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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 in the media during COP23

PIK in the media during COP23

11/17/2017 - The UN climate summit COP23 in Bonn is drawing to a close and many are in good spirits that it will further strengthen the Paris Agreement with a set of rules how best to achieve the goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees. Many PIK scientists took part this year and participated in a number of high-ranking events. The experts also spoke to several media outlets from Germany and abroad.

PIK in the media during COP23 - Read More…

"We must reduce CO2 emissions rapidly"

"We must reduce CO2 emissions rapidly"

11/17/2017 - The negotiations at the UN Climate Conference and the exploratory talks in Berlin on forming a new government are about to be concluded. On this issue, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts (PIK), and Ottmar Edenhofer, PIK´s Chief Economist and Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) published statements.

"We must reduce CO2 emissions rapidly" - Read More…

Schellnhuber presents "10 Must-Knows on Climate" at COP23

Schellnhuber presents "10 Must-Knows on Climate" at COP23

11/13/2017 - From accelerating sea-level rise and ocean acidification to increasing risks of extreme weather events and the "collision course" with Earth’s climatic tipping points - PIK director Schellnhuber presented "10 Must-Knows on Climate Change from Science" today at COP23 in Bonn, together with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Wendy Broadgate from Future Earth, and Johan Rockström from the Earth League. They addressed policymakers and the public to show that achieving the Paris Agreement is necessary and possible. "Some crucial climate-change facts tend to get lost in the noise of daily deliberations - even at an event such as the UN climate summit. So it is important to remind everyone of the very reason why ten thousands of people meet in Bonn: unprecedented risk to humanity due to global warming, as revealed by science", says PIK director Schellnhuber.

Schellnhuber presents "10 Must-Knows on Climate" at COP23 - Read More…

Schellnhuber and the Californian Governor Jerry Brown meet in Oslo

Schellnhuber and the Californian Governor Jerry Brown meet in Oslo

10.11.2017 - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), will meet California's Governor Jerry Brown, America's climate protection vanguard, at the Academy of Sciences in Oslo. Together with scientists from all over the world they will discuss what politicians need from the scientific community in order to address pressing challenges such as climate change. The meeting in Oslo on November 10th aims at strengthening the dialogue between science and politics on environmental and climate issues.

Schellnhuber and the Californian Governor Jerry Brown meet in Oslo - Read More…

 On COP23 and the coalition negotiations in Berlin:"Stabilizing the climate, modernizing Germany"

On COP23 and the coalition negotiations in Berlin:"Stabilizing the climate, modernizing Germany"

11/10/2017 - "If we stabilize the climate, we will also establish more stability in the world. This requires national pioneers. Germany will lose its position as a role model if it does not quickly and effectively reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases, which have so far stagnated at a high level. The phasing out of coal is an indispensable step in this respect." This was the message from leading scientists at yesterday's press conference of the German Climate Consortium (DKK) at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In a statement on the UN Climate Change Conference and the current negotiations on forming a new German government, leading climate scientists addressed policymakers and the public, including the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Mojib Latif from the Helmholtz Centre for Oceanography Kiel (GEOMAR), Monika Rhein from the Institute for Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen and Gernot Klepper from the Institute for World Economy at the University of Bremen.

On COP23 and the coalition negotiations in Berlin:"Stabilizing the climate, modernizing Germany" - Read More…

Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders

Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders

11/07/2017 - Greenhouse gas emissions caused by urban households’ purchases of goods and services from beyond city limits are much bigger than previously thought. These upstream emissions may occur anywhere in the world and are roughly equal in size to the total emissions originating from a city’s own territory, a new study shows. This is not bad news but in fact offers local policy-makers more leverage to tackle climate change, the authors argue in view of the UN climate summit COP23 that just started. They calculated the first internationally comparable greenhouse gas footprints for four cities from developed and developing countries: Berlin, New York, Mexico City, and Delhi. Contrary to common beliefs, not consumer goods like computers or sneakers that people buy are most relevant, but housing and transport – sectors that cities can substantially govern.

Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders - Read More…

Many PIK scientists at COP23 in Bonn

Many PIK scientists at COP23 in Bonn

03/11/2017 - A number of experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will take part in the climate summit COP23, taking place from November 6-17 in Bonn and presided by Fiji. PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will present the ten things you need to know about climate change, together with UNFCCC´s Patricia Espinosa, for example. At a side event with experts from the ETH Zürich, the ACT Alliance and Bread for the World, PIK´s chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss how to implement equity in the framework of the Paris Agreement.

Many PIK scientists at COP23 in Bonn - Read More…

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