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:: Green Economies around the World?

Iron, gold, sand, coal, oil, wood, rice – and many more belong to the natural resources, which build the base of the economic well-being of modern consumer societies. Sustainability concepts use the “ecological rucksack” for measuring the use of these resources as an additional indicator besides the water rucksack, the CO2-emissions and the land use. The “ecological rucksack” is the main actor in this story – a global story about resource use, economic growth and its decoupling.

:: “A house for the 21th century“

Climate research in Potsdam will get a new home. Adjacent to the historic main buildings of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) dating from the 19th century, a new energy-optimized building will come into existence. The laying of the foundation stone for this exceptional new research building also marks PIK’s 20th anniversary. Representatives of science and politics congratulated the institute, underlining that it has become one of the world’s leading climate research centres.

:: Mini-projector for smartphones

Their very small displays sometimes make smartphones diffi cult to operate. In the future, a projector will help: if the cell phone is standing on a table, for instance, it can project a large-format display onto the table surface. The user will have the option of operating the smartphone via the projection function or from the display screen itself.

:: New Report issues a warning about humanity’s ability to survive without a major change in direction

2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers, launched by the Club of Rome on May 7 in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.

:: Weather records due to climate change: a game with loaded dice

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 and storms, despite the observed increase in the intensity of hurricanes.

:: Quantifying climate impacts: new comprehensive model comparison launched

Climate change has impacts on forests, fields, rivers – and thereby on humans that breathe, eat and drink. To assess these impacts more accurately, a comprehensive comparison of computer-based simulations from all over the world will start this week. For the first time, sectors ranging from ecosystems to agriculture to water supplies and health will be scrutinized in a common framework. The models will be provided by more than two dozen research groups from the United States, China, Germany, Austria, Kenya, and the Netherlands, among others.

:: Study shows health, food security benefits from climate change actions

A new study, published in the journal Science, highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that if implemented could slow the pace of global warming, save millions of lives, and boost agricultural production.

:: YikeBike LTD. Launches new aluminium version of world’s smallest and lightest ‘Foldable’ Electric Bike

YikeBike Ltd., creators of the world’s smallest, lightest, compact electric bicycle, today unveiled the YikeBike Fusion, a lower-priced yet uncompromising version of the original YikeBike Carbon Fiber electric bicycle that has captivated the imagination of consumers and bicycle enthusiasts around the world, and earned awards, accolades and acknowledgements from Time Magazine, the Guinness Book of World Records, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other international organizations.

:: Where does tomorrow’s energy come from? Researchers explore new pathways

In just a few weeks´ time the European Union will present its scenarios for tomorrow’s energy, the “Energy Roadmap 2050” – and already there is some excitement about the question of price increases. Behind such estimates, however, there are scientific models: computer simulations of real world processes. They are the tools to assess costs and benefits of a transformation of our energy system in line with climate change mitigation. This week, the most relevant developers of such models assembled under the umbrella of the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF), met for the first time at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The new analyses they are preparing are about data and formula – but in the end also about euros and cents for industry and households.

:: The world is locking itself into an unsustainable energy future which would have far-reaching consequences, IEA warns in its latest World Energy Outlook

Without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system, the International Energy Agency warned as it launched the 2011 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO). The agency's flagship publication, released today in London, said there is still time to act, but the window of opportunity is closing.

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