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SPECIAL: Nature Magazine Editorial: Research decade must focus on climate

Die Wissenschaft der 2020er Jahre muss transformativ sein. Foto:Helping to limit anthropogenic global warming should be a prime task of science in the 2020s. “The coming decade must focus on climate change”, states a recent editorial of the world-leading scientific journal Nature. The 2010s saw breakthroughs in artificial intelligence via deep-learning technologies, in life sciences through the reprogramming of mature cells into stem cells, in physics with gravitational-wave detection and progress on quantum computing. While this was remarkable, the editors proclaim that “with new knowledge, and a renewed dedication to social and environmental responsibility, the 2020s must be transformational”. Read more...

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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„Two Big Bangs“: PIK Research Days

„Two Big Bangs“: PIK Research Days

02/04/2015 - Current and future research projects have been debated at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research last week – while also looking back at outstanding events of last year. The Research Days each year are a meeting of virtually all members of the institute, two days packed with lectures and discussions. This time topics ranged from the next world climate summit in Paris at the end of this year, to advancing computer simulation models of the climate system as well as the energy sector, something to achieve until the end of this decade.

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