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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.

"Counting the true costs of climate change"

Phys.org (UK) - Hundreds of millions of people will be affected by climate change impacts and their implications for health or migration already within the next few decades, sectors that so far often get overlooked in this context. This is one of the insights of the Impacts World Conference organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany this week. About 500 scientists from 67 countries were gathering at the conference with the title “Counting the true costs of climate change” to push climate impact research to the next level. Source: Phys.org (UK), 11.10.2017.

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"A brief history of CO2 emissions"

Short film - Fossil energy sources are millions of years of stored solar energy. Its exploitation provided us short-term economic growth. Yet through the burning of fossil fuels, in just 250 years humans have increased CO2 quantity in the atmosphere by 40 percent - to levels last seen four million years ago. Hence the Earth already heated up by 1° Celsius - and will continue to do so by up to 4° with unconstrained emissions. An animated short film, developed under scientific lead by Elmar Kriegler and based upon data research by Lavinia Baumstark, both from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), shows: The time to act is now! Released at 13.09.2017.

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"Irma leaves trail of destruction in Caribbean"

CBC Radio (Canada) - Have we ever seen a Hurricane like Irma? In an interview with Canada's major public broadcasting radio CBC, Anders Levermann explains the connections between the ongoing human-caused climate change and the hazardous storms striking the Carribean (from minute 11.10). Levermann is Co-Chair of the Research Domain Sustainable Solutions at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Source: CBC Radio (Canada), 08.09.2017.

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"The likelihood of floods is changing with the climate"

The Economist (UK) - Already in 2015, a study by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) detected a clear upward trend in the past few decades towards more record-breaking heavy rainfall events. The increase was found to be consistent with rising global temperatures. The major British newspaper The Economist now highlights this and other studies providing evidence for an increased likelihood of severe flood events. Source: The Economist (UK), 31.08.2017.

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"Debate over climate and hurricanes is getting louder and louder"

The Washington Post (USA) - A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor. This was favouring extreme rainfall events "because they tend to occur with moisture-saturated air masses", explains Stefan Rahmstorf in an article on hurricanes by the major US newspaper The Washington Post. Stefan Rahmstorf is Co-Chair of the Research Domain Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Source: The Washington Post (USA), 30.08.2017.

"Debate over climate and hurricanes is getting louder and louder" - Read More…

"Why Harvey is stuck near Texas"

Bloomberg (USA) - Hurricane Harvey had a devastating impact on Texas. For several days, the giant storm persisted nearly stationary. Earlier this year, a study by scientists around Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) delivered further evidence, that climate change might weaken giant airstreams circling the Earth, thus favouring stationary weather conditions. The major US news agency Bloomberg reports. Source: Bloomberg (USA), 30.08.2017.

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"Is tropical storm Harvey linked to climate change?"

The Guardian (UK) - Will stationary storms like Harvey become more common in the future? Giant airstreams circle Earth's Northern hemisphere in huge turns between the tropics and the Arctic. When these planetary waves slow down, extreme weather conditions can stay longer in a given location, explains Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an article by the major British newspaper The Guardian. Source: The Guardian (UK), 29.08.2017.

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"Power demand to peak in Europe summers, not winters"

France 24 (France) - A new study from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) projected the effect of climate change on European electricity consumption. Energy demands will rise due to increased indoor air conditioning in hotter summers, especially in Southern Europe. Leonie Wenz was lead author of the study and explains the results in an article by the major French news agency AFP, as released by the TV channel France 24. Source: France 24 (France), 28.08.2017.

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"Electricity demand in Southern Europe to soar"

The Guardian (UK) - A new study shows: future warming due to greenhouse gas emissions will change electricity consumption patterns in Europe. Daily peak loads in Southern Europe will increase and overall consumption will shift from the North to the South. Anders Levermann from the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was part of the research team, and comments on the results in an article by the major British newspaper The Guardian. Source: The Guardian (UK), 28.08.2017.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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