You are here: Home Research Earth System Analysis News & Events RD1 Highlights

Highlights

RD1 Science Highlights
Our Common Future Under Climate Change

Our Common Future Under Climate Change

07/10/2015 - This week, thousands of climate and social scientists as well as policy experts have met for the “Our Common Future under Climate Change” conference at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, among them a large number of experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). It has been the biggest gathering of high-ranking scientists paving the way for COP21 in December, laying out the state of science for fact-based decision-making.

Our Common Future Under Climate Change - Read More…

PIK researcher appointed new member of the Junge Akademie

PIK researcher appointed new member of the Junge Akademie

06/11/2015 - "Outstanding and dedicated" - Ricarda Winkelmann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is a new member of the Young Academy (Junge Akademie) of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences. The Junge Akademie is the most important interdisciplinary network for German-speaking young scientists. Members of the Junge Akademie are elected for the duration of five years. To be eligible for membership, candidates should have completed their PhD within three to seven years prior to their application. Moreover, they should have published one further outstanding piece of work.

PIK researcher appointed new member of the Junge Akademie - Read More…

PIK scientist appointed professor

PIK scientist appointed professor

06/05/2015 - The Technical University Munich (TUM) appointed Anja Rammig, who has been working at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for many years, for a professorship at its School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan. That makes Rammig part of the growing number of professorships held by PIK scientists or to where they move on, an indication of the great scientific recognition of the research conducted at the institute.

PIK scientist appointed professor - Read More…

Getting connected: PhD-Day at the Potsdam-Institute

Getting connected: PhD-Day at the Potsdam-Institute

06/03/2015 - From social networks for scientists and copyright issues and to visualization tools in climate research or dealing with climate skepticism – topics like these were discussed recently by young scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research at their annual meeting. The PhD-Day offers the opportunity for doctoral candidates to get together, share experiences and for further education in different science related fields. The theme of this year’s meeting was “getting connected”.

Getting connected: PhD-Day at the Potsdam-Institute - Read More…

International praise for young PIK scientists

International praise for young PIK scientists

05/29/2015 - They work on carbon taxes, the German Energiewende and “flying rivers” in the Amazonian basin – the research of several young scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has recently been awarded for its excellence.

International praise for young PIK scientists - Read More…

Atlantic Ocean overturning found to slow down already today

Atlantic Ocean overturning found to slow down already today

03/24/2015 - The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe. Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been weaker than ever before in the last century, or even in the last millennium. The gradual but accelerating melting of the Greenland ice-sheet, caused by man-made global warming, is a possible major contributor to the slowdown. Further weakening could impact marine ecosystems and sea level as well as weather systems in the US and Europe.

Atlantic Ocean overturning found to slow down already today - Read More…

Earth-Docs wanted: a new kind of research position

Earth-Docs wanted: a new kind of research position

03/18/2015 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is offering a new kind of research position for outstanding young scientists: they can become an Earth-Doc as part of an international research team working across research institutions and disciplines. The state-of-the-art programme has been launched by the Earth League, an international alliance of 17 leading scientists and institutions, co-founded by PIK. Applicants for the new position focusing on the role of social agents in Earth system dynamics should have a background in global sustainability and modelling.

Earth-Docs wanted: a new kind of research position - 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.

Global warming brings more snow to Antarctica - Read More…

Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

01/16/2015 - Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science. The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles. The scientists say that two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are “core boundaries” – significantly altering either of these would “drive the Earth System into a new state”. The team will present their findings in seven seminars at the World Economic Forum in Davos (21-25 January).

Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed - Read More…

Honours for young PIK scientists

Honours for young PIK scientists

12/31/2014 - Jonathan Donges of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research received the Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize for his achievements in modelling the climate system. The award of the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP (Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction) in Hamburg honours outstanding doctoral theses of young scientists under the age of thirty years. The jury described Donges dissertation, submitted to Berlin’s Humboldt University, as an innovative and outstanding contribution to current climate research.

Honours for young PIK scientists - Read More…

Forests around the world affected by climate change

Forests around the world affected by climate change

12/19/2014 - Around the globe, forests are found to be undergoing strong changes due to human influence already today. Degradation of woods due to man-made climate change cannot be ruled out for the future, a Special Feature to be published next week in the Journal of Ecology, led by a team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), now shows. To understand and improve the resilience of forests, a combination of approaches from small-scale field experiments to large-scale computer simulations can help, according to the studies. Taking a risk perspective, the scientists caution that global warming puts additional pressure on some of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth.

Forests around the world affected by climate change - Read More…

Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam

Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam

12/17/2014 - At 29, Ricarda Winkelmann has already accomplished what others may only dream of: She joined a scientific expedition to Antarctica, and is now set to become a junior professor for Climate Systems Analysis at the University of Potsdam. "Ms. Winkelmann is known for her excellent research in a highly relevant field," said Robert Seckler, Vice President for Research and Junior Academics of the university. "This joint appointment with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is s an excellent way of promoting young academics." During a ceremony, the physicist received her official appointment letter from the Science Minister of the German State of Brandenburg, Sabine Kunst, and also took her oath of service.

Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam - Read More…

How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project

How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project

12/15/2014 - The Anthropocene project at the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” in Berlin came to a conclusion after two years with a comprehensive campus programme. "Our notion of nature is out of date. Humanity forms nature" – this was the core premise of the underlying Anthropocene thesis, that has been discussed in events, exhibitions and discussions between natural sciences, culture, politics and everyday life since 2013. Numerous eminent artists, architects and researchers of the humanities as well as the natural sciences contributed to the project and the final campus sessions. Wolfgang Lucht of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was part of the project from the very beginning.

How humans shape the world: conclusion of the Anthropocene Project - Read More…

“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”

12/01/2014 - In time with this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, a group of leading scientists, including Earth League members– a global alliance of prominent climate scientists –laid out in a joint paper the key elements of the ‘the necessary, the possible and the desirable’ in relation to climate change. Authors include Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Nick Stern of the London School of Economics, Peter Schlosser of Columbia University in New York City, and two scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: Wolfgang Lucht, co-chair of research domain Earth System Analysis, and director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.

“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable” - Read More…

Antarctica could raise sea level faster than previously thought

Antarctica could raise sea level faster than previously thought

8/14/2014 - Ice discharge from Antarctica could contribute up to 37 centimeters to the global sea level rise within this century, a new study shows. For the first time, an international team of scientists provide a comprehensive estimate on the full range of Antarctica’s potential contribution to global sea level rise based on physical computer simulations. Led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the study combines a whole set of state-of-the-art climate models and observational data with various ice models. The results reproduce Antarctica’s recent contribution to sea level rise as observed by satellites in the last two decades and show that the ice continent could become the largest contributor to sea level rise much sooner than previously thought.

Antarctica could raise sea level faster than previously thought - Read More…

Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes

Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes

08/12/2014 - Weather extremes in the summer - such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 - have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Man-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained. It has been linked to a recently discovered mechanism: the trapping of giant waves in the atmosphere. A new data analysis now shows that such wave-trapping events are indeed on the rise.

Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes - Read More…

Hotspots of climate change impacts in Africa: making sense of uncertainties

Hotspots of climate change impacts in Africa: making sense of uncertainties

05/06/2014 - Overlapping impacts of climate change such as drought or flooding, declining crop yields or ecosystem damages create hotspots of risk in specific parts of Africa. These are for the first time identified in a study now published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The uncertainties in assessing the impacts do not necessarily hamper but can inform development strategies, according to the scientists. Likelihood and potential severity of impacts can be weighed to decide on suitable adaptation measures.

Hotspots of climate change impacts in Africa: making sense of uncertainties - Read More…

Uncorking East Antarctica yields unstoppable sea-level rise

Uncorking East Antarctica yields unstoppable sea-level rise

05/05/2014 - The melting of a rather small ice volume on East Antarctica’s shore could trigger a persistent ice discharge into the ocean, resulting in unstoppable sea-level rise for thousands of years to come. This is shown in a study now published in Nature Climate Change by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The findings are based on computer simulations of the Antarctic ice flow using improved data of the ground profile underneath the ice sheet.

Uncorking East Antarctica yields unstoppable sea-level rise - Read More…

“Global problems require globally coordinated science”: First German Future Earth Summit

“Global problems require globally coordinated science”: First German Future Earth Summit

01/27/2014 - The ten-year research programme “Future Earth”, an initiative of leading international scientific organizations bringing together existing programmes on global environmental change, starts its first German summit in Berlin today. More than 230 experts from natural and social sciences as well as engineering, the humanities and law will discuss new, interdisciplinary approaches or research in three core areas: Dynamic Planet, Global Development, and the Transition towards Sustainability. They aim at providing knowledge needed to tackle the most urgent challenges of the 21st century related to global sustainability through open and collaborative processes in partnership with society and users of science.

“Global problems require globally coordinated science”: First German Future Earth Summit - Read More…

Climate change puts forty percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity: study

Climate change puts forty percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity: study

12/16/2013 - Water scarcity impacts people’s lives in many countries already today. Future population growth will increase the demand for freshwater even further. Yet in addition to this, on the supply side, water resources will be affected by projected changes in rainfall and evaporation. Climate change due to unabated greenhouse-gas emissions within our century is likely to put 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity than would be without climate change, a new study shows by using an unprecedented number of impact models. The analysis is to be published in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that assembles first results of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), a unique community-driven effort to bring research on climate change impacts to a new level.

Climate change puts forty percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity: study - Read More…

Document Actions