Consortium > PIK

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung e.V.

Organization short name: PIK
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Description of the organization

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts and sustainable development. Researchers from natural and social sciences work together to generate interdisciplinary insights and to provide society with sound information for decision making. PIK currently has 210 employees. It is a member of the Leibniz Association and receives an annual funding of 8 M€ from the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federals States. Project funding from external sources accounts for a further 3.3 M€ per year on average.

Expertise and experience of the organization

The main methodologies used at PIK are systems and scenarios analysis, quantitative and qualitative modelling, computer simulation, and data integration.

Understanding the Earth system is a huge task that no institution or country can tackle alone. PIK is part of a global network on questions of global environmental change. It closely collaborates with many international partners and is developing, together with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the U.K., a European perspective of sustainability science. PIK plays an active role in activities such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). As a member of the European Climate Forum (ECF), the Institute is in direct and continuous exchange with decision-makers from the economy, politics and civil society.

Selected reference projects

PIK has coordinated the FP5 Integrated Project ATEAM, the first pan-European, regionally specific, cross-sectoral assessment of ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. Alongside ATEAM, a Concerted Action AVEC provided additional stakeholder dialogue an training for young scientists with respect to the ATEAM methodology. PIK’s expertise has been developed further in ALARM (a risk-oriented assessment of European ecosystem dynamics) and in the FP7 Network of Excellence ALTER-Net. In CarboEurope-IP, PIK contributes assessments and methodology for the modelling of the European ecosystem carbon balance.

Key scientific / technical personnel

Prof. Wolfgang Cramer, environmental geographer, plant ecologist and professor of global ecology at Potsdam University has been head of the Department of Global Change and Natural Systems since the establishment of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in 1992 and now co-leads the institute's research domain "Earth System Analysis". His main scientific contributions were initially in the area of forest dynamics modelling, with respect to climate drivers, and now to the broader understanding of biosphere dynamics at the global and continental scale. In FP5, he has been directing ATEAM and its companion outreach activity, AVEC. He is a contributor in many roles to the IPCC and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Dr. Anja Rammig is a biologist with a degree in environmental sciences. She is interested in research that relates different modeling approaches to ecosystem functioning that focuses on the impact of global climate change on ecosystems and the impact of disturbances and extreme events on vegetation, from the physiological level to site- and landscape level. She is expert in the development and application of global vegetation models such as the LPJ-DGVM (e.g. LPJmL, LPJ-GUESS). She has participated in different projects investigating terrestrial ecosystem response to environmental change such as the probability of potential Amazon rainforest die-back and impacts of extreme frost events on boreal forests.

Responsibilities in CARBO-Extreme

  • Model-data integration (WP5)
  • Model experiments and scenario analysis (WP6)
  • Carbon vulnerability synthesis (WP7)
  • Dissemination and policy interaction (WP8), (lead)

Selected recent relevant publications

Rammig A et al. Impacts of changing frost regimes on Swedish forests: Incorporating cold hardiness in a regional ecosystem model. Ecological Modelling (in press), 2009. link to publisher

Bondeau A, ..., Cramer W et al., Modelling the role of agriculture for the 20th century global terrestrial carbon balance. Global Change Biology 13, 679-706, 2007. link to publisher

Müller C, Eickhout B, Zaehle S, Bondeau A, Cramer W & Lucht W, Effects of changes in CO2, climate, and land use on the carbon balance of the land biosphere during the 21st century. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G02032, 2007. link to publisher

Zaehle S, Bondeau A, Carter TR, Cramer W et al., Projected changes in terrestrial carbon storage in Europe under climate and land use change, 1990-2100. Ecosystems 10, 380-401, 2007. link to publisher

Schaphoff S, Lucht W, Gerten D, Sitch S, Cramer W & Prentice IC, Terrestrial biosphere carbon storage under alternative climate projections. Climate Change 74(1-3), 97-122, 2006. link to publisher

DeFries R, ... Cramer W et al., Analytical approaches for assessing ecosystem condition and human well-being. In Hassan R, Scholes R & Ash N (eds.) Ecosystems and Human Well-being Vol 1, Island Press, 37-71, 2005.

Schröter D, Cramer W et al., Ecosystem Service Supply and Vulnerability to Global Change in Europe. Science 310(25.11.2005):1333-1337, 2005. link to publisher