

“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.

“The world in 2050”: Mercator Climate Lecture with economists Sachs and Edenhofer - Read More…

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.

Migration in the age of climate change - Read More…

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.

Young scientists meet at PIK: What comes after a PhD? - Read More…

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.

Girls' Day: students learn about research careers - Read More…

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.

German government appoints Wolfgang Lucht to advisory council - Read More…

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.

2°C or 1,5°C: Why half a degree matters - Read More…

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