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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...

Hurricane Florence threatening the US coast

Hurricane Florence threatening the US coast

13/09/2018 - Hurricane Florence is threatening the US coast as it will likely hit North or South Carolina. Last year already brought unusually devastating tropical cyclones.

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Europe’s renewable energy regulation could harm global forests

Europe’s renewable energy regulation could harm global forests

12/09/2018 - To fulfill the Paris Climate Agreement, which is backed by science, the European Union laudably plans to strongly enhance its renewable energy ambition – but a provision regulating the use of biomass for energy raises great concern among scientists. The new regulation would allow countries, power plants and factories to cut down trees and burn them for power or heat generation and to claim that this fully qualifies as low-carbon renewable energy. Currently Europe has mainly made use of biomass from wood waste and residues for bioenergy generation. But use could now ramp up to levels requiring massive input of stem wood as well, and this would be allowed under the new regulation. In stark contrast to the intentions of the EU, this would in fact also increase European greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate climate change, a team of scientists now argues in a comment published in Nature Communications.

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Potsdam Summer School 2018: The skin of our planet

Potsdam Summer School 2018: The skin of our planet

12/09/2018 - 42 outstanding young talents from 36 countries around the world will come together in Potsdam to discuss the interplay of dynamic processes on the Earth's surface. This year’s Potsdam Summer School, from the 10 to 19 September, is dealing with the skin of our planet, also featuring experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In lectures, discussions and workshops with scientists from leading research institutes in Potsdam, but also on an excursion to the Spreewald Biosphere Reserve, international young talents from science, industry and the public sector will discuss highly topical research issues and strengthen international cooperation.

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"Warning Signal: Extreme Events11/09/2018"

"Warning Signal: Extreme Events11/09/2018"

11/09/2018 - The book "Warning signal: extreme events" with contributions from more than a hundred researchers will be presented this week at a major symposium at the University of Hamburg, Germany. From heat waves and droughts but also heavy rain and floods to tropical cyclones: the risks are increasing globally. The new publication as well as the event are intended to present the topic to a broader public.

"Warning Signal: Extreme Events11/09/2018" - Read More…

Rockström appointed as chief scientist by Conservation International

Rockström appointed as chief scientist by Conservation International

10/10/2018 - Conservation International appointed the Director Designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Johan Rockström, as their new Chief Scientist. While assuming PIK leadership together with the climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer this year, Rockström serve the renowned US-based Conservation International probono. This position will also provide support for research at the Potsdam Institute.

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Alice in Climate Wonderland now also in French

Alice in Climate Wonderland now also in French

07/10/2018 - An unusual work of climate science communication now made its way from Potsdam to Paris. The book "Alice au pays du climat" is a very free adaptation of Lewis Carroll's philosophical classic by Magret Boysen who leads the arts program at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Originally published in German, it is now brought to the French market by Édition Le Pommier.

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Schellnhuber signs the Golden Book of the city of Potsdam

Schellnhuber signs the Golden Book of the city of Potsdam

05/09/2018 - "From Potsdam to Paris and back again - Operation Climate Rescue" - that was the title of a salon discussion which took place yesterday evening in Potsdam city hall. Potsdam's mayor Jann Jacobs had invited the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who on this day also addd his name to the Brandenburg capital's Golden Book in recognition of his many years of service.

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