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SPECIAL: “We need you”: UN climate chief to Potsdam climate scientists

Impacts world 2017Hundreds of millions of people will be affected by climate change impacts and their implications for health or migration already within the next few decades, sectors that so far often get overlooked in this context. This is one of the insights of the Impacts World Conference organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany this week. About 500 scientists from 67 countries were gathering at the conference with the title “Counting the true costs of climate change” to push climate impact research to the next level by better integrating socio-economic factors. At the same time, the institute celebrated its 25th anniversary hosting this meeting of the global impacts research community, in the spirit of its mission followed for a quarter century: further advancing scientific progress and communicating insights to stakeholders. Read more ...

Use a “Carbon Law” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

Use a “Carbon Law” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

03/24/2017 - To bridge the gap between science-based targets focused on cutting greenhouse gases, and national commitments to such efforts, international experts propose in the highly renowned journal ‘Science’ a decadal roadmap strategy for achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century. They base this on a simple “carbon law” of halving anthropogenic carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions each decade. “A carbon law applies to all sectors and countries at all scales and encourages bold action in the short term,” say Johan Rockström and colleagues. Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, argue that a “carbon law” that links short-term targets to long-term goals will “provide key elements for national and international climate strategies.” Such a broad decadal roadmap would focus on four dimensions: innovation, institution, infrastructure, and investment, and it would encompass sectors such as agriculture, construction, finance, manufacturing, and transport.

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Climate policy brief for G20 finance ministers

Climate policy brief for G20 finance ministers

03/17/2017 - In a policy brief for the G20 finance ministers, an expert group led by Ottmar Edenhofer proposes low-carbon growth stimulation through a steep increase in sustainable infrastructure, mobilizing sustainable finance, and adoption of carbon pricing. This would simultaneously achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the experts argue. The Finance minister and central bankers of the world's leading economies meet in Baden-Baden, Germany, this weekend. Edenhofer is chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as Director of the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).

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Climate, science & the arts: Boysen's "Alice" in Nature Climate Change

Climate, science & the arts: Boysen's "Alice" in Nature Climate Change

03/16/2017 - The increasingly important connection between art and science is highlighted in March's Nature Climate Change edition. The book "Alice, the Zeta Cat and Climate Change" by Margret Boysen, Artistic Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), serves a prime example in the highly renowned journal's article. It stands for many efforts to make the climate debate part of culture, and culture part of the climate debate.

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Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon

Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon

03/13/2017 - Logging that happens today and potential future rainfall reductions in the Amazon could push the region into a vicious dieback circle. If dry seasons intensify with human-caused climate change, the risk for self-amplified forest loss would increase even more, an international team of scientists finds. If however there is a great variety of tree species in a forest patch, according to the study this can significantly strengthen the chance of survival. To detect such non-linear behavior, the researchers apply a novel complex network analysis of water fluxes.

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New cooperation agreement with the Netherlands - with royal blessings

New cooperation agreement with the Netherlands - with royal blessings

At a festive dinner with the Dutch king and queen, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and Jérôme Dangerman of the Kiemt Foundation have sealed a cooperation agreement for future research on energy issues and decarbonisation. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilianne Ploumen had invited a handpicked number of guests from politics and enterprises to the exclusive dinner in Leipzig, among them the prime minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich.

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Sharing insights, shaping the future: PIK Research Days

Sharing insights, shaping the future: PIK Research Days

02/10/2017 - This week, all scientists and staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) gathered for their annual roadshow of scientific achievements and discussions of future projects. Packed with presentations and debates, PIK´s Research Days are an unequalled opportunity to share insights and shape the future course of the institute.

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PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

PIK ranked among top climate think tanks worldwide

01/27/2017 The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) belongs to the top environmental think tanks worldwide, a new ranking shows. Only the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has scored better in this category, according to the "Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2016" that has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania. PIK improved its position from rank 7 last year and rank 8 in the year before. Altogether, the ranking considered more than 6000 institutions across the globe.

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