Latest Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Stories

Trapped Giant Waves In The Atmosphere Trigger More Extreme Weather
2014-08-13 03:46:00

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 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...

2014-05-27 11:44:07

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways, biologists found. Yet the collective foraging behavior of ants goes well beyond that, as a mathematical study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens...

2014-05-07 10:17:16

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...

2013-11-22 11:37:17

In contrast, for a scenario with strong emissions reductions, experts expect a sea-level rise of 40-60 centimeters by 2100 and 60-100 centimeters by 2300. The survey was conducted by a team of scientists from the USA and Germany. "While the results for the scenario with climate mitigation suggest a good chance of limiting future sea-level rise to one meter, the high emissions scenario would threaten the survival of some coastal cities and low-lying islands," says Stefan Rahmstorf from the...

2013-11-05 10:21:50

Yet the instrument of pricing global CO2 emissions could generate a revenue of 32 trillion US dollars over the 21st century, exceeding by far the 12 trillion US dollars reduction of fossil fuel owners' profits, according to a study now published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The analysis of the interference of CO2 emission pricing with fossil fuel markets adds key information to the debate on macro-economic effects of climate change mitigation....

2013-01-07 10:57:12

As they typically result from severe external perturbations, it is of vital interest how stable the most desirable state is. Surprisingly, this basic question has so far received little attention. Now scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), in a paper published in Nature Physics, propose a new concept for quantifying stability. "Up to now, science was able to say if a complex system is stable or not, but it wasn't able to properly say how stable it is," says...

India’s Vital Summer Monsoons May Decline In The Face Of Global Warming
2012-11-06 09:35:43

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online India´s monsoons are a godsend for the country´s vital agricultural sector, providing life for crops which more than a billion people rely on. But a grim forecast for the future may spell doom for the nation´s food production and economy, as summer rains will be more sparse over the next few hundred years due to global warming. A new study by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and...

2012-09-24 14:01:13

Instead, researchers were able to pin down a number of factors explaining the pronounced imbalances between emission importers and exporters, the US current account deficit being one of them. Their conclusion: interventions in world trade, like CO2 tariffs, would probably have only a small impact on global emissions. Steadily growing world trade leads — as earlier research has shown — to a substantial transfer of CO2 from one country to another. The traded goods effectively...

2012-03-26 13:14:20

The past decade has been one of unprecedented weather extremes. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany argue that the high incidence of extremes is not merely accidental. From the many single events a pattern emerges. At least for extreme rainfall and heat waves the link with human-caused global warming is clear, the scientists show in a new analysis of scientific evidence in the journal Nature Climate Change. Less clear is the link between warming...

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This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.