The Earth League

News from the Earth League

The Earth League is grieving for Mario Molina

The members of the Earth League are grieving for Professor Mario Molina, who unexpectedly passed away on 7 October 2020 at the age of 77. Professor Molina, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and member of the Earth League since its inception, was one of the greatest intellectuals of our time. As an outstanding scientist, he made seminal contributions to the field of atmospheric sciences. Yet his influence expanded well beyond his pioneering work targeted at understanding the critical elements and processes of the Earth System: Throughout his life and career, Mario was an outstanding humanist seeking to improve the social conditions – especially of the weakest and of those whose voices are frequently not heard. The “Centro Mario Molina” in Mexico City, which he founded in 2004, has become an international role model for transdisciplinary work in the spirit of sustainable development.

His inspiration as a researcher, activist, personality, and friend will be greatly missed - by us and by many people across the globe.

Earth Docs' joint paper published in PNAS


(c) PIK

Climate change can be limited if a rapid and deep decarbonisation is achieved. Technological innovation allone will not ensure this crucial transformation; the social dimension needs to be considered with the same emphasis. The Earth Docs Ilona Otto, Jonathan Donges, Roger Cremades and Avit Bhowmik investigated how social tipping elements and mechanisms could contribute to the realisation of the targets of the Paris Agreement.

A joint Earth Docs study on social tipping dynamics published in PNAS

Earth League Statement: 10 New Insights on Climate Science 2019

UNFCCC Press event at the COP25 in Madrid, December 6

10 New Insights in Climate Science 2019-1_cut.jpg

(c) Future Earth and The Earth League

UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa officially receives “10
New Insights in Climate Science” as it is launched at the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain.
The document was jointly produced by Future Earth and the Earth League.

10 New Insights in Climate Science 2019

Leena Srivastava new Deputy Director General for Science at IIASA



News | 29 November 2019

Earth League member Leena Srivastava assumed her new role as Deputy Director General for Science at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Before, she was a Vice Chancellor at the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, since 2012. The new member of IIASA's leading team will ensure the excellence in research at this highly interdsiciplinary institute also for the future.

Leena Srivastava new Deputy Director General for Science at IIASA

A new South Centre compendium: Resources on climate finance


(c) The South Centre

News | 22 November 2019

The South Centre published a comprehensive overview of resources on climate finance. The collection provides, easy to access and in one place, the most important information on every listed product, so that decision makers and practitioners gain an idea of the landscape of International Climate Finance and multilateral financing mechanisms.

South Centre's collection of resources on climate finance

Landmark IPCC report on oceans and cryosphere - with EL members' contribution


(c) IPCC

News | 10 October 2019

After four days and a final marathon session, the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) was approved in Marocco by scientists and governmental representatives on the 24th of September. The scientific results unambigously show how critically numerous components of the Earth system are affected by climate change already today. Moreover, the report points out options to address the projected future risks. Earth League members Carolina Vera and Youba Sokona contributed in the approval meetings, jointly with numerous researchers and representatives of the countries.

WMO synthesis report presented at NY UN Climate Action Summit


(c) WMO

News | 23 September 2019

Responding to the UN calling for a synthesis report for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the WMO, together with organisations such as the UN Environment Programme, the Global Carbon Project, Future Earth or the Earth League, published a document to support the global community. The report compiles the most recent findings on climate change research, greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations, and socio-economic aspects of the challenges related to the goal of limiting global warming.

Earth League statement: EL scientists back Fridays For Future

Humanity is Tipping the Scales of the World

Tipping points

We are approaching a dual tipping point of social and environmental systems that will arguably determine the future of life-support systems on Earth. On the one hand, young people across the world are struggling to tip the social scale towards swift and concerted climate action. On 20 September, they are mobilizing for a global climate protest, days before UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York aims to cajole heads of state to join a climate ‘race to the top’. If this social tipping towards sustainability does not happen quickly, we risk crossing a different kind of tipping points – those in the Earth System that may threaten the stability of life on our planet.

Symptoms of warming

Increasingly, we understand that human pressures are pushing elements of the Earth System ever closer to critical tipping points. This may kick off a cascade of interacting nonlinear processes that force our planet into a fundamentally different climatic state. Tropical coral reef systems and the Arctic summer ice are at risk already at 1.5°C warming and we now know that there is a likely tipping point for the destabilisation of the Greenland Ice sheet, which may be as low as 2°C. We cannot exclude that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may already have passed certain tipping points towards collapse, which would mean irreversibly committing humanity to 3 meters of long-term sea-level rise across the globe. The Northern hemisphere jet stream is slowing down and meandering in deeper planetary wave patterns, as the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the globe. The resultant lock-ins of high and low pressure weather systems trigger wet spells and heatwaves causing flooding and droughts, progressively threatening livelihoods, food systems, human health and security. Generally, the increasing number and intensity of extreme weather events caused by climate change can ultimately undermine humanity’s ability to cope, particularly in poorer countries and communities. We do not yet know exactly where certain tipping points lie, but we know that warming beyond 1.5°C may put us dangerously close to or beyond those red lines.i Limiting warming to 1.5°C, rather than 2°C, could protect several hundred million people from different types of climate-related risks.v In contrast, unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions may push the planet onto a ‘Hothouse Earth’ trajectory, where tipping cascades beyond human control increase global temperature to a devastating 4-5°C. Humanity may tend to take the benign conditions of the past 10,000 years for granted, but we are already experiencing the highest global mean temperature on Earth since the last Ice Age.

Earth League scientists endorse the Youth's climate action

In light of the mounting scientific evidence, a climate emergency has been declared by several national and local governments and thousands of universities worldwide. As concerned scientists, we want to highlight that calling these declarations ‘alarmist’ is utterly misplaced. If anything, there is a growing understanding that expert assessments, which are usually conservative in the best sense of the word, have contributed to allow decision-makers to underestimate – not overestimate – the risks of climate impacts. Now it is apparent that impacts are happening much sooner and more severely than expected. In each report since 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has corrected its assessments of the so-called ‘reasons for concern’ upwards, i.e., to higher levels of worry. For instance, while in 2001 the risk to unique and threatened systems, such as coral reefs and indigenous communities, was thought to be ‘high’ from 3°C warming onwards, we now know that they face a ‘very high’ risk of irreversible collapse even below 2°C of warming. As science has advanced, the risk of so-called ’large scale discontinuities‘, i.e., catastrophic shifts, such as irreversibly committing all future generations to inevitable loss of the Greenland Ice sheet ultimately leading to an additional 7 m sea-level rise, has moved from being a low probability risk in 2001 (a risk only at > 4°C) to a medium to high probability risk in 2019 (a risk already at 2-3°C global warming). All the while, global average temperature continues to rise, as greenhouse gas emissions jumped to an all-time high in 2018. The world is following a path which even at a conservative assessment will result in > 3°C warming – with definite irreversible tipping points – by the end of this century. Last time we had this level of warming on Earth was 4-5 million years ago.

As young people across the world are inviting adults to join them on September 20th for a global climate action day, we want to echo their call: “This is not a single-generation issue.” Humanity is tipping the scales of our planet's future. Only together can we ensure political and economic decision makers do not leave our children to an insecure future full of climate risks. This may be the key counterbalance to triggering the existentially dangerous tipping elements in the Earth system. Let’s make 2019 the year of tipping the scales towards sustainability for good. Add your weight to the growing momentum!

Statement, including references, for download:
Earth League scientists back global climate protests (664 KB)

Six areas for transformation to achieve both, SDGs and PA


(c) UNDP

News | 6 September 2019

A new study with contribution from Earth Legue members at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Potsdam Insitute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) investigates the links between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Agreement (PA), and the action needed to achieve them. It identifies six transformation areas and provides a framework for approaching the SDG and PA goals in a structured, directed way. In addition to that, the publication reinforces the role of science as a provider of knowledge for and during the process of transformation.

Deep transformation to achieve SDGs and PA targets

Grantham researchers talk about it


(c) Grantham Institute

News | 29 August 2019

Many people search for practical advice on what every individual can do to help mitigate climate change and environmental pollution. Scientists from the Grantham Institute now compiled important and at the same time feasible answers to these questions, regarding both political participation as well as the numerous decisions we all take in our everyday lives.

What can you do against climate change?

Global Futures Laboratory launched at ASU


(c) ASU

News | 23 August 2019

The Arizona State University (ASU) states in its mission to serve the communities in which we live, including the global community. To follow this idea in the light of global challenges including climate change, ASU just launched the Global Futures Laboratory, a transdisciplinary centre for innovation that strives for a liveable future for all.

Why is ASU launching the Global Futures Laboratory? More information

New IPCC Special Report on land use and climate change


(c) IPCC

News | 9 August 2019

Humans rely on food security, safe water and clean air, for which the intactness of land surface and biosphere are decisive. The new IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (IPCC SRCCL), with important contributions by researchers from the Potsdam Insitute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), gives insight into the status of the Earth's land surface, current observed warming, and relationships between food, water, energy, and climate change, as well as into possible pathways for a sustainable development.

PIK researchers contributed to the IPCC SRCCL IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (IPCC SRCCL)

Links of land use, climate change and wild fires in the Amazon region


(c) CIFOR Indonesia

News | 1 August 2019

A new study with contribution of researchers from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) investigated how land use and climate change affect fire predisposition over the Amazon region for the 21st century. The results show that proper land management is vital, as areas with high probability for fire outbreaks may increase by up to 110% with "business as usual" scenarios. Vegetation and soils are important carbon sinks, thus their health is crucial for atmospheric CO2.

Effects of land use and climate change on fires in the Amazon region

Conference on Systems Analysis and the Americas


(c) AdobeStock | alphaspirit

News | 24 July 2019

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is starting to co-host a series of regional conferences, the first being Systems Analysis and the Americas in September 2019 in Rio de Janeiro. Systems analysis is an ideal approach to address today's multifaceted challenges to governance and decision-making, namely globalised economy, social injustice, scarcity of resources, and climate change.

Conference on Systems Analysis and the Americas

News from the South Centre

World Bank Photo Collection8_flickr.jpg

(c) flickr | World Bank

News | 19 July 2019

The South Centre engages in many areas related to the development of the Global South, through investiging the political, social and economic conditions, or the implementation of legalities that effect standards of living. The Centre's report for June features publications, activites and social media highlights, giving insight in, e.g., the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in May.

South Centre report

2019 Annual Earth League Workshop:

Towards a 1.5 °C world: Challenges and Solutions


(c) istock | C. Boeki

News | 5 July 2019

On the 3rd of July 2019, the annual Earth League meeting took place at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) in Hamburg. Earth League members, Earth Docs and invited guests gathered for a scientific symposium entitled
Towards a 1.5 °C world: Challenges and Solutions.

The Earth League events

Nighttime lights over Africa and electricity access


(c) Shutterstock | Jayjune69

News | 3 July 2019

One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the just and equal access to modern, sustainable energy. A new publication with the contribution of researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) fathoms methods of converting nighttime satellite images into spatially detailed maps of electricity access for Sub-Saharan Africa. The study delivers a valuable method to track the progress in regard of the SDG 7, and can support decision-making on various levels of governance in the light of a sustainable development.

IIASA study on nighttime lights and electricity access

Leena Srivastava appointed IIASA Deputy Director General for Science


Leena Srivastava (c) IIASA

News | 27 June 2019

Earth League member Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India, accepted the position at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), thereby ensuring the continuity of IIASA's outstanding interdisciplinary research on globally relevant topics. Through her experience in excellent research and in furthering sutainability development and climate change science, her appointment is an enrichment of IIASA's leading team.

Leena Srivastava appointed for leading position at IIASA

German Chancellor at PIK for a scientific briefing


(c) PIK | Greb

News | 19 June 2019

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Potsdam Insitute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for a scientific briefing on CO2 pricing options and the issue of global warming in general. Alongside of many of the institute's researchers, PIK director Ottmar Edenhofer presented the most recent results from both natural and social sciences, which fed an intense discussion on the need for rapid decarbonisation and on possible solutions.

German Chancellor at PIK

Transforming the heavy industry sector by 2050


(c) istock | George Burba

News | 12 June 2019

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) commissioned the publication of a new report on ways towards a net-zero heavy industry in the EU by 2050. Among the main findings is that decarbonising of the sector is not only possible but affordable, at relatively low additional costs. It can even lead to socio-economic growth, if politics set the appropriate courses. Key measures are, for example, the shift towards a more circular economy, and innovation in new, clean production processes.

ECF report on decarbonisation of the heavy industry sector in Europe

Jet stream and summer extremes


(c) Kornhuber et al., 2019/ PIK

News | 7 June 2019

A study lead by PIK researcher Dr. Kornhuber gives new impetus to the scientific discussion on possible links between anthropogenic climate change and an altered jet stream system. According to the results, global warming leads to a stronger meandering of the jet stream waves on the northern hemisphere during summer. In consequence, extreme weather patterns are more likely, such as droughts or heat waves.

Global warming, northern hemisphere jets treams and summer extremes

South Centre statement on global health


(c) AdobeStock | Riccardo Niels Mayer

News | 27 May 2019

At the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Health Ministers at the 72nd World Health Assembly, held in Geneva in May, the Executive Director of The South Centre recalled the importance of public health for societal prosperity.
Especially for developing countries, this is an enormous challenge and should be of concern for the international community as a whole.

South Centre's full statement on health and international cooperation

Reducing emissions is beneficial for public health, and thus for economies


(c) | Shaowen

News | 21 May 2019

IIASA scientists contributed in a new study that investigated the impact of emission reduction on future and near-term socio-economic development, using a new climate policy model.
Results support the Paris Agreement goals, and show that, through avoiding air pollution, emission reduction would not only be beneficial for future generations, yet would immediately improve public health and thus support economies.

Study on socio-economic benefits from emissions reductions

Imperial cooperation: air cleaning with biotech on roofs

Imperial College London Arborea Project White City

(c) | Imperial College London/Thomas Glover

News | 14 May 2019

A collaboration of the Imperial College London with the start-up Arborea will bring 'Biosolar Leafs' to roofs of London's White City in a pilot project.The innovative technology cultivates microscopic plants such as algae in structures similar to solar panels. The plants, driven by sunlight, extract CO2, produce breathable Oxygen, and deliver organic food additives.

World's first 'Biosolar Leafs' for roof tops

Detecting deforestation over South America


(c) INPE

News | 30 April 2019

The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil runs the Deforestation Detection System in Real Time (DETER), which supports the authorities in supervising clear cut and forest degradation in the remote areas of South American rainforests. Using Earth observation satellite images, it reports on an almost daily basis. For March 2019, e.g., the area of complete removal of forest cover in the Amazon region recorded by DETER sums up to 223 km2.

Earth observation for detecting deforestation: DETER

Global warming, ice ages and CO2


(c) | Willeit et al, 2019

News | 17 April 2019

A new study led by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) investigates the relation between important climate variables and the atmospheric CO2 concentration. For the first time, a model was run perpetually for the last 3 million years, allowing to simulate the transient effects during begin and evolution of this period. The comparison of the results with data shows that the model well represents fundamental processes of the climate system.
One conclusion is that the CO2 content was, aside of the Milankovitch cycles, decisive for the development of ice ages. Moreover, the study reveals how sensitive the climate system reacts to CO2 fluctuations. This dependency on CO2 is concerning especially in light of today's atmospheric concentration - as the authors found, it probably has not been as high as it is now in the last three million years.

PIK study on Glacial cycles and CO2 content: relevance for global warming

Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) partner in dialogue on Africa and the SDGs


(c) iStock | peeterv

News | 27 March 2019

Just recently, the "Second African Dialogue on The World in 2050" took place in Kigali, Rwanda. It was organised by the SDG Center for Africa in partnership with Swedbio and the SRC, and focused on agriculture and food systems.
The report gives insight into how a peaceful and prosperous future can be realised, despite the enormous challenges through, e.g., population growth and environmental changes.

Report on "Second African Dialogue on The World in 2050"

Campaigns, reports and more by Greenpeace


(c) fotolia | willyam

News | 21 March 2019

Greenpeace International not only conducts expeditions and actions to actively protect wildlife habitats, but also develops numerous ways to inform the public and to empower them to get active in safeguarding the environment. Activities comprise campaigns and petitions, plus research for and the compilation of reports on specific topics under the overarching themes energy, nature and people.

Greenpeace International

European energy - fossil fuel free by 2050?


(c) ECF

News | 20 March 2019

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) published a report on the technical feasibility and possible socio-economic effects of decarbonisation pathways for the European energy system. The study, conducted by Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics, illustrates several scenarios with different combinations of, e.g., green hydrogen and electrification, showing that a fossil-free European energy system by 2050 is not only possible, but can also be beneficial for the society.

ECF report on energy

Climate impact models and climate extremes


(c) Schewe et al., 2019

News | 7 March 2019

A new study by an international team of researchers, lead by PIK scientists, investigated how well observed impacts of the 2003 European heat wave can be simulated by climate impact models. For different sectors, the models underestimated the effects of the event, thus underpinning the need for further model improvement when it comes to impacts from climate extremes, in contrast to changes of the mean.
PIK study on climate extremes and impact models

Earth Doc Jonathan Donges awarded with Heinz Mayer-Leibnitz Prize

Earth Doc Jonathan Donges

(c) PIK | Karkow

News | 5 March 2019

Jonathan Donges, researcher at PIK, is among the winners of the most important German prize for young researchers. He contributed decisively to the advancement of the field of climate and Earth System sciences, explained the selection committee, e.g., through the use of "network-based approaches and methods from complexity theory" in climate research.
Jonathan Donges honoured with Heinz Mayer-Leibnitz Prize

Human methane sources dominate over those from Arctic soils


(c) AdobeStock | C. Ruslan

News | 18 February 2019

A new study under the lead of IIASA scientists reveals the relative contribution of natural versus human sources of methane to the overall emissions of greenhouse gases in future scenarios. While quantifying the relative portions for the first time, it supports earlier findings that human methane emissions dominate. Emissions could become manageable through reducing the use of fossil fuel and through changing agriculture towards climate friendly practices.
IIASA study on the effects of human versus natural sources of methane

Transformation, cities, and 1.5°C global warming

Cities, IPCC SR1.5, Sustainable Development Goals

(c) facebook | Allyza Lustig

News | 11 February 2019

Earth League member Youba Sokona, Senior Adviser for Sustainable Development at the South Centre, shared insights in consequences of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C global warming for cities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the "Forum on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, held in Shenzhen, China in January 2019.
Cities need to consider both climate mitigation and adaptation, yet this should go hand in hand with striving for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals - integrating all aspects can lead to better livelihood for all.
The South Centre

How are climate, conflict and migration interrelated?



News | 24 January 2019

New research under the lead of IIASA scientists investigates the links between climatic conditions, political conflicts and migration. It shows that for regions with difficult preconditions, e.g., weak democracy and drought prone economy, climatic stress can increase the potential for conflict, and thus migration.
IIASA study on climate, conflict and migration

IIASA research shows mitigation potential of the agricultural sector

Study on agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

(c) Pixabay | stokpic

News | 17 January 2019

A new study lead by scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) investigated the influence of different mitigation measures on carbon emissions from the agricultural sector. By using several models, they compared the effects of carbon pricing and how these could modify dietary behaviour, thereby finding that non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by up to 50%.
IIASA study on emissions from agriculture

South Centre contributes to research on gender and energy


(c) fotolia | lcswart

News | 8 January 2019

Youba Sokona, Senior Advisor for Sustainable Development at the South Centre, participated in the 2018 annual meeting of the research programme ENERGIA, for which he is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group. Findings show that the consideration of the different needs of women and men in terms of energy interventions can support the empowerment of women, and can help reduce poverty.
South Centre and ENERGIA

Interactive scenario explorer for 1.5°C pathways


(c) fotolia | L_c_WoGi

News | 12 December 2018

IIASA researchers contributed to the generation of emission scenarios, with underlying socio-economic development, energy system transformations and land use change until the end of the century, for the IPCC SR1.5 which was published on the 8th of October in South Korea.
In order to enable not only a free download of the scenario data, yet also their analysis and visualisation, IIASA developed "The 1.5 Degree Scenario Explorer" on behalf of IPCC and the Integrated Assessment Model Consortium (IAMC).
The 1.5 Degree Scenario Explorer

At COP24: Earth League and Future Earth submit joint statement to UNFCCC

10 New Insights Poster.jpg

(c) Future Earth, The Earth League

The statement "10 New Insights in Climate Science" is presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) on 10th of December. It is published by future Earth and The Earth League, and will be distributed to negotiators in Katowice.

10 New Insights in Climate Science

Statement by new PIK leaders on the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees (SR1.5)

New PIK leaders on IPCC SR1.5

(c) PIK

News | 11 October 2018

On the occasion of the approval of the SR1.5, Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer, the new directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), gave a statement on the most important aspects of the special report. PIK researcher Elmar Kriegler was involved in the process of creating the SR1.5 on the basis of 6000 cited references.
Op-ed in The Guardian by Rockström and Edenhofer

Climate mitigation policies and food security


(c) Fotolia | brudertack69

News | 28 August 2018

New research, led by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), investigated how global, uniform climate mitigation measures influence the agricultural sector, finding that such schemes can seriously impact food security - even more than the projected climate change would do.

How to design sustainable cities


(c) Fotolia | pranodhm

News | 23 August 2018

Sustainability experts from Arizona State University (ASU) appear on a podcast, explaining novel approaches that will help to keep cities habitable, also in face of climate change, growing population and shortage of resources. The interdisciplinarity of research is a key factor, gathering here an architect, a geographer and an urban planner.

Risk of irreversibly hot climate?


(c) | Fotolia | Jose Ignacio Soto

News | 10 August 2018

A paper with contribution by Stockholm Resilience Centre and PIK researchers finds that stabilising climate warming at 1.5 to 2 degrees C might not be possible at carbon emission reductions estimated for the Paris Agreement. Instead, a 'hothouse climate' might develop, with average temperatures being 4 to 5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial conditions.

Importance of fighting inequality


(c) Fotolia | kenopictures

News | 27 April 2018

The TERI school of advanced studies held a conference on 'Reducing Inequalities in India by 2030: Challenges and Way Forward in Implementing SDG 10' in April in New Delhi, India. The event gathered participants from diverse working fields, to address the many aspects of inequality in the country, which is also essential for the achievement of the Paris Agreement.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is dangerous for many reasons


(c) Fotolia | Kateryna Kon

News | 27 April 2018

AMR, though often not perceived, is a major problem for global health, and affects the effectiveness of antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials. The South Centre is active in research and advice to decision making related to the AMR topic, e.g., through organising a South-east Asian workshop on AMR.​

Slowdown of the Atlantic overturning?

News | 20 April 2018

A new study by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) investigates observations of the North Atlantic ocean, diagnosing a weakening of the Atlantic overturning circulation since the middle of the 20th century. In concurrence with earlier modelling and observational studies, the results hint to first effects of global warming on the important oceanic currents. more

Europe under 1.5 degrees C

News | 16 April 2018

New research with scientists of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) contributing, lead by Earth League Ex-officio member Daniela Jacob, analyses projected consequences of a climatic warming of 1.5 degrees C for Europe. The publication uses novel approaches, as compared to the 'classical' time slices analysis, aiming at providing valuable advice to decision makers. more

Winners of the 7-days challenge - sustainability in practise

News | 22 March 2018

In January, TERI School of Advanced Studies, the Embassy of Sweden and the Eco-Club initiative (Department of Environment, Government of NCT of Delhi), held the 7-days challenge for young people, aiming at sustainability in everyday life. The most innovative ideas were awarded at the Swedish Embassy on March 6. more

New study utilizing game theory


Graphic: J. Heitzig, U. Kornek

News | 9 March 2018

Researchers from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) investigate the development of coalitions in CO2 pricing between countries. The novel apporach deploys game theory in order to simulate how collaborative and egoistic countries behave, thus assessing how emission pricing and climate action would evolve in the longer term. more

New lead for the PIK in Potsdam

New PIK leaders: Edenhöfer and Rockström

(c) PIK

News | 6 March 2018

Earth League chair Johan Rockström and Earth League member Ottmar Edenhofer are assigned to become new directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this September, following founding director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. A dual leadership of one natural and one social scientist will further strengthen the interdisciplinarity of the insitute. more

Sustainability in practice

News | 5 March 2018

The TERI School of Advanced Studies, in association with the Swedish Embassy, organised a 7 Days Challenge, held in schools and colleges in New Delhi in late January, which encouraged to try to 'Eat, move, live' in a sustainable manner. The aim is to seek for practical solutions in all these categories of everyday life, be that getting to and from work or consuming energy for cooking. more

Report on South-South climate partnerships


(c) Fotolia | weerapat1003

News | 19 January 2018

At COP23, the United Nations Southern Climate Partnership Incubator published a report on South-South cooperation and sustainable development with respect to climate and climate change. The report, jointly produced by the South Centre and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, gives a comprehensive overview of ongoing adaptation and mitigation activities in the Global South. more

New method for identification of uncertainties


(c) Fotolia | royyimzy

News | 17 January 2018

In many fields, such as socio-economics, biology or climate, time series of data are analysed in order to learn how variables act and react. To disentangle actual changes from variability is a persistent challenge in research. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now published a new method to identify uncertainties in time series. more

Sub-Saharan rainfall patterns and energy supply security


(c) Fotolia | demerzel21

News | 10 January 2018

New research, lead by Grantham Institute's scientist, investigates the dependency of hydropower generation on rainfall patterns for Sub-Saharan Africa, and how this could develop considering planned hydropower constructions. Given the projected changes in precipitation, the research can support the planning of power generation infrastructure. more

Ice shelves impacted by small losses at the fringes

News | 14 December 2017

Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) investigated effects of melting ice at the margins of Antarctic ice shelves, finding the influence reaches far inland. This has effects on the stability of the ice, and thus is important with respect to sea level rise. more

European Climate Foundation (ECF) compiles key publications

News | 5 December 2017

Publications on topics such as energy, ecology, economics, and transformation can be found at the ECF web page, compiled for the previous year. Contributions are sampled from many major institutions and organisations throughout Europe. more

10th anniversary of the Grantham Institute


(c) Fotolia | Login

News | 29 November 2027

The Grantham Insitute - Climate Change and the Environment at the Imperial College in London celebrates its 10th anniversary. 'A Decade of Difference' reports on research, education and advocacy that has been undertaken during these ten years, and gives an outlook into the future. more

What best serves economy - and climate


(c) Fotolia | piyaset

News | 22 November 2017

On the end of the COP23 in Bonn, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) published a statement by its director, Earth League member Ottmar Edenhofer. It gives a summary of what is considered to be most important with regard to the interrelationships between economy and climate change. more

Health and money

Unamid Flickr

(c) flickr | UNAMID

News | 15 November 2017

Generics of biological origin importantly contribute to the supply of medical treatment worldwide. The South Centre published new research summmarizing the history and current conflicts around the use of such products. more

Earth League and FutureEarth submit statement to UNFCCC at COP23

10 must knows

News | November 2017

​At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, the Earth League and FutureEarth hand over a joint statement to UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinosa. The document compiles the latest and most important knowledge from climate research, economics, and technology, delivering the relevant information to the delegates of the climate negotiations during COP23 (read more).
Click here for watching the recorded event.

The 10 Science Must-Knows on Climate Change

Schellnhuber honoured with Blue Planet Prize

Earth League member Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

(c) foto-hollin

News | 8 November 2017

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), received the "Nobel prize in environmental science", the Blue Planet Prize, together with Gretchen Daily of Stanford University, USA. more

Crossroads: On the nexus between development, climate, and environment

News | 7 November 2017

Right before the COP23, this year taking place in Bonn, Germany, IIASA and the German Development Institute jointly organised a high-level event in Bonn to specifically discuss how to juggle climate action and human wellbeing. more

COP23 is coming closer

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(c) Fotolia | Claudia Otte

News | 2 November 2017

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is co-organising an event during COP23 in Bonn, entitled "Moving beyond coal after Paris: Can the US and the EU retire their coal plants in time to deliver on Paris Targets?". Earth League members Jennifer Morgan and Laurence Tubiana will be part of the panel. more

New partnership for the Arctic

Erik Schepers2 Flickr

(c) flickr | Erik Scheper

News | 26 October 2017

Climate change will be, and already is, more pronounced in the Actic than elsewhere, model simulations show. IIASA's Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) and the Arctic Circle have founded a partnership to approach the impacts in an inter- and transdisciplinary way. more

Quantifying the impacts of climate change


(c) flickr | United Nations Photo

News | 12 October 2017

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), while also celebrating its 25th anniversary, hosts the Impacts World conference in Potsdam. The event aims at assessing the "true costs of climate change", gathering around 500 researchers. more

Development and the Agenda 2030


(c) flickr | Gates Foundation

News | 5 October 2017

The ​South Centre held a side event at the UN General Assembly in September, entitled "Rethinking development in the context of the Agenda 2030". The discussions showed how challenging it is, and will continue to be, to bring both development and the SDGs in line. more

How to address rural electrification

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(c) flickr | Fulvio Spada

News | 29 September 2017

A large part of the world's population has no proper access to electricity. The Grantham Intsitute developed the CLOVER tool for simulating and optimising minigrids, thus supports in finding sustainable solutions for rural communities in the lesser developed countries. more

How to realize the NDCs

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(c) flickr | John Arnold

News | 27 September 2017

Recently published results from the IDDRI research project MILES discuss means to realise the PA goals. The project focussed on the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for seven key countries and regions, such as Brazil or the European Union.

Visualising our CO2 emissions


(c) fotolia | jzehnder

News | 15 September 2017

A new movie, co-produced by PIK, illustrates the history of human use of fossil fuels, of resulting greenhouse gas emissions, and of the effects this has on the planet. Based on recent CO2 data, it applies sophisticated geographical visualisation methods. more

Training of green engineers for India


(c) fotolia | smspsy

News | 14 September 2017

A post-graduate course for the education of solar engineers was installed with the collaboration of TERI University, starting this October. In order to meet the increasing demand for experts in solar energies, professionals will be educated for the commissioning of the 2022 renewable targets. more

2017 sees dramatic hurricane season


(c) fotolia | eric

News | 7 September 2017

Within less than a month, two severe hurricanes hit the US and (to date) the Carribean. While the frequencies of tropical cyclones do not increase, their intensities are linked to global warming, as reported by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Reseach (PIK). more

Resilience 2017 in Stockholm


(c) fotolia | kate

News | 6 September 2017

From August 20 to 23, the Resilience 2017 conference took place in the Swedish capital, co-hosted by Stockholm Resilience Centre. Scientists and interested people from the public learned and discussed on the most recent themes and findings from the resilience and sustainability arena, more

Importance of collaboration and trust for ecosystem reservation


(c) stock.adobe | V. Kolevski

News | 31 August 2017

Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers, jointly with Canadian colleagues, investigated the build-up of a marine reserve network in Jamaica, finding that collaboration and trust are key conditions for a successful implementation of conservation areas. more

Water use and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

News | 16 August 2017

A new study, featuring authors from PIK and IIASA, shows that a large portion of irrigation water is used in an unsustainable way. However, improved water and crop management techniques can significantly help to achieve SDGs that today come into conflict as both depend on the same resource. more

New study shows: There is enough wind for many of us

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(c) flickr | Chauncey Davis

News | 10 August 2017

Grantham Institute (Imperial College, London) and ETH Zürich researchers combined data on wind energy generation with long-term weather data, finding that a better distribution of the production sites over Europe would make wind energy more stable and efficient. more

New publication on 'coal transition'

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(c) istock | Thaddeus Robertson

News | 12 July 2017

The think tanks IDDRI and Climate Strategies jointly released a project report that compiles case studies of historical transitions of industrial regions from coal to other sectors. The review provides advice for a just transition in the light of the need to change from fossil to renewable energies. more

How to rapidly curb down CO2 emissions


(c) Fotolia | L. Chris75

News | 7 July 2017

A Nature publication with the collaboration of PIK director Professor Schellnhuber suggests a way how decarbonisation could actually function. A stepwise process for the years until 2020 would lead to the dramatic CO2 emissions' decrease needed to fence anthropogenic climate change. more

India fosters renewable energies


(c) flickr | fieldbsh

News | 26 June 2017

The Indian government aims for renewable energies to make a 40 % share of the total energy production by 2013. This shall be accompanied by a decline of about 35 % in emissions, as TERI Vice Chancellor Leena Srivstava explains. more

UN report on global ocean science released in New York

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(c) istock | Dimitrios Stefanidis

News | 21 June 2017

During the UN Ocean Conference, the first global report on the status of science of the oceans was published. It shows that knowing the oceans is not merely important for their protection, but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber honored with Blue Planet Prize

Earth League member Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

(c) foto-hollin

News | 14 June 2017

Together with Prof. Gretchen Daily (Stanford University, Natural Capital Project), founding director and head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PIK, wins the Blue Planet Prize 2017. more

40 years of research on resilience

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(c) United Nations

News | 8 June 2017

The scientific director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre summarised the history of resilience research, now lasting more than 40 years, and published it as part of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia programme. more

Recommendations for Carbon pricing by high-level economists

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(c) Pictureflickr | fieldsbh

News | 30 May 2017

A committee of 13 eminent economists, with the participation of PIK scientists, reviewed and compiled the current status on carbon pricing and on their effects on climate and economies. more

Fostering a low-carbon technology has positive effects on economy


(c) Fotolia | Omika

News | 24 May 2017

At the Imperial College in London, experts met to discuss challenges and opportunities through decarbonisation. Low-carbon technologies will, despite investments in the beginning, have positive impacts on societies in the long run. more

Sustainability dossier published


(c) istock | Rosette Jordaan

News | 18 May 2018

The dossier compiles current knowledge and debates on the topic, and was published by, a platform fostering sustainable development, with contributions from IDDRI researchers. more

New research on the impacts of the financial crisis for the Global South


(c) Pictureistock | tazytaz

News | 17 May 2017

The South Centre published a comprehensive analysis of the financial crisis and of its effects for emerging and developing economies. more

System transformation can help fighting poverty


(c) UNHCR | N. James

News | 10 May 2017

Considering environmental conditions and cultural knowledge is an important asset in development aid, a new study under the lead of scientists from the Stockholm Resilience Centre shows.

Research investigated effects of use of Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) for China


(c) Fotolia | Tom Wang

News | 28 April 2017​

Using SNG in the residential sector has the largest benefit for public health, a new study with the participation of former IIASA scientists reveals.

New paper shows ways towards decarbonisation


(c) Fotolia | L_kriss75

News 28 | March 2017

A publication by Earth League chair Johan Rockström and colleagues in Science intends to develop a roadmap for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement (PA).

Earth League Symposium at PIK

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(c) Jokeair

News | 10 January 2017​

From 23-24 January, the annual meeting of the Earth League took place the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, with the theme being Transformation Now!

​Before the Flood


(c) Fotolia | Kwest

News | 17 October 2016

Earth League Chair Johan Rockström appears alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in documentary Before the Flood (2016), as DiCaprio tour the world to see the impacts of climate change first-hand.

Earth League authors on "The World's biggest gamble"


(c) istock | Sashkin

News | 05 December 2016

​Earth League members published a paper on conclusions that can be made from the Paris Agreement (PA), showing that although the overall goals of the PA are in line with science.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could dampen world's population growth


(c) istock | Andreas Kermann

News | 05 December 2016

A new study by IIASA scientists shows that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would dampen population growth through reducing poverty and development of health and education sectors.

​IIASA Study maps the impact of agriculture on climate

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(c) flickr | Santiago La Rotta

News | 29 November 2016

Research published in Nature Climate Change provides first global assessment of how GHGs from different crops and management practices contribute to climate change

South Centre at the COP22 in Marrakech


(c) istock | Paul Prescott

News | 23 November 2016

The South-South Cooperation has been linking public as well as private actors throughout countries in the South in order to foster development and increase resilience to climate change

"The world's biggest gamble"

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(c) Fotolia | Marek Krakowiak

News | 23 Novemebr 2016

​Earth League members published a​ paper pointing at the danger of missing the Paris-COP21 goals,
and promoting a zero-carbon roadmap.​

​Project ENHANCE published results


(c) istock | dmitry

News | 23 November 2016

The EU funded research project ​ENHANCE just published its main results as a book:
'Novel Multi-Sector Partnerships in Disaster Risk Management - Results of the ENHANCE Project'

Air pollution emerges as a top killer globally


(c) PictureFotolia | imaginis

News | 16 November 2016

News from the South Centre reveals that air pollution causes 6.5 million worldwide deaths as well as being a major cause of climate change

Between 1.5°C and 2°C — analysing the global warming targets

News | 8 November 2016

IIASA Policy Brief #14, analyse the two temperatures most prominent in the Paris Agreement: 1.5°C and 2°C, and find substantially different climate impacts

How fast is the carbon clock ticking?

News | 7 November 2016

MCC carbon clock shows how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere if global warming is to be capped at 1.5°C, or 2°C, and you can see how much time remains in each scenario

Informing action on a historic climate agreement

News | 4 November 2016

Paris Agreement went into force 4th November, but scientists say there is a long way to go to achieve it. IIASA research suggests pathways to get the world on track