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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.

"Le Sahel, bientôt du manque d'eau au trop-plein?"

Franceinfo (France) - Mauretania, Mali, Niger, Tchad, Soudan - the Sahel belt south of the Sahara is considered one of the driest regions of Africa. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now found evidence for a possible abrupt change to heavy seasonal rainfall beyond a global warming of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. Such climatic changes would pose a major adaptation challenge and thus an additional burden for the already troubled region. Text in French. Source: Franceinfo (France), 02.08.2017.

"Le Sahel, bientôt du manque d'eau au trop-plein?" - Read More…

"Climate change pushing Asia towards doom"

The Financial Express (India) - Continuing global warming would lead to severe and manifold dangers for countries in Asia and the Pacific, according to a recent major report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). At the same time, "the Asian countries hold Earth's future in their hands. If they choose to protect themselves against dangerous climate change, they will help to save the entire planet", says PIK-director John Schellnhuber. Source: The Financial Express (India), 31.07.2017.

"Climate change pushing Asia towards doom" - Read More…

"Asia warned of climate catastrophe"

Financial Times Chinese (UK) - A recent major report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) warns of devastating consequences of unabated climate change to countries in Asia and the Pacific. Their future growth could be affected, current development gains reversed, and well-being could be threatened. Even adapting to 1.5°C global warming would be a major task for the region, PIK-director John Schellnhuber says. Source: Financial Times Chinese (UK), 14.07.2017.

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"Global Warming Could Turn Sahel Green within Decades"

The North Africa Post (Morocco) - By means of computer simulations, PIK-scientists found evidence that rainfall in the Sahel might abruptly increase beyond 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius of global warming. Through crossing critical humidity thresholds, a Monsoon circulation could be switched on. "This is a self-amplifying feedback. More moisture, more rain, more latent heat released, and this heat is amplifying the circulation as a whole", explains Jacob Schewe from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Source: The North Africa Post (Morocco), 08.07.2017.

"Global Warming Could Turn Sahel Green within Decades" - Read More…

"Climate change may turn Africa's arid Sahel green"

Voice of America (USA) - Global warming could turn one of Africa's driest regions into a very wet one, a new PIK-study shows. Although this change is potentially beneficial in the long term, the societal outcome also depends on whether the region is prepared for fluctuations, says lead author Jacob Schewe from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "The enormous change that we might see would clearly pose a huge adaptation challenge to the Sahel", adds PIK-scientist Anders Levermann, who also contributed to the study. Source: Voice of America (USA), 05.07.2017.

"Climate change may turn Africa's arid Sahel green" - Read More…

"0,5°C grados de más bastan para multiplicar los desastres climáticos"

Radio France International Español (France) - In the Paris Climate Agreement, a climate target of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius was negotiated. So it is high on the agenda to find out how far this half a degree matters. The scientists Carl-Friedrich Schleussner and Peter Pfleiderer from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Reserach (PIK) dealed with this topic in a commentary in the renowned scientific journal Nature Climate Change. Text in Spanish. Source: Radio France International Español (France), 30.06.2017.

"0,5°C grados de más bastan para multiplicar los desastres climáticos" - Read More…

"Turning the Climate Tide by 2020"

The Washington Post (USA) - The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, leading climate scientists alongside former UN climate secretary Christiana Figueres state in a highlight scientific comment. Among them are PIK-scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, PIK-director John Schellnhuber and Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Center. The latter two proposed a "Carbon Law" linking short-term targets to long-term goals for deep decarbonization earlier this year. Source: The Washington Post (USA), 29.06.2017.

"Turning the Climate Tide by 2020" - Read More…

"On climate and refugees: the G20 Interfaith Summit"

ABC (Australia) - Preliminary to the G20 economic conference in Hamburg, the world's religious leaders have discussed the nexus of climate change, global migration and refugees on an interfaith summit. The sociocultural dimension of global warming has been explored from a spiritual perspective. In an interview, PIK's chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer speaks of arising societal implications and explains his view on the issue - as well as the one of Pope Francis, who emphasized the topic in his environment encyclical Laudato Si. Source: ABC (Australia), 21.06.2017.

"On climate and refugees: the G20 Interfaith Summit" - Read More…

"Zero Carbon Ahead"

NHK (Japan) - The Paris Agreement symbolizes the world's desire to reduce carbon emissions. How did it affect businesses around the globe? The highlight documentary "Zero Carbon Ahead" by Japan's major public broadcasting service NHK travels along the road to decarbonization. On board is PIK-director John Schellnhuber, who established the 2 degrees Celsius guardrail of global warming agreed at the UN Climate Summit in Paris. While the first part of the documentary deals with fossil fuel divestment and climate friendly investment, the second evinces pathways to energy transition. Source: NHK (Japan), 11.06.2017.

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"Indian monsoon: novel approach allows early forecasting"

BBC Radio Lincolnshire (UK) - With a novel method developed by PIK-scientists, the Indian monsoon can be forecasted significantly earlier than before. So in 2016, the research team was able to predict onset and withdrawal of the Indian Summer Monsoon correctly and unprecedentedly early. In an interview, PIK-scientist Jürgen Kurths explains the value of the new method. As future climate change will likely affect monsoon stability, accurate forecasting will become even more relevant. Source: BBC Radio Lincolnshire (UK), 03.06.2017.

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"You can not negotiate with the Earth System"

BBC World Radio (UK) - Donald Trump announced that he wants to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. "From a scientific point of view, he's completely on the wrong track", says Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of PIK's research domain Earth System Analysis, in an interview. But contrary to the course of the US President, there were strong allies within the United States dedicated to take their responsibility for the future seriously. Can the agreement still be a success? Interview from Minute 7.05. Source: BBC World Radio (UK), 02.06.2017.

"You can not negotiate with the Earth System" - Read More…

"Stop hoping we can fix climate change by pulling carbon out of the air, scientists warn"

The Washington Post (USA) - Even though biomass plantations in well-selected places could support climate policies of rapid and strong emission cuts, the latter remain by far the most important option to protect the global climate. Growing plants and then storing the CO2 they have taken up is no viable choice to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning, a new study shows. PIK-scientist Lena Boysen was lead author of the paper and explains context and results. Source: The Washington Post (USA), 22.05.2017.

"Stop hoping we can fix climate change by pulling carbon out of the air, scientists warn" - Read More…

"Antarctica un-plugged: climate change, ice dynamics and sea level rise"

PIK-scientist Ricarda Winkelmann is not only Junior Professor of Climate System Analysis at Potsdam University, she has also contributed to the Sea-Level Change chapter of the 5th IPCC report. In her multimedia lecture at 2017's re:publica conference in Berlin, she reported from her scientific expedition to Antarctica and brought the audience up-to-date in research on climate change, ice dynamics and sea level rise. Join her on a journey far south. Audio and video recording, 08.05.2017.

"Antarctica un-plugged: climate change, ice dynamics and sea level rise" - Read More…

"Warming slowdown dismissed by top scientist"

Past claims of a 'slowdown' of the global warming trend are proven wrong by statistical analysis, a new PIK-study shows. While there is some natural short-term variability, the study finds no significant slowdown or 'pause' in the upward trend. "Because fluctuation is ever-present, it is important to tell the difference between genuine trend change and appearances that are merely the manifestation of 'noise", says PIK-scientist Stefan Rahmstorf. Source: Climate News Network (USA), 26.04.2017.

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"March for Science' - in more than 500 cities worldwide"

All around the world, demonstrations for science take place on April 22nd - under the title "March for Science". PIK-scientist Stefan Rahmstorf explains in an interview, why the research community goes out to the streets - and which problems science is facing at the moment. Video in Russian language. Source: Deutsche Welle Russia, 21.04.2017.

"March for Science' - in more than 500 cities worldwide" - Read More…

"Making the Planetary Boundaries Concept Work"

More than 400 researchers and representatives from politics, businesses and society are discussing the concept of Planetary Boundaries this week in Berlin. "The concept of Planetary Boundaries describes on a scientific basis what the limits are that we should adhere to with changes of the planet so that we do not enter dangerous terrain", explains PIK-scientist Wolfgang Lucht. Source: adelphi Channel (YouTube), 12.04.2017.

"Making the Planetary Boundaries Concept Work" - Read More…

"Climate change is altering global air currents – increasing droughts, heatwaves and floods"

Already in 2013, a PIK-study explored the connections between the so-called Rossby-Waves and local surface weather. A new PIK-study delivers further evidence for the human fingerprint on these links. PIK-scientist Kai Kornhuber explains in an illustrated video, how extreme weather events are influenced by the giant airstreams - and how climate change affects them. Source: The Independent (UK), 27.03.2017.

"Climate change is altering global air currents – increasing droughts, heatwaves and floods" - Read More…

"Climate change: 'human fingerprint' found on global extreme weather"

Past PIK-studies have shown that a weaker jet stream makes the weather more persistent and promotes prolonged heat waves. New research provides further evidence, that the conditions for such weather extremes are favourably influenced by human-made climate change. PIK-scientists Stefan Rahmstorf and Kai Kornhuber comment on their results. Source: The Guardian (UK), 27.03.2017.

"Climate change: 'human fingerprint' found on global extreme weather" - Read More…

"Moore's law' for carbon would defeat global warming"

On the eve of this year's Earth hour, international experts propose a roadmap strategy for achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century. "Short-termism has been a problem for all the 25 years I have been involved in climate negotiations," says PIK-director John Schellnhuber. The "carbon law" links short-term targets to long-term goals - by halving emissions every ten years. Source: The Guardian (UK), 23.03.2017.

"Moore's law' for carbon would defeat global warming" - Read More…

"How Do Climate Change Related Natural Disasters Potentially Increase the Risk of Armed Conflicts?"

A PIK-study found out: climate disasters like heat-waves or droughts potentially enhance the risk of armed conflict. While such disasters might be increased through climate change, they can trigger the outbreak of conflicts particularly in ethnically fractionalized societies. In a video feature, PIK-scientist Jonathan Donges explains the study results. Source: Latest Thinking (Germany), 21.03.2017.

"How Do Climate Change Related Natural Disasters Potentially Increase the Risk of Armed Conflicts?" - Read More…

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