Germany

Joint studies in 2015 focused on the complex global systems that affect Germany, its economy, and its people. Research topics included negative emissions technologies (ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere) and the links between climate policies and multiple sustainable development objectives.

Map of Germany

Map of Germany

Research activities in 2015 combined IIASA expertise in systems analysis with skills of German researchers to explore transformation paths to a sustainable future, the feasibility of negative emissions technologies and understanding ecosystem services of boreal forests. IIASA's research also provided wide-ranging policy advice relevant to Germany delivered via organizations such as the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).

Five young scientists from Germany or based in Germany participated in IIASA young scientists programs in 2015.

Germany


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Agro-Environmental Systems

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) group worked to advance global and regional gridded crop modeling, investigating the impacts of future climate change and nutrient depletion. The vulnerability of crop production to climate change was a key focus for the group. more

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Aiding modeling and assessment projects

One of the goals of the Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative is to establish a knowledge hub for systems analytic approaches to water challenges. To facilitate this, the program has been working closely with the Intersectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) to help develop climate-impact models that fully incorporate water issues. more

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Benefit sharing in emissions offsetting

The Methods for Economic Decision-Making under Uncertainty (MEDU) group has identified promising approaches to emissions offsetting in the energy sector under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism. These include increasing risk-aversion of energy producers, exposing risk-averse behavior, and activating a benefit-sharing mechanism. more

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Calculating land footprint

The Water (WAT) Program helped develop a new method for calculating land footprints. This combines the IIASA LANDFLOW model—which traces land embodied in trade and consumption—with environmental economic-accounting. Land footprints were also further analyzed by the program in terms of land quality, resource use, and environmental impacts. more

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Enhancing water-system resilience

The Water (WAT) Program has extended work begun by the Global Water Systems Project, which focuses on human and ecosystem water security and assessing the investments required to enhance the resilience of the global water system over a 100-year time period. more

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German Advisory Council on Global Change

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) is a scientific advisory body set up by the German government to provide policy advice. Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) researcher Nebojsa Nakicenovic has been one of the nine appointed members since the inception of WBGU and has been reappointed for a second term lasting to 2016. more

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Governance in transition

Meeting the challenges of climate change, disasters, and competition for energy and resources requires transitions in the way we govern. In 2015 the focus of the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program’s work on governance was on open government, stakeholder perceptions, and the involvement of multiple stakeholder perspectives in participatory settings. more

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International carbon markets under uncertainty

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Methods for Economic Decision-Making under Uncertainty (MEDU) group has advanced analysis of offsets and permits in the context of international carbon markets and investment uncertainty. more

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LandSense citizen observatory

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program has won funding for LandSense, a new citizen observatory and innovation marketplace for land use and land cover monitoring. Providing critical monitoring of change on the ground, the project will also include campaigns involving multiple stakeholders to ensure that citizen observations contribute to EU-wide environmental governance and decision making. more

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Linking climate and development policies

The project Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing (CD-LINKS) kicked off in September 2015. CD-LINKS aims to study the links between climate policies and multiple sustainable development objectives. more

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Modeling burned areas for Europe

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program has carried out a series of improvements to the quantitative modeling of burned areas in Europe under historical climate, supported by its standalone fire model (SFM). more

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Negative Emissions Technologies

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Policy and Science Interface (PSI) group has advanced research into negative emissions technologies—ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere—investigating whether they are a viable way of tackling climate change. more

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New tools for modeling urban climate

The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) initiative, for which Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program researchers play a crucial role, has started to gain momentum in the urban climate modeling community. WUDAPT is an attempt to classify all cities in the world using a standardized classification scheme based on local climate zones [1]. more

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Political economy of energy transitions

In this emerging area of research, the Energy Program (ENE) aims to advance the understanding of the political-economic dynamics of energy transitions and its variation between countries. This analysis determines the most effective strategies for national and international policy action. more

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Renewable energy and ecosystems protection in the Alps

Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program researchers and partners developed a decision support system (DSS) for the entire Alpine region, aiming at quantifying renewable energy potentials balanced with ecosystem services protection. more

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Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

The Energy Program (ENE) continued to lead the field of socioeconomic scenarios for the integrated assessment of climate change. In 2015, a series of papers were submitted to a special issue of the journal Global Environmental Change, providing a detailed account of the main characteristics of five Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and related integrated assessment scenarios. more

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Understanding ecosystem services of boreal forests

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Earth Observation Systems (EOS) group has continued their work on boreal forests. In 2015, improvements were made to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Full Verified Carbon Budget (FCA), including updating its ecological and economic aspects, and applying it to the ecosystems of Northern Eurasia. more

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Water Futures and Solutions fast-track analysis

The successful completion of the fast-track analysis under the global Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative, is a major achievement of the Water (WAT) Program. The analysis has yielded the first set of multi-model, quantified scenarios of water demand with a focus on the domestic, industrial, and energy sectors. more

Europe


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Agro-Environmental Systems

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Agro-Ecological Systems (AES) group worked to advance global and regional gridded crop modeling, investigating the impacts of future climate change and nutrient depletion. The vulnerability of crop production to climate change was a key focus for the group. more

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European Research Council funding

In 2015 the Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) Program won prestigious European Research Council (ERC) funding for a project on social influence and the diffusion of low-carbon innovations (SILCI). Given the highly competitive and selective nature of these multi-year, multi-million Euro ERC research grants, this showcases the quality and pioneering contributions to innovation studies and low carbon system transitions of TNT’s researchers. more

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Evolutionarily sustainable consumption

The Evolution and Ecology Program (EEP) assembles evidence and insights on how human exploitation alters the heritable traits of targeted populations and explores options for reducing unwanted alterations. more

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From hemispheric pollution to air quality in street canyons

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has developed a new method that assigns particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to emission sources at the different scales of origin. This work allowed the implications of the recent emission scandal on local air quality to be quantified. more

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German Advisory Council on Global Change

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) is a scientific advisory body set up by the German government to provide policy advice. Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) researcher Nebojsa Nakicenovic has been one of the nine appointed members since the inception of WBGU and has been reappointed for a second term lasting to 2016. more

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Global air pollution

The Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program takes a unique systems perspective that integrates physical, social, economic, and policy aspects of air quality management. In 2015, the program introduced these aspects into numerous new policy and scientific initiatives that address the role of air quality management for improving human wellbeing and contribute to multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. more

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Governance in transition

Meeting the challenges of climate change, disasters, and competition for energy and resources requires transitions in the way we govern. In 2015 the focus of the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program’s work on governance was on open government, stakeholder perceptions, and the involvement of multiple stakeholder perspectives in participatory settings. more

teaserimage

LandSense citizen observatory

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program has won funding for LandSense, a new citizen observatory and innovation marketplace for land use and land cover monitoring. Providing critical monitoring of change on the ground, the project will also include campaigns involving multiple stakeholders to ensure that citizen observations contribute to EU-wide environmental governance and decision making. more

teaserimage

Linking climate and development policies

The project Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing (CD-LINKS) kicked off in September 2015. CD-LINKS aims to study the links between climate policies and multiple sustainable development objectives. more

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Managing uncertainty in climate science and meeting sustainability constraints

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a particular challenge for sustainability. Decisions need to be made now to avoid unsustainable futures, but the basis for these decisions, in terms of both data and models, encompasses vast inherent uncertainties. Proper accounting of uncertainties when verifying mitigation efforts and analyzing scenarios of future emissions is the focus of several Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program studies. more

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Modeling burned areas for Europe

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program has carried out a series of improvements to the quantitative modeling of burned areas in Europe under historical climate, supported by its standalone fire model (SFM). more

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Nitrogen management and inequality among farmers

Modeling by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has shown that efforts to reduce the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) precursor emissions will not deliver the expected drop in air pollution unless a reduction of agricultural ammonia (NH3) emissions is achieved. more

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Non-CO2 gases and ambitious climate targets

In view of the global climate targets that were agreed in Paris in 2015, the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program revisited the feasibility and economics of achieving deep cuts in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. This analysis revealed much higher emissions from global oil production and extended shale gas extraction than previously thought. more

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Political economy of energy transitions

In this emerging area of research, the Energy Program (ENE) aims to advance the understanding of the political-economic dynamics of energy transitions and its variation between countries. This analysis determines the most effective strategies for national and international policy action. more

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Renewable energy and ecosystems protection in the Alps

Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program researchers and partners developed a decision support system (DSS) for the entire Alpine region, aiming at quantifying renewable energy potentials balanced with ecosystem services protection. more

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Risk analysis and modeling

The Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program built on its breakthrough in assessment of flood-risk distributions which accounts for spatial correlation between river basins and therefore avoids underestimation of risk. The program has now incorporated different types of copula dependency measures, such as the Archimedian- and Frank-based copula, and various dependency structures. more

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Risk pooling and sharing: Designing and assessing disaster safety nets

In 2015 the Paris COP21 and the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance showed that insurance against the impacts of climate change is a key issue. The Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) Program played a role in the history and drafting of both initiatives and is contributing to the evidence needed for their implementation. more

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Sources of air pollution in developing countries

A new method developed by the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program offers an unconventional perspective on the origin of harmful pollution, especially in urban areas in developing countries. The findings show that beyond vehicle emissions or household fuels, any (cost-) effective intervention strategy will need to addresses the socioeconomic complexities of a wide range of other economic sectors, not least agriculture. more

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Understanding ecosystem services of boreal forests

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Earth Observation Systems (EOS) group has continued their work on boreal forests. In 2015, improvements were made to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Full Verified Carbon Budget (FCA), including updating its ecological and economic aspects, and applying it to the ecosystems of Northern Eurasia. more

Germany


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Last edited: 11 April 2016

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