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SPECIAL: Science to COP25:
Must Knows for Climate Negotiators

Science to COP25: Must Knows for Climate NegotiatorsThe pace of contemporary rise in greenhouse gas concentrations is unprecedented in climate history over the past 66 million years and weather extremes are the “new normal,” according to some of the latest findings in climate science compiled in an easy-to-read guide for negotiators, policymakers, and media for the COP25 summit in Madrid. PIK Director Johan Rockström and colleagues from Future Earth and the Earth League today presented the “10 New Insights in Climate Science” report to UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa at COP25 in the Spanish capital Madrid. Read more...

Earth-Docs wanted: a new kind of research position

Earth-Docs wanted: a new kind of research position

03/18/2015 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is offering a new kind of research position for outstanding young scientists: they can become an Earth-Doc as part of an international research team working across research institutions and disciplines. The state-of-the-art programme has been launched by the Earth League, an international alliance of 17 leading scientists and institutions, co-founded by PIK. Applicants for the new position focusing on the role of social agents in Earth system dynamics should have a background in global sustainability and modelling.

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Global warming brings more snow to Antarctica

Global warming brings more snow to Antarctica

03/17/2015 - Although it sounds paradoxical, rising temperatures might result in more snowfall in Antarctica. Each degree of regional warming could increase snowfall on the ice continent by about 5 percent, an international team of scientists led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research now quantified. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, their work builds on high-quality ice-core data and fundamental laws of physics captured in global and regional climate model simulations. The results provide a missing link for future projections of Antarctica’s critical contribution to sea-level rise. However, the increase in snowfall will not save Antarctica from losing ice, since a lot of the added ice is transported out into the ocean by its own weight.

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Summer storm weakening leads to more persistent heat extremes

Summer storm weakening leads to more persistent heat extremes

03/12/2015 - Storm activity in large parts of the US, Europe and Russia significantly calmed down during summers over the past decades, but this is no good news. The weakening of strong winds associated with the jetstream and weather systems prolongs and hence intensifies heat extremes like the one in Russia in 2010 which caused devastating crop failures and wildfires. This is shown in a study to be published in the renowned journal Science by a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. They link the findings to changes in the Arctic caused by man-made global warming.

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Climate change impacts across sectors: frontier science workshop

Climate change impacts across sectors: frontier science workshop

03/06/2015 – A global community of scientists that aim at bringing research on climate change impacts to a new level met in Austria this week. More than 130 institutes are now member of the unique Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). The participants discussed insights from their thorough model evaluation, including hindcast. Comparing the model output with real processes in history provides crucial information about strengths and weaknesses of models, and how to make use of them. Moreover, pathways to a longer-term coordinated impact assessment effort have been discussed.

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US Government Accountability Office seeks exchange with climate scientists

US Government Accountability Office seeks exchange with climate scientists

02/23/2015 - The Government Accountability Office of the US Congress (GAO) considers climate change impacts such as floodings or droughts to be a financial risk. To study the German perspective on this issue, it sent a high-ranking delegation to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as to some other institutions in Europe. This will result in a report on how to improve climate services in the US.

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IPCC scientist appointed professor

IPCC scientist appointed professor

02/10/2015 - The head of the Technical Support Unit of the IPCC’s Working Group on climate change mitigation, hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has now been appointed as Professor for Science-Policy and Sustainable Development at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. The scientist, Jan Minx, also serves as head of the new working group “Applied Sustainability Science” at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), and he remains a guest scientist at PIK. Both the Working Group on mitigation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and MCC are led by PIK’s chief-economist Ottmar Edenhofer.

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The Global Calculator: new tool for climate information launched

The Global Calculator: new tool for climate information launched

02/06/2015 - Informing businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations about options for cutting CO2 emissions and the trade-offs for energy and land is the ambition of a new web platform called the Global Calculator. An international team led by the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change and co-funded by the European Union’s Climate-KIC launched the tool last week. Scientists that contributed to the community effort came from institutions such as the London School of Economics, the International Energy Agency, the Chinese Energy Research Institute, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and its spinoff Climate Media Factory (CMF).

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