Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

At PIK, researchers in the natural and social sciences from all over the world work closely together to study global change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems. Researchers examine the earth system’s capacity for withstanding human interventions and devise strategies and options for a sustainable development of humankind and nature. Interdisciplinary and solution-oriented approaches are a distinctive characteristic of the institute.

Research at PIK is organized in four Research Domains: Earth System Analysis, Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, Sustainable Solutions and Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods.

Understanding climate change and its impacts is a huge task that no institution or country can tackle alone. PIK is part of a global network of scientific and academic institutions working on questions of global environmental change. PIK plays an active role in activities such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also known as the world´s climate council, whose working group on the mitigation of climate change is coordinated by PIK researchers. PIK initiated and has co-hosted the biennial Nobel Laureate Symposium on questions of global sustainability since 2007.


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The Arc de Triomphe Is illuminated in green to celebrate the Paris Agreement’s entry into force. U.S. Department of State from United States

Will the Paris Agreement still be able to deliver after the US withdrawal?

Like president George W. Bush before him, Donald Trump made the announcement from the White House Rose Garden, showing that Republican governments have failed to learn past lessons.
We’ve come a long way since the agreement was formed in 2015. Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Paris climate agreement enters into force: international experts respond

Experts agree that a new era for climate policy here. But the hard work starts now.
Les épisodes de pluies diluviennes deviennent plus fréquents, notamment en Asie du Sud-est. Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

Ce que nous réserve le climat pour les 100 prochaines années

Pluies diluviennes, fonte des glaciers... Les effets du changement climatique se font déjà ressentir. Qu’en sera-t-il demain ?
If the wells are dry, it doesn’t matter how many hands on the pumps. Kevin Frayer/AP

Water supply will struggle to meet demands of thirstier world

There are already many countries where the scarcity of water affects people’s lives. While water for drinking may be first to come to mind, as agriculture is the largest use of water worldwide water scarcity…
Messing around with climate change makes no sense. Michael Lloyd

Australia is hot, dry and risky, so why cut climate action?

The Abbott Government’s proposed repeal of Australia’s climate legislation will be heard through history. This action is being taken at a time when the rest of the world is moving in the other direction…
Miami, New York City… who’s next? Allstar/Fox 2000/Sportsphoto Ltd

The inevitability of sea level rise

Small numbers can imply big things. Global sea level rose by a little less than 0.2 metres during the 20th century – mainly in response to the 0.8 °C of warming humans have caused through greenhouse gas…
People affected by floods move to higher grounds in Khoski, Sindh province, Pakistan, 17 September 2011. AAP

Weather extremes: atmospheric waves and climate change

The northern hemisphere has experienced a spate of extreme weather in recent times. In 2012 there were destructive heat waves in the US and southern Europe, accompanied by floods in China. This followed…
New climate institutions are finally putting Australia on track to meet its Kyoto obligations. amandabhslater

Getting closer to our climate obligations: Australia’s legislation for change

DURBAN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: Australia’s new climate legislation is a historic breakthrough reform for the nation. Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions ranks alongside any of the “big” reforms…

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