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SPECIAL: IPCC report on 1,5°C: Unprecedented transformation needed to reach climate targets

Arctic Sea IceLimiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, says a new detailed assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries were involved in preparing the report, among them Elmar Kriegler from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who is one of the lead authors for the key chapter on mitigation pathways. The Special Report on Global warming of 1.5°C will be an important scientific input into the UN climate summit in Poland in December and was prepared in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change when the historic Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015. Read more...

Edenhofer again ranked amongst Germany’s top economists

Edenhofer again ranked amongst Germany’s top economists

09/03/2018 – Ottmar Edenhofer has once again been ranked one of Germany’s leading economists by the national daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He is the only climate expert who made it into the top 20. In the category of scientific quotations, Edenhofer now reached the 4th rank. In the overall ranking which is based on a number of broader criteria, he is ranked 12. Later this month, Edenhofer will become one of the two new Directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He is also Professor at Technische Universität Berlin and Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change.

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Just & In–Time Climate Policy Four Initiatives for a Fair Transformation

Just & In–Time Climate Policy Four Initiatives for a Fair Transformation

31/08/2018 - Together with the Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, and Georg Schütte from the Federal Ministry for Innovation and Research,, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber presented a new policy paper of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). It names four necessary initiatives for fair and timely climate policy.

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Nice sunny days can grow into heat waves – and wildfires: summer weather is stalling

Nice sunny days can grow into heat waves – and wildfires: summer weather is stalling

20/08/2018 - Be it heavy downpours or super-hot spells, summer weather becomes more persistent in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. When those conditions stall for several days or weeks, they can turn into extremes: heatwaves resulting in droughts, health risks and wildfires; or relentless rainfall resulting in floods. A team of scientists now presents the first comprehensive review of research on summer weather stalling focusing on the influence of the disproportionally strong warming of the Arctic as caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Evidence is mounting, they show, that we likely meddle with circulation patterns high up in the sky. These are affecting, in turn, regional and local weather patterns – with sometimes disastrous effects on the ground. This has been the case with the 2016 wildfire in Canada, another team of scientists show in a second study.

Nice sunny days can grow into heat waves – and wildfires: summer weather is stalling - Read More…

Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state

Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state

06/08/2018 - Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed. An international team of scientists has published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of the planet entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions. A “Hothouse Earth” climate will in the long term stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 m higher than today, the paper says. The authors conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy.

Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state - Read More…

Summer of extremes - PIK experts in the media

Summer of extremes - PIK experts in the media

07/26/2018 - Everybody seems to be talking about the weather these days, with extreme heat in Germany and Europe, forest fires in Sweden, Greece and California. From Japan to the Arctic - the Northern hemisphere is currently experiencing a heat wave and experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK) were interviewed by numerous media outlets for an assessment of the current situation in the light of climate change.

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Alumni return to PIK: New award facilitates research visits

Alumni return to PIK: New award facilitates research visits

07/20/2018 - The Potsdam Institute is keen to keep in touch with its alumni in Germany and all over the world, and has therefore set up a dedicated Alumni programme. Facilitated by funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the programme includes a "PIK Alumni Return Award" intended to enable former PIK scientists to return for a brief research visit to Potsdam. The next alumni-returnee will be Veronika Stolbova, at present a postdoc at the ETH Zurich. She will visit the institute to further advance research with PIK colleagues and give a presentation of her current work.

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Flipping the switch: making use of carbon price dollars for health and education

Flipping the switch: making use of carbon price dollars for health and education

07/16/2018 - While health systems, clean water and education are a plain given in many parts of the world, millions of people still do not have sufficient access to these basic public goods. In fact, carbon prices could make substantial financial resources available for succeeding with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, a team of scientists now finds. At the same time, carbon pricing could be a central contribution to meet global climate targets and limit global warming to well below 2°C until the end of the century.

Flipping the switch: making use of carbon price dollars for health and education - Read More…

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