Aug 2010	GeoGovernance ist zentrales Element Im Antrag zur Exzellenzinitiative

Geogovernance is a central element in the application for the Excellence Initiative.       > read more

Sep 2010	Beim Schiffbauergasse-Fest wird Wissenschaft zum Anfassen präsentiert

Sep 2010: At the "Schiffbauergasse"-festival science is presented to be touched      > read more

29.10.2010: PCPM Climate Breakfast with Prof. Bierbaum         > read more

Apr 2010	Geo- und Klimawissenschaften im Auswärtigen Amt

Apr 2010: Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Federal Foreign Office.

Feb 2010	PROGRESS startet mit Kickoff-Meeting

Feb 2010: PROGRESS started with Kickoff-Meeting.        > read more

2. PCMP Climate-Breakfast with Nicole Wilke, the German "Climate-Diplomat"

For the 2nd PCPM Climate Breakfast at the University of Potsdam on January 28th, 2011 we were able to have Ms. Nicole Wilke, Head of the Divison "International Climate Policy" at the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conversation and Nuclear Safety as our guest. As German Lead Negotiator within the UNFCCC, Ms. Wilke has been Germany’s leading "Climate Diplomat" since 2004. The event had been organized in the framework of Progress and the course "Governance of Risk: Preparing for climate change in a comparative perspective" taught by Ms. Thurid Hustedt (Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organization) for the students of the postgraduate Master’s program “Public Policy and Management” (PPM). The breakfast was conducted on the basis of the results of the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun during which the international Community succeeded for the first time in agreeing on a common goal which is to reduce global warming to less than 2°Celsius. After Ms. Wilke had shared her tasks and experiences within the UNFCCC, she discussed the challenges of international climate negotiations with the students and lecturers in the plenum.

Potsdam Glacial research congress: Worldwide Echo: Nature Geoscience Article 23.01.2011

Today newspapers from Delhi to New York are quoting the latest article in Nature Geoscience on glaciers and climate change by scientists at PROGRESS, the University of Potsdam research association. Der Spiegel reports that many glaciers may have been incorrectly categorized as endangered. The scientists are therefore calling for new research  specifically incorporating satellite data.

Erroneous statements made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their last report on the future of the Himalayan glaciers (2007) have resulted in heated controversy about the impact of climate change on the region and the methods followed by the IPCC. Using satellite photos, scientists at the University of Potsdam have now studied almost 300 glaciers in the Himalayas. This huge set of data profiles the highest mountain range on the planet over a stretch of around 2,000 kilometers, and has produced evidence of great disparities in glacial development across the region. While most of the glaciers located in the Karakorum region in the northwestern Himalaya remain stable or are advancing, more than 70 percent of the glaciers in the remaining Himalayas are in retreat.

While climatologists around the world are puzzled by the lack of a unified glacial response, the scientists in Potsdam can now provide a first coherent explanation, focusing on a detail formerly not given the necessary attention. They point out that many Himalayan glaciers are covered in a layer of debris several centimeters thick. This acts as a heat barrier and slows the melting rate. Change rate measurements have also shown that glaciers with debris covers in subdued landscapes do not advance great distances and so also do not retreat. However, these findings still do not sufficiently explain the phenomenon of the “stable” Karakorum glaciers, the scientists maintain in Nature Geoscience.

Their research is part of the Potsdam research association PROGRESS and its focus on geo-governance, dedicated to studying the effects of climate change in connection with related public policy.

Further informations:


Westhimalaya, Indien, oberes Tons Tal,  Zungenregion des Jaundhar Gletschers (~14 km langer Gletscher). Im Vordergrund auf der linken Seite ist ein Aufschluss einer Seitenmoräne zu sehen. Die Blickrichtung ist nach Nordosten und zeigt die unteren ~5 km des mit viel Schutt bedeckten Gletschers auf einer Höhe von etwa 4300 m über NN.


Schnauze des Bandarpunch Gletschers
Das Foto zeigt zwei Gletschertore aus denen Schmelzwasserströme fliessen. Die Gletscheroberfläche ist mit einer dicken Schuttschicht bedeckt.


Westhimalaya, Indien, oberes Tons Tal,  auf dem Weg zum Bandarpunch Gletscher (~10 km langer Gletscher)
Das Foto zeigt Seitenmoränen des Bandarpunch Gletschers, die vor etwa 200-300 Jahren abgelagert wurden (das Alter wurde durch die Expositionsdatierung erratischer Blöcke auf den Moränen mit kosmogenen Nukliden (10Be) ermittelt; siehe Scherler et al., 2010, Quaternary Science Reviews). Die Front des Gletschers is etwa 2 km entfernt. Um diese Distanz hat sich der Gletscher seit Ablagerung der Moräne zurückgezogen.

Graphic: Southern Wet Season Rainfall Anomaly since 1900 - Southwestern Australia. Quelle: Bureau of Meteorology.

Heavy rainfall floods Australia

Australia has been struck by one of the worst flood catastrophes in its history. According to Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf and Prof. Jürgen Kropp, the dimension of precipitation is not only a direct result of the La-Nina condition currently prevailing in the Pacific Ocean, but is in fact a direct result of climate change.

Australia has been struck by one of the worst catastrophes in its history. An area in the north west of Australia the size of Germany and France combined has already been flooded. Brisbane is under water, tens of thousands of people have had to be evacuated and fifteen people have died.

Brisbane suffered from flooding in 1893 and 1974, but the latest floods have new causes, the authors say, citing the effects of climate change.

The heavy precipitation is not only a direct result of the current La-Nina condition prevailing  in the pacific Pacific Oocean, but according to Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf and Prof. Jürgen Kropp a direct result of global change.

For more information, see the report in ZDF-Morgenmagazin:ärmstes-Jahr

Also read two related posts by Stefan Rahmstorf on WissensLogs: