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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...

Schellnhuber speaks at World Economic Forum in Davos

Schellnhuber speaks at World Economic Forum in Davos

01/23/2015 - The World Economic Forum in Davos, assembling hundreds of government and business leaders, invited the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, to speak. He joined a panel on climate risks with the Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the President of the financial services and rating company Standard & Poor's , and the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. The audience included scientists like Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University and policy-makers such as Christiana Figueres of the UNFCCC.

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National academy acatech appoints Ottmar Edenhofer

National academy acatech appoints Ottmar Edenhofer

01/16/2015 - In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements, climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer has been elected a member of the German National Academy for Science and Engineering, acatech. Edenhofer is deputy director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), and Professor at Technische Universität Berlin. He already chairs the Energy Platform of the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE), of which acatech is a part. In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Edenhofer led the working group on mitigation which published its highly influential Fifth Assessment Report last year.

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Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

01/16/2015 - Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science. The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles. The scientists say that two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are “core boundaries” – significantly altering either of these would “drive the Earth System into a new state”. The team will present their findings in seven seminars at the World Economic Forum in Davos (21-25 January).

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