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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...

Record Balkan floods linked to jamming of giant airstreams

Record Balkan floods linked to jamming of giant airstreams

04/15/2016 - Disastrous floods in the Balkans two years ago are likely linked to the temporary slowdown of giant airstreams, scientists found. These wind patterns, circling the globe in the form of huge waves between the Equator and the North Pole, normally move eastwards, but practically stopped for several days then – at the same time, a weather system got stuck over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia that poured out record amounts of rain. The study adds evidence that so-called planetary wave resonance is a key mechanism for causing extreme weather events in summer. Further, the scientists showed that extreme rainfall events are strongly increasing in the Balkans, even more than the globally observed rise.

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Japanese Ambassador visits Telegraphenberg

Japanese Ambassador visits Telegraphenberg

04/14/2016 - The Japanese Ambassador to Germany, his Excellency Takeshi Yagi, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to exchange some ideas with PIK director John Schellnhuber and learn about the latest research on climate change.

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Reducing food waste could help mitigate climate change

Reducing food waste could help mitigate climate change

04/07/2016 - About a tenth of overall global greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture could be traced back to food waste by mid-century, a new study shows. A team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the first time provides comprehensive food loss projections for countries around the world while also calculating the associated emissions. Currently, one third of global food production never finds its way onto our plates. This share will increase drastically, if emerging countries like China and India adopt Western nutrition lifestyles, the analyses shows. Reducing food waste would offer the chance to ensure food security, which is well known. Yet at the same time it could help mitigate dangerous climate change.

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CO2 practitioners meet modelers

CO2 practitioners meet modelers

03/24/2016 - PIK scientists gathered for a one-day-conference this week to discuss limits and possibilities of CO2 fertilization both in models and observations in order to achieve the best scientific results. As special guests, they welcomed two experimentalists in the field: Bruce Kimball from the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, who is also a longstanding companion in CO2 research, and Onno Muller from the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich as acknowledged expert in phenotyping. Their input was complemented by contributions from PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and researchers Hermann Lotze-Campen, Katja Frieler, Christoph Müller and Frank Wechsung.

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"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue

"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue

03/16/2016 - Potsdam's scientific institutions published an open letter for a tolerant society, rejecting all expressions of hatred, violence, and intolerance towards people on the basis of their origins, appearance, religion, or other grounds. They position themselves in the ongoing discussion about refugees in the state of Brandenburg, and in Germany.

"The closed society is the antithesis of science": Potsdam research institutions on the refugee issue - Read More…

“Alice, the Zeta Cat and Climate Change”: A fairytale about the truth

“Alice, the Zeta Cat and Climate Change”: A fairytale about the truth

03/17/2016 - On a school field trip to Potsdam’s Telegraph Hill, Alice runs after a white rabbit – and falls into a hole, sliding down the ventilation shaft of a climate research institute’s supercomputer. From here on follows a journey through the virtual world of computer models, from tropical rainforests to the ice of Antarctica. This is the rather unusual beginning of a new publication from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), in very free adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s philosophical children’s book classic “Alice in Wonderland”. More than 50 scientists provided their expertise for this work by Margret Boysen, which is being presented at this year's Leipzig Book Fair and is now available in German book shops. An English version is in planning.

“Alice, the Zeta Cat and Climate Change”: A fairytale about the truth - Read More…

Scientists and policy-makers discuss Planetary Boundaries

Scientists and policy-makers discuss Planetary Boundaries

03/04/2016 - How can humankind limit global environmental change and stay within a safe operating space for development? This question is an issue both for scientists investigating environmental guardrails as well as for policy makers looking for feasible pathways. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) together with Berlin-based science policy thinktank ”adelphi research” and the Stockholm Environment Institute brought together leading international scientists and German policymakers in a workshop to discuss opportunities and limits for an operationalization of the Planetary Boundaries framework for national governance. The role of policies for increasing resource efficiency were a key issue throughout the meeting.

Scientists and policy-makers discuss Planetary Boundaries - Read More…

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