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SPECIAL: Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” state

Planet at risk of heading towards irreversible “Hothouse Earth” stateKeeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed. An international team of scientists has published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of the planet entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions. A “Hothouse Earth” climate will in the long term stabilize at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 m higher than today, the paper says. The authors conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy. Read more...

PIK´s Jürgen Kurths ranked as one of the most cited researchers

PIK´s Jürgen Kurths ranked as one of the most cited researchers

01/04/2018 – Jürgen Kurths was ranked as one of the most highly cited researchers in his field in 2017. His papers account for the top 1% of literature quoted in engineering sciences globally. The co-chair of research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Head of Nonlinear Dynamics at Humboldt-University in Berlin publishes numerous research articles in high-ranking scientific journals every year.

PIK´s Jürgen Kurths ranked as one of the most cited researchers - Read More…

Detecting abrupt transitions – be it in ocean heat or financial markets

Detecting abrupt transitions – be it in ocean heat or financial markets

01/03/2018 - From stock indices to sea surface temperatures, a lot of relevant data comes in the form of time series. Reliable detection of abrupt transitions such as a downswing of stock values or water warming during an El Niño event in the Pacific is obviously important, but most analyses fail to take into account the uncertainties in the data. The challenge is to distinguish sudden changes while being aware of the underlying uncertainties. Although there are a number of change point detection methods, scientists now propose for the first time an approach that accurately represents the time series uncertainties and thus provide a more robust analysis.

Detecting abrupt transitions – be it in ocean heat or financial markets - Read More…

PIK scientists at the Chaos Communication Congress 34C3

PIK scientists at the Chaos Communication Congress 34C3

29/12/2017 - For four days between Christmas and New Year´s, thousands of hackers, experts and artists meet every year to exchange news and views and learn about new technological developments and tools. The 34th Chaos Communication Congress (34C3) takes place in Leipzig this year, the organizers expect more than 13.000 participants. Science is represented as well, this year also by experts of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - climate change is one of this year´s main themes.

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 American Geophysical Union: Rahmstorf awarded with Climate Communication Prize at conference with 20,000 researchers

American Geophysical Union: Rahmstorf awarded with Climate Communication Prize at conference with 20,000 researchers

12/14/2017 - For his achievements in communicating climate science findings Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honoured with the Climate Communication Prize of the American Geophysical Association (AGU). He was awarded at the AGU Fall Meeting, where more than 20,000 scientists gathered at the largest international meeting of Earth and Space Sciences to discuss new trends and research findings.

American Geophysical Union: Rahmstorf awarded with Climate Communication Prize at conference with 20,000 researchers - Read More…

Meeting with Brandenburg´s prime minister addresses commission on the future of the coal region

Meeting with Brandenburg´s prime minister addresses commission on the future of the coal region

13/12/2017 - Brandenburg´s prime minister Dietmar Woidke and other members of the federal state government have convened with the heads of Potsdam´s climate research institutions. At the meeting at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the focus was on the energy policy of Brandenburg, especially in regard to coal mining in the Lausitz region. The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, proposed a future commission for Brandenburg. Experts could develop recommendations to generate new opportunities for the Lausitz region together with the people who live here.

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Tiny ice losses at Antarctica’s fringes can accelerate ice loss far away

Tiny ice losses at Antarctica’s fringes can accelerate ice loss far away

12/12/2017 - A thinning of small areas of floating ice at Antarctica’s coast can accelerate the movement of ice grounded on rocks hundreds of kilometers away, a new study shows. It is known that the ice shelves surrounding the continent regulate the ice flow from the land into the ocean. So far it was assumed that the ice flow is most vulnerable to melting at the base near the grounding line where the ice flows from land into the sea and becomes afloat. Now scientists found that also melting near the fringes and in the midst of the ice shelves can have direct effects reaching very far inland. This could increase ice loss and hence sea-level rise.

Tiny ice losses at Antarctica’s fringes can accelerate ice loss far away - Read More…

ReKliEs-De: Future climate trends in Germany

ReKliEs-De: Future climate trends in Germany

12/11/2017 - More heat-waves and heavy rainfalls, fewer cold spells, an increase in the annual mean temperature by 4°C, this is how the climate in Germany could evolve until the year 2100 in a scenario of unabated climate change - with massive consequences for agriculture and public health. These are the results of the project ReKliEs-De ("Regional Climate Projections Ensemble for Germany") which for the first time estimates current climate projections for the German federal states and river basins. The prospects for Germany in a business as usual scenario are severe - if no active countermeasures will be taken. However, the results also show that if all climate protection agreements will be consistently implemented, the two-degree target agreed in Paris is still achievable.

ReKliEs-De: Future climate trends in Germany - Read More…

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