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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 […]

Posted inWorld

Stability check on Antarctica reveals high risk for long-term sea-level rise

September 23, 2020 -The warmer it gets, the faster Antarctica loses ice – and much of it will then be gone forever. Consequences for the world’s coastal cities and cultural heritage sites would be detrimental, from London to Mumbai, and from New York to Shanghai. That’s what a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute […]

Posted inSci/Tech

2°C ocean warming has been enough to destabilize Antarctica in the past

February 12, 2020 – A melting of the Antarctic ice sheets would have far-reaching consequences for sea-level rise and coastal regions around the world. Based on new data from the Antarctic ice, an international team of scientists now reveals how the ice sheet reacted to rising temperatures in the past. Published in the US Proceedings […]

Posted inWorld

Buildings can become a global CO2 sink if made out of wood instead of cement and steel

January 27, 2020 – A material revolution replacing cement and steel in urban construction by wood can have double benefits for climate stabilization, a new study shows. First, it can avoid greenhouse gas emissions from cement and steel production.  Second, it can turn buildings into a carbon sink as they store the CO2 taken up […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Climate costs smallest if warming is limited to 2°C

January 27, 2020 – Climate costs are likely smallest if global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius. The politically negotiated Paris Agreement is thus also the economically sensible one, Potsdam researchers find in a new study. Using computer simulations of a model by US Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus, they weight climate damages from, for […]

Posted inWorld

Feeding the world without wrecking the planet is possible

January 20, 2020 – Almost half of current food production is harmful to our planet – causing biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and water stress. But as world population continues to grow, can that last? A study led by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now suggests a comprehensive solution package for […]

Posted inWorld

Just 15 years of post-Paris emissions to lock in 20 cm of sea level rise in 2300: study

November 5, 2019 – Unless governments significantly scale up their emission reduction efforts, the 15 years’ worth of emissions released under their current Paris Agreement pledges alone would cause 20 cm of sea-level rise over the longer term, according to new research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The […]

Posted inCalifornia

Early warning: Physicists from Giessen, Potsdam and Tel Aviv forecast “El Niño” for 2020

Nov. 4, 2019 – Joint Press Release by the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) The serious weather phenomenon “El Niño” could soon occur again in the Pacific region. Researchers at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Bar-Ilan University […]

Posted inWorld

Global warming didn’t pause – researchers disentangle “hiatus” confusion

December 18, 2018 – The reality of ongoing climate warming might seem plainly obvious today, after the four warmest years on record and a summer of weather extremes in the whole northern hemisphere. A few years back however, some media and some experts were entangled in debates about an alleged pause in global warming – […]