Posted inEnviro

Future floods: Global warming intensifies heavy rain – even more than expected

Nov. 27, 2023 – The intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall increases exponentially with global warming, a new study finds. The analysis by researchers from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK) shows that state-of-the-art climate models significantly underestimate how much extreme rainfall increases under global warming – meaning that extreme rainfall could increase […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Timely reversal of global warming could prevent Greenland ice sheet tipping

October 18, 2023 – The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more resistant to global warming than previously thought, finds a new study published in the scientific journal Nature. An international team of scientists shows that even if critical temperature thresholds are temporarily crossed by up to 6.5 degrees Celsius until 2100, a possible […]

Posted inWorld

Climate extremes hit stressed economies even harder

Economies already under stress respond more strongly to weather events like heat waves, river floods and tropical cyclones, a new study shows. A global economic crisis as during the Covid-19 pandemic strongly amplifies the price increases private households experience from the impacts of weather extremes, a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate […]

Posted inEnviro

Amazon heat drives Tibet temperatures: climate tipping elements connected half around the globe

January 26, 2023 – While the Amazon rainforest and the Tibetan Plateau sit on different sides of the globe, scientists now discovered that changes in the South American ecosystem can trigger changes in the vicinity of the Himalayas. Both are tipping elements, hence large-scale elements of the planetary machinery that are sensitive to global warming […]

Posted inUS

Climate risk insurance can effectively mitigate economic losses

January 5, 2023 – Global warming is expected to lead to an accumulation of particularly intense hurricanes in the United States. This may substantially increase the economic losses caused by these storms. Better insurance could effectively mitigate the climate change-induced increase in economic losses. This is shown in a new study by the Potsdam Institute […]

Posted inUS

Economic losses from hurricanes become too big to be offset by the US if warming continues

Hurricane damages can increase due to increasing global temperatures, caused by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Computer simulations of regional economic sectors and supply chains in the US now show that the resulting economic losses can at some point not be nationally offset under unabated warming. If too many factories and the like are […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Considering catastrophe: high-impact, low-probability climate scenarios “dangerously underexplored”

Researchers call for a new “Climate Endgame” agenda and say far too little work has gone into understanding the mechanisms by which rising temperatures might pose a “catastrophic” risk to society and humanity: For instance, if temperature rises are worse than many predict or cause cascades of events we have yet to consider, or indeed […]

Posted inWorld

Fighting poverty and protecting the environment can only work together says new PIK report

A decent living for all people and better protection of nature and climate aren’t conflicting targets, a new scientific analysis highlights. Development goals such as reduced poverty and inequality, better health and education, and a secure supply of food and energy on the one hand interact closely with stabilizing the climate and preserving biodiversity on […]

Posted inWorld

How to avoid eating the world: From degrowth to a sustainable food system transformation

May 16, 2022 – Proponents of degrowth have long argued that economic growth is detrimental to the environment. Now scientists show that concerning the food sector, curbing growth alone would not make our food system sustainable – but changing what we eat and putting a price on carbon would. In a first, a group led […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Fungi-based meat alternatives to help save Earth’s forests

Substituting just a fifth of meat from cattle with microbial protein – a meat alternative produced in fermentation tanks – by 2050 could halve deforestation, a new analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now published in Nature finds. The market-ready meat alternative is very similar in taste and texture, but is […]

Posted inEnviro

Forests, Food, Pandemics and the Extinction of Species: Research network publishes “10 Must Knows” on biodiversity

“10 Must Knows from Biodiversity Science”, ranging from climate stress for forests to the corona virus that has jumped from animals to humans, are now published for the first time. More than 45 experts from the German Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity and colleagues have compiled this inventory on the preservation of nature as the basis […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Intensified daily rainfall driven by climate-change from burning oil and coal will harm the global economy

January 12, 2022 – Economic growth goes down when the number of wet days and days with extreme rainfall go up, a team of Potsdam scientists finds. Rich countries are most severely affected and herein the manufacturing and service sectors, according to their study now published as cover story in the renowned science journal Nature. […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Too dry, too hot, or too wet: Increasing Weather Persistence in European Summer

December 6, 2021 – Global warming makes long lasting weather situations in the Northern hemisphere‘s summer months more likely – which in turn leads to more extreme weather events, a novel analysis of atmospheric images and data finds. These events include heatwaves, droughts, intense rainy periods. Especially in Europe, but also in Russia, persistent weather […]

Posted inWorld

Global climate change impacts on crops expected within 10 years

November 1, 2021 – Climate change may affect the production of maize (corn) and wheat by 2030 if current trends continue, according to a new international study that included researchers from IIASA, NASA, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Maize crop yields are projected to decline by 24%, while wheat could potentially […]

Posted inWorld

The Ripple Factor: Economic losses from weather extremes can amplify each other across the world

October 27, 2021 – Weather extremes can cause economic ripples along our supply chains. If they occur at roughly the same time the ripples start interacting and can amplify even if they occur at completely different places around the world, a new study shows. The resulting economic losses are greater than the sum of the […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Unprecedented rise of heat and rainfall extremes in observational data

A 90-fold increase in the frequency of monthly heat extremes in the past ten years compared to 1951-1980 has been found by scientists in observation data. Their analysis reveals that so-called 3-sigma heat events, which deviate strongly from what is normal in a given region, now on average affect about 9 percent of all land […]

Posted inWorld

Major Atlantic ocean current system might be approaching critical threshold

The major Atlantic ocean current, to which also the Gulf stream belongs, may have been losing stability in the course of the last century. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, transports warm water masses from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and […]

Posted inWorld

Hidden risks and opportunities of the EU scenarios for a 55% climate target 2030

December 9, 2020 – An EU decision this week to ramp up the climate target for 2030 will be about more than the mere willingness to make greater political efforts towards climate neutrality in 2050. The target also shapes German climate policy. Experts from the Kopernikus energy transition project Ariadne, funded by the German Federal […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Ice loss due to warming leads to warming due to ice loss: a vicious circle

October 27, 2020 – The loss of huge ice masses can contribute to the warming that is causing this loss and further risks. A new study now quantifies this feedback by exploring long-term if-then-scenarios. If the Arctic summer sea-ice were to melt completely, a scenario that is likely to become reality at least temporarily within […]

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