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SPECIAL: Summer extremes of 2018 linked to stalled giant waves in jet stream

Arctic Sea IceRecord breaking heatwaves and droughts in North America and Western Europe, torrential rainfalls and floods in South-East Europe and Japan - the summer of 2018 brought a series of extreme weather events that occurred almost simultaneously around the Northern Hemisphere in June and July. These extremes had something in common, a new study by an international team of climate researchers now finds: the events were connected by a newly identified pattern of the jet stream encircling the Earth. The jet stream formed a stalled wave pattern in the atmosphere which made weather conditions more persistent and thus extreme in the affected regions. The same pattern also occurred during European heat waves in 2015, 2006 and 2003, which rank among the most extreme heatwaves ever recorded. In recent years, the scientists observed a clear increase of these patterns. Read more...

Kira Vinke appointed co-chair of new Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention

Kira Vinke appointed co-chair of new Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention

14.12.2018 - Kira Vinke from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been appointed to the new Advisory Council on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding of the German Federal Government. The new Advisory Board is composed of renowned experts from for instance academia, foundations and non-governmental organisations and comes together this week for the first time. The focus of the Advisory Board is to pool civil society and technical expertise on crisis prevention and peacebuilding and thus to inform the work of the Federal Ministries.

Kira Vinke appointed co-chair of new Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention - Read More…

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes

12.12.2018 - More and more rainfall extremes are observed in regions around the globe – triggering both wet and dry records, a new study shows. Yet there are big differences between regions: The central and Eastern US, northern Europe and northern Asia have experienced heavy rainfall events that have led to severe floods in recent past. In contrast, most African regions have seen an increased frequency of months with a lack of rain. The study is the first to systematically analyze and quantify changes in record-breaking monthly rainfall events from all over the globe, based on data from roughly 50,000 weather stations worldwide. Climate change from fossil fuel greenhouse gases has long been expected to disturb rainfall patterns.

Record-wet and record-dry months increased in regions worldwide: climate change drives rainfall extremes - Read More…

Planetary Boundaries and Global Commons - managing risks and solutions

Planetary Boundaries and Global Commons - managing risks and solutions

11.12.2018 - Weather extremes, food security, migration: people's livelihoods depend on climate stabilization. The joint side event of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) at the UN climate summit COP24 highlighted how a safe operating space for humanity within Planetary Boundaries and the sustainable use of Global Commons like the atmosphere are key concepts combining natural and social sciences to safeguard our future. Based on these fundamental concepts, sound options for managing risks and solutions were explored by the new joint PIK leadership Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer.

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Must-Knows for Climate Negotiators: 10 New Insights in Climate Science

Must-Knows for Climate Negotiators: 10 New Insights in Climate Science

10.12.2018 - Many impacts of human-induced climate change, from drought and heat waves to Antarctic ice melting, are coming earlier than expected. Extreme events, such as recent fires in North America and floods across Asia, can with increased certainty be linked to global warming. Halving global emissions over the next decade is technically achievable and would save the world billions of dollars, say scientists in a new statement to coincide with the UN annual climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

Must-Knows for Climate Negotiators: 10 New Insights in Climate Science - Read More…

Joint call for swift and just climate action: the Katowice Memorandum

Joint call for swift and just climate action: the Katowice Memorandum

10/12/2018 - Researchers, intellectuals and spiritual leaders jointly call for swift and just climate action. Together, they formulate the Katowice Memorandum at a symposium co-organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) during the 24th UN Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland.

Joint call for swift and just climate action: the Katowice Memorandum - Read More…

PIK expertise at COP24 in Katowice

PIK expertise at COP24 in Katowice

06.12.2018 - Experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are taking part in the UN climate conference COP24, from December 3 - 14 in Katowice, Poland. PIK's Designated Directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström for instance will speak at High-Level Side Events about topics like the economy and development, and present new insights from climate science. A Joint Symposium organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique with eminent speakers like PIK's Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, will discuss "Safeguarding Our Climate, Advancing Our Society".

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Ricarda Winkelmann wins academics' young scientist award

Ricarda Winkelmann wins academics' young scientist award

06/12/2018 - Ricarda Winkelmann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has been honoured as this year's Young Scientist of the Year by 'academics' by ZEIT publishing group. Winkelmann was awarded due to her outstanding and groundbreaking research and publication achievements in researching the climate system and the risks of climate change. She is junior professor for Climate System Analysis at the University of Potsdam and scientist at PIK in research domain Earth System Analysis. She heads the Leibniz project "DominoES - Domino Effects in the Earth System" as well as the PIK working group on ice sheet dynamics.

Ricarda Winkelmann wins academics' young scientist award - Read More…

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