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SPECIAL: “The Father of the 2 Degrees Limit”: Schellnhuber receives Blue Planet Prize

“The Father of the 2 Degrees Limit”: Schellnhuber receives Blue Planet PrizeThe world’s most prestigious award for pioneers in environmental science was given to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber this week in Tokyo. He is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), a member of the Leibniz Association. The Blue Planet Prize, coming along with 50 million yen, honors outstanding thinkers who help to meet challenges of planetary dimensions. It is awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation and handed over in presence of Japan’s Imperial Prince and Princess. Schellnhuber received the prize for establishing a new field of science, Earth System Analysis, and introducing most influential concepts including the notion of tipping elements in the climate system. The second recipient is Gretchen Daily of Stanford University, USA, who was honored for her research about biodiversity and natural capital. Read more ...

A new education platform on climate impacts for Germany

A new education platform on climate impacts for Germany

13/10/2016 - From the Baltic Seat to the Alps, from the Rhineland to Brandenburg – global climate change also has an impact across Germany. A new educational platform created by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact (PIK) offers students and teachers a concise package of information and scenarios on climate change and its impacts across various sectors in Germany. Information stretches from agriculture to tourism and significantly scales all the way down to the district-level. Besides offering interactive climate projection tutorials, the platform (www.KlimafolgenOnline-Bildung.de) encompasses a glossary on basic climate change concepts as well as teaching materials and course guidelines.

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Edenhofer advises Volkswagen on sustainability issues

Edenhofer advises Volkswagen on sustainability issues

09/30/2016 - Volkswagen appointed a sustainability council - one of the members is Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The new body will meet for the first time at the end of October in Berlin. VW is selling more cars than any other corporation worldwide. The company is currently under pressure because of manipulations of diesel engines' emission measurements.

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Crash of seemingly stable social systems: new dynamics detected

Crash of seemingly stable social systems: new dynamics detected

09/30/2016 - From Facebook to international climate agreements like the Paris accord that is currently in the ratification process, the stability of complex social networks is still poorly understood. To better assess system crash likelihood, an international team of scientists now proposes a new mathematical system dynamics model. One key factor for system collapse is individual action based on local information, the study finds. When a member of the network - be it a person or a state - observes friends or allies to leave the system, it likely opts out as well. Small perturbations can hence have huge impacts.

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New Artist in Residence: Amy Howden-Chapman

New Artist in Residence: Amy Howden-Chapman

09/29/2016 - From sea-level rise to the "cultural costs of climate change" - Amy Howden-Chapman from New Zealand ist this year's guest artist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Since 2011, PIK's "Artist in Residence" program is realized in cooperation with the Artists in Berlin program of DAAD and since 2015 also in close collaboration with the City of Potsdam.

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Climate games

Climate games

26/09/2016 - The author of the 1972 classic “The Limits of Growth”, Dennis Meadows, who has often been dubbed the godfather of the environmental movement, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for some talks and to present his new book, “The Climate Change Playbook”. He introduced a number of metaphorical games to communicate climate change in a playful way.

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Top scientists: Abandoning the Paris Agreement would harm America and the World

Top scientists: Abandoning the Paris Agreement would harm America and the World

09/23/2016 - In an unprecedented move, 375 renowned scientists including 30 Nobel Laureates have warned the US presidency candidates not to shun the Paris climate agreement. In an open letter published this week, the scholars emphasize that human-caused global warming including its negative impacts is “not a belief, it is a physical reality”. All signers are members of the eminent US National Academy of Sciences, including the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.

Top scientists: Abandoning the Paris Agreement would harm America and the World - Read More…

Giant see-saw of monsoon rains detected

Giant see-saw of monsoon rains detected

26/09/2016 - When the summer rains in China are weak, they are strong in Australia, and vice versa – scientists have discovered a previously unknown see-saw relationship between these two monsoon regions. This effect does not occur from one year to another, but on decadal and centennial time scales. To detect the pattern, the team developed a novel mathematical method to analyze traces of climatic events of the past 9000 years archived in ancient dripstones from caves. The regional monsoon has huge effects on agriculture and hence on the livelihoods of half of the world’s population, including India and Indonesia. Understanding how seasonal periods of rainfall in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of our planet are linked is important for assessing possible long-distance effects of climate change.

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