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PIK in the Media

Please find selected media articles featuring or written by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) here. For articles published only in German, please see the German version of our website.

Antarctica and sea-level rise: "The apparent absurdity of the endeavour"

As It Happens guest host Megan Williams of CBC Radio in Canada discusses with Anders Levermann the apparent absurdity of the endeavour to let it snow in Antarctica to stop ice instability, reflecting the breath-taking dimension of the sea-level problem. Source: CBC Radio (Canada), 23.07.2019

Antarctica and sea-level rise: "The apparent absurdity of the endeavour" - Read More…

Op-ed: Three steps to meeting the climate and nature emergency

The Telegraph - In the light of increasing demands to declare climate and natural emergencies, Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, examines their justification on the basis of the latest scientific findings on the state of the Earth's climate and biodiversity. Source: The Telegraph (UK), 16.07.2019

Op-ed: Three steps to meeting the climate and nature emergency - Read More…

Op-ed: Individuals can’t solve the climate crisis. Governments need to step up

The Guardian - In his op-ed in The Guardian Anders Levermann, head of PIK research department Complexity Science at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, outlines how reaching zero emissions requires very fundamental changes and can be achieved only by real structural change. He stresses the importance of Goverments' action instead of them shifting the responsibility of solving global tasks as the climate crisis to the individual. Source: The Guardian (UK), 10.07.2019

Op-ed: Individuals can’t solve the climate crisis. Governments need to step up - Read More…

"Il y aura plus de pluies extrêmes à cause du changement climatique"

Libération (France) - India is experiencing an unusually heavy monsoon this summer. In the southern Indian state Kerala, the massive rainfalls have already caused the death of more than 410 persons and lead to the displacement of over one million people. In an interview with the major French newspaper Libération, scientist Jacob Schewe from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) explains how human-made global warming could play a role in this catastrophe. Source: Libération (France), 21.08.2018. Article in French.

"Il y aura plus de pluies extrêmes à cause du changement climatique" - Read More…

"Much of the Northern hemisphere has experienced an unusually hot summer"

BBC (UK) - Heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods are extreme weather events with substantial risks for our health. In a comprehensive review of available scientific findings, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now analyzed the stalling of weather conditions in the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. They focused on the influence of the disproportionally strong warming of the Arctic as caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Dim Coumou was lead author of the new study and speaks on BBC about the results (from minute 49:31). Surce: BBC (UK), 20.08.2018.

"Much of the Northern hemisphere has experienced an unusually hot summer" - Read More…

"World is finally waking up to climate change"

The Guardian (UK) - Short ago and unforeseenly at the peak of the heat wave in the Northern hemisphere, a new major scientific paper on "Trajectories of the Earth System In the Anthropocene" was released - highlighting the risk of heading of the planet towards an irreversible "Hothouse Earth" state. PIK-director John Schellnhuber and other scientists from his institute contributed substantially to the paper. The report already has been downloaded over 270.000 times. "I think that in future people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit," said Schellnhuber. "This is the moment when people start to realise that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now." Source: The Guardian (UK), 19.08.2018.

"World is finally waking up to climate change" - Read More…

"How to design carbon taxes"

The Economist (UK) - Carbon pricing could be a central measure to meet global climate targets and limit global warming to well below 2°C until the end of the century. But prices for greenhouse gas emissions could unfold further substantial benefits especially for people who still don't have appropriate access to health care, clean water and education: the generated financial resources could help significantly in the success of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) finds. The major British business magazine The Economist included PIK's new scientific findings in its article about the design of carbon taxes. Source: The Economist (UK), 18.08.2018.

"How to design carbon taxes" - Read More…

"Europe's freak weather, explained"

Politico (EU) - "We’ve all become increasingly used to reports of extreme weather over the past few years. But this summer’s raft of dramatic weather events is significant: Not only does it show what warming can do, it points to the potential large-scale trouble that lurks in the disruption of the planet’s winds and ocean currents", writes PIK-scientist Stefan Rahmstorf in his guest contribution in the European magazine Politico. "The reality of global warming is catching up with us fast, and no longer an issue for future generations. We will need to prepare for more unpleasant surprises in the coming years, and we need to urgently cut down emissions to prevent further destabilizing our climate system." Source: Politico (EU), 16.08.2018.

"Europe's freak weather, explained" - Read More…

"How many more will have to die as Asia gets hotter?"

SCMP (Hong Kong) - "Record temperatures have claimed thousands of lives and caused droughts and floods across the continent in recent months, and the forecast is not cool", introduces the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post its recent article about extreme weather in Asia. Last year, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released their report "A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific." PIK-scientist Kira Vinke now said: "All the great work done in the Asia-Pacific region in the last decades lifting millions of people out of poverty is now being threatened by climate change." Source: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), 11.08.2018.

"How many more will have to die as Asia gets hotter?" - Read More…

"Earth at risk of becoming 'hothouse' if tipping point reached"

CNN (USA) - A new study with involvement of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) shows: the Earth is at risk of heading towards an irreversible "Hothouse" state. The scientists analyzed several points of no return: "These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. [...] Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if 'Hothouse Earth' becomes the reality", said the designated PIK-director Johan Rockström. Source: CNN International (USA), 07.08.2018.

"Earth at risk of becoming 'hothouse' if tipping point reached" - Read More…

"Earth risks tipping into 'hothouse' state: study"

The Independent (Bangladesh) - An international team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other renowned institutions discovered: even if the CO2 emission reductions negotiated in the Paris Agreement are achieved, the planet risks entering conditions what the scientists call "Hothouse Earth". A cascade of points of no return "may tip the entire Earth system into a new mode of operation," said PIK-director John Schellnhuber. Source: The Independent (Bangladesh), 07.08.2018.

"Earth risks tipping into 'hothouse' state: study" - Read More…

"Terra corre risco de entrar em 'efeito estufa' irreversível"

UOL (Brazil) - By analyzing natural feedback processes, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other international institutions showed that Earth is at risk entering an irreversible "hothouse" state. Chances of avoiding this requires not only the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but also measures like improved forest, agricultural and soil management, biodiversity conservation and technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the new study says. Source: UOL (Brazil), 07.08.2018. Article in Portugese.

"Terra corre risco de entrar em 'efeito estufa' irreversível" - Read More…

"Vers des canicules de plus en plus fréquentes"

France24 (France) - The current extraordinary heat in the entire northern hemisphere is highly unusual. At the same time the last three years have been the warmest globally since weather records began. Scientists like Anders Levermann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) expect such extreme episodes likelier to occur in the future without a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Source: France24 (France) with Agence France Presse (AFP), 26.07.2018. Article in French.

"Vers des canicules de plus en plus fréquentes" - Read More…

"How a carbon tax could fight poverty and climate change at the same time"

Anthropocene Magazine (International) - Prices for the emission of greenhouse gases like CO2 would not only be a stimulus for the withdrawal from the burning of fossil fuels. It could also make substantial financial resources available for succeeding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new study with involvement of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) finds. "If you look at both climate and sustainable development policies at the same time, it turns out that carbon pricing could indeed address both problems simultaneously and effectively", says lead author Max Franks from PIK. Source: Anthropocene Magazine (International), 24.07.2018.

"How a carbon tax could fight poverty and climate change at the same time" - Read More…

"Climate change will affect our food production"

Sustainable Transitions Blog (Germany) - How do our diets affect climate change? How will our changing diets affect the climate in the future? What is food waste and how do you measure it? Where do people waste the most food? What is a yield gap? Why does it matter in the context of climate change? These questions and more are answered in this 32 minute interview by PIK-scientist Prajal Pradhan. Source: Sustainable Transitions Blog (Germany), 20.07.2018.

"Climate change will affect our food production" - Read More…

"Will extreme weather become even deadlier?"

Deutsche Welle (Germany) - "Our Earth is once again being hit by extreme weather, including extreme heat and wildfires in California, and devastating floods of rain in Japan. Based on the laws of physics, due to global warming, we must expect more frequent and worsening events", says the renowned scientist Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in a statement. "This trend can only be halted if the Paris Agreement for stabilizing our climate is rapidly and fully implemented", he adds. Source: Deutsche Welle (Germany), 12.07.2018.

"Will extreme weather become even deadlier?" - Read More…

"Economic optimization risks tipping of important Earth system elements"

Business Mirror (Philippines) - Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now used mathematical methods for the comparison of different economic and governance concepts. It turned out that the concept of profit maximization is not sufficient to avoid the tipping of critical elements in the Earth system that could dramatically change our livelihoods. And which of the other examined concepts (sustainability or the safe operating space approach, relying on the Planetary Boundaries concept) is most suitable, depends on the specific circumstances: "It turns out that there is no master concept for countering environmental challenges", says PIK-scientist Jürgen Kurths who contributed to the study. Source: Business Mirror (Philippines), 11.07.2018.

"Economic optimization risks tipping of important Earth system elements" - Read More…

"Lab-grown livestock feed may ease climatic effects of feed production"

UPI News Agency (USA) - Today's conventional agricultural feed cultivation has severe impacts on the environment and climate. A new study with involvement of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now evaluated the potential economic and environmental effects of an increasing replacement of the conventional feed by industrial microbes. "Cultivating feed protein in labs instead of using croplands might be able to mitigate some environmental and climatic impacts of feed production", says PIK-scientist Benjamin Bodirsky who contributed to the study. Source: United Press International (USA), 20.06.2018.

"Lab-grown livestock feed may ease climatic effects of feed production" - Read More…

"West Antarctic Ice Sheet unlikely to reverse retreat"

Iran Daily (Iran) - After the last ice age about 10.000 years ago, the Antarctic ice was melting due to rising temperatures. The retreat was then surprisingly reversed by processes which themselves were also caused by the melting. But these reversal processes are slow: "Given the speed of current climate change from burning fossil fuels, the mechanism we detected unfortunately does not work fast enough to save today's ice sheets from melting and causing seas to rise" says Torsten Albrecht from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who was one of the authors of the study. Source: Iran Daily (Iran), 17.06.2018.

"West Antarctic Ice Sheet unlikely to reverse retreat" - Read More…

"Scientists trace ice sheets in history of West, East Antarctica"

Xinhua News Ageny (China) - After the end of the last ice-age, the shrinking of the Antarctic ice itself stopped the shrinking: without the weight of the melted ice, the Earth crust lifted - and thus triggered the re-advance of the ice sheet. "[The ice] retreated inland by more than 1.000 kilometers in a period of 1.000 years in this region. [...] Instead of total collapse, the ice-sheet grew again by up to 400 kilometers. This is an amazing self-induced stabilization", says the concerning study's co-author Torsten Albrecht from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). But this slow reversal mechanism will not stop sea-level rise today. Source: Xinhua (China), 14.06.2018.

"Scientists trace ice sheets in history of West, East Antarctica" - Read More…

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