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SPECIAL: What saved the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 10,000 years ago will not save it today

 Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning
The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago, scientists found. This is in stark contrast to previous assumptions. In fact, it was the shrinking itself that stopped the shrinking: relieved from the weight of the ice, the Earth crust lifted and triggered the re-advance of the ice sheet. However, this mechanism is much too slow to prevent dangerous sea-level rise caused by West Antarctica’s ice-loss in the present and near future. Only rapid greenhouse-gas emission reductions can. Read more...

New junior professor for climate adaptation

New junior professor for climate adaptation

05/05/2015 – To strengthen its research on climate adaptation, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has chosen Nicole Glanemann to become a junior professor in this crucial field. The joint appointment by the Otto Beisheim School of Management WHU and PIK focuses on the impacts of climate change on global infrastructures and supply chains. The new professorship is also intended to advance the economic theory of adaptation and mitigation.

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Tackling climate change adaptation: European conference in Copenhagen

Tackling climate change adaptation: European conference in Copenhagen

04/30/2015 - Decision-makers from politics, business and science will meet from May 12-14 in Copenhagen to discuss climate change adaptation. Organized on behalf of the European Commission by three major climate adaptation projects, the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference ECCA 2015 will bring together scientific and practical knowledge to explore strategies for European cities to cope with climate impacts. The Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, being the leader of one of the featured EU projects, is a co-organizer.

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„A moral imperative“: Schellnhuber speaks at Vatican climate meeting

„A moral imperative“: Schellnhuber speaks at Vatican climate meeting

04/29/2015 - In the run-up of the much anticipated encyclica on climate change by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop with researchers as well as religious, business and civil society leaders this week. The list of distinguished speakers in the Vatican included UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the Nobel Laureates Yuan Tseh Lee and Paul Crutzen, Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California, the economist Jeffrey Sachs of New York's Columbia University, and John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The goal was, according to the organizers, to build a global movement to deal with climate change and sustainable development throughout 2015 and beyond.

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“The Great Urban Transformation“: Nobel Laureates call on cities to tackle sustainability challenge

“The Great Urban Transformation“: Nobel Laureates call on cities to tackle sustainability challenge

04/25/2015 - Cities around the globe need to re-invent themselves if they want to be a safe home for generations to come. Nobel Laureates call upon cities to tackle the dual challenge of population growth and climate change and seize the opportunity to lead the transition to sustainability. National and internationally agreed greenhouse-gas reduction targets need to guide and support local action. The distinguished scientists signed a memorandum this week in Hong Kong at the end of the three-day Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability, convened for the first time in Asia. The Symposium was co-hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

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Girls' Day: students learn about career opportunities in science

Girls' Day: students learn about career opportunities in science

04/24/2015 - Students from Berlin and Brandenburg visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on “Girls’ Day”. The day offers opportunities for young girls to find out about professions in the natural sciences, skilled crafts and trades, technology and information technologies and learn about alternative career opportunities.

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“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 - Nobel Laureates across the world and across disciplines this week are gathering in Hong Kong to elevate the debate on climate change to a new level and to feed into the world climate summit in Paris later this year. For the first time, the Nobel Laureates are meeting in Asia for the symposium, “4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities”. Cities are key to addressing the challenge of climate change which, if unabated, might result in a 4°C rise in mean temperature by the end of this century. Participants of the symposium include Nobel Prize winners Yuan T. Lee (Chemistry, 1986) from Taiwan, Brian Schmidt (Physics, 2011) from Australia, and James A. Mirrlees from the United Kingdom (Economics, 2006), complemented by international renowned experts such as K.S. Wong, Secretary for the Environment, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Aromar Revi of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements.

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Earth Day: Leading climate scientists publish essential elements for a global climate agreement

Earth Day: Leading climate scientists publish essential elements for a global climate agreement

04/22/2015 - The Earth League, an international alliance of prominent climate scientists, outlined the elements of a global climate agreement in a stark statement published today, coinciding with Earth Day. Written by 17 world-leading scientists, among them PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, their statement clarifies in eight essential elements, what an international climate agreement in line with the 2 degree target should achieve in Paris in December. Bold action by decision-makers is required now to pave the way for a successful international agreement to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change, the Earth League members say.

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