NEWS

Energy partnerships are an important instrument of Germany’s foreign relations. © istock/violetkaipa
Fostering the growth of sustainable energy is an important aspect of the German ...
Cows are unable to process protein in feedstock effectively, leading to ammonia emissions when their urea and faeces mix. The appropriate use of low-protein feedstock can reduce ammonia emissions without harming the health or welfare of farm animals. © shutterstock/Gary Blakeley
Agriculture is probably not the first thing that springs to mind as a major source of air pollutants.
The International Seabed Authority should involve the public in decision-making processes around deep seabed mining and ensure that it is fully informed, recommends a new IASS Policy Brief. © istock/tolokonov
The deep sea is the largest and least understood ecosystem on Earth. The exploitation ...
Mark G. Lawrence and Anton Hofreiter. © IASS
Anton Hofreiter was briefed at the IASS on the latest research results on societal ...
Ferdinand Knauß (c) private
Why do so many journalists still promote growth as the solution to all our economic woes?
(c) istock/michieldb
2016 marks the tenth anniversary of a seminal contribution on climate engineering ...
Who will pay for measures to address the long-term impacts of opencast lignite mining? Unless policymaker act, tax payers and federal states could be left to foot part of the bill, a new study warns. © istock/typo-graphics
Vattenfall, RWE, and MIBRAG are failing to set aside the financial reserves necessary ...
(c) istock/Clicks
The draft text of the new National Sustainability Strategy, presented by Chancellor ...
Birgit Lode (IASS/CCAC), Sunday A. Leonard (CCAC), Romina Picolotti (Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development) before the opening of the side event at UNEA-2 in Nairobi. © Birgit Lode
Brick kilns are significant sources of air pollution in many countries. According to ...
(c) iStock/Pedrag Vuckovic
Cities are increasingly important actors within the global carbon cycle according to a study ...
BMZ Secretary of State Hans-Joachim Fuchtel talked about Germany's commitment to the protection of the seas. © IASS/Thomas Ecke
The protection of marine biodiversity, the sustainable use of marine resources, and the ...
The more than 300 conference participants invited by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the IASS debated how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. © Piero Chiussi/IASS
With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015, the UN member states ...

DOSSIERS - RESEARCH IN FOCUS

The Paris Agreement and Global Climate Policy

Human activities are largely responsible for climate change, which is already having an observable effect on our planet. Particularly emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas have led to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Key indicators of climate change – including rising average temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels – are expected to have devastating consequences for humans and environments. Tackling the challenge posed by climate change will require a coordinated and global effort. Read More

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

An important crossroads: at the end of September the UN member states voted on a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to initiate a global transformation towards sustainability. The Sustainable Development Goals are more extensive than their precursor, the eight Millennium Development Goals, which have often been criticised for not giving enough attention to the ecological dimensions of sustainability, or for considering it only in isolation. The primary goal remains the eradication of poverty. Read More

CO₂: From Waste to Feedstock

Economic activities and consumer behaviour in developed countries are currently based mainly on the use of fossil-based raw materials, whose emissions are largely responsible for anthropogenic climate change. In efforts to reduce human effects on the climate, the avoidance of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is and remains the most important measure. But viewing the greenhouse gas CO2 as a source of carbon can also make sense. In recent years scientists have been investigating so-called Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies. The aim of these technologies is to re-cycle the CO2 contained in emissions as a feedstock for industrial processes. This captured CO2 could replace fossil-based carbon as a component of materials and energy carriers, thereby creating a carbon cycle. Read More

Sustainable Arctic Futures: A Regional and Global Challenge

Temperatures in the Arctic are currently rising twice as fast as in most other regions on the planet, a phenomenon most strikingly evidenced by the decreasing extent and volume of Arctic sea ice over the last decades. The processes currently under way in the Arctic are embedded in climate, economic, legal and social systems and processes that reach far beyond the Arctic Circle.

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Air Pollution and Climate Change

Air pollution and climate change are closely related. The main sources of CO2 emissions – the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – are not only key drivers of climate change, but also major sources of air pollutants. Furthermore, many air pollutants that are harmful to human health and ecosystems also contribute to climate change by affecting the amount of incoming sunlight that is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere, with some pollutants warming and others cooling the Earth. These so-called short-lived climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs) include methane, black carbon, ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols. They have significant impacts on the climate. Read More

Climate Engineering

While there is still hope that risks from climate change can be limited by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, there is also a perception that ‘time is running out’. This perception of a looming watershed has given rise to calls for research on intentional, large-scale interventions into the climate system, referred to as either ‘climate engineering’ or ‘geoengineering’. Both terms describe a diverse and largely hypothetical array of methods for manipulating the global climate in order to moderate or forestall some of the numerous impacts of climate change. Read More

Superconductivity

In the coming decades, the development of renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar will play a major role in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and making our energy system more sustainable. But the places where RES are available or would be most efficient are often located far away from the densely populated and industrial areas where the energy is needed: on the open sea in the case of wind and in sunnier climes in the case of solar. This means that the construction of new power lines needs to go hand in hand with RES development. In Germany for instance, expanding the electrical grid has become a crucial precondition for the success of the Energiewende. Read More

PUBLICATIONS

Sustainable Land Management in Western Kenya – Lessons Learnt and Future Directions

Report from the Institutional Stakeholders Workshop in Kisumu; 2 – 3rd March 2016
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Agriculture, Ammonia, and Air Pollution

Facts about agriculture as a source of air pollutants
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Technological Options for the Future European Grid

Key importance for the future grid are an integrated energy policy and the coordination of efforts.
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Solar Radiation Management: Foresight for Governance

Report addresses the emerging debate regarding the governance of SRM.
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The Future of Africa’s Energy Supply

Potentials and Development Options for Renewable Energy
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IASS BLOG

Sustainability Research in a Sustainable Workplace

Scientists working at the IASS address diverse topics across the field of sustainability research. But how sustainable is our institute?

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Germany’s Federal States: Drivers of Participation in the Energy Transition?

Are Germany’s federal states becoming the drivers of citizen and civic participation in the energy transition?

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EVENTS

09.08.2016

Lecture: Whose Deep Future? Critiquing the moral presumptions of longer-term thinking in Anthropocene discourse

It is common for climate change campaigners to lament the short-term visions ...
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28.07.2016 to 29.07.2016

Meeting: First Climate Engineering Conference (CEC17) Steering Committee Meeting

Following the success of the first international climate engineering conference in 2014 (CEC14) ...
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01.09.2016

Event at World Water Week: Making sound energy choices today to achieve water security tomorrow

In most developing and emerging markets, meeting the rising energy ...
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05.09.2016 to 14.09.2016

Potsdam Summer School: Dealing with Climate Change Impacts

Avoiding the unmanageable, managing the unavoidable – even with ambitious climate mitigation ...
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SCIENCE CINEMA

Better Save Soil

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Let's Talk About Soil - English

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Outlaws in Air City (Fast Forward Science 2014)

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Engineering the climate?

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