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2019

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12 August 2019
Preserving forests is critical to slowing global warming

Forests are the largest reservoirs of biomass on the planet and an important sink for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An international team including researchers from IIASA analyzed decades of experiments to map the potential of forests to increase their biomass and continue to absorb and store CO2 in the future.  More

12 August 2019
Mapping the effects of drought on vulnerable populations

The greater frequency of droughts, combined with underlying economic, social, and environmental risks means that dry spells have an increasingly destructive impact on vulnerable populations, and particularly on children in the developing world. In a new study by researchers from IIASA and the University of Maryland in the US, the team set out to map at-risk populations at the global scale.  More

07 August 2019
Observation-driven research to inform better groundwater management policies

Groundwater maintains vital ecosystems and strongly influences water and energy budgets. Although at least 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on this valuable resource for their domestic water needs, the processes that sustain it and their sensitivity to climatic variability, are poorly understood. IIASA contributed to a study that looked into climate impacts on groundwater in light of changing climatic patterns in Africa.  More

06 August 2019
How much carbon dioxide can tropical forests absorb?

Current climate models suggest that trees will continue to remove manmade greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, making it possible to stay within the targets set by the Paris Agreement. A study by an international team including researchers from IIASA however indicates that this uptake capacity could be strongly limited by soil phosphorus availability.  More

02 August 2019
Making a case for returning airships to the skies

Reintroducing airships into the world’s transportation-mix could contribute to lowering the transport sector’s carbon emissions and can play a role in establishing a sustainable hydrogen-based economy. According to the authors of an IIASA-led study, these lighter-than-air aircraft could ultimately increase the feasibility of a 100% sustainable world.  More

22 July 2019
Understanding the drivers of a shift to sustainable diets

One of the 21st century's greatest challenges is to develop diets that are both sustainable for the planet and good for our bodies. An IIASA-led study explored the major drivers of widespread shifts to sustainable diets using a newly developed computational model of population-wide behavioral dynamics.  More

17 July 2019
Lifting the fog on carbon budgets

The concept of a carbon budget has become a popular tool in guiding climate policy since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report was released in 2014. IIASA researchers were involved in the development of a framework that can help scientists determine which factors affect the size of the remaining carbon budget and how they interact.  More

17 July 2019
Protecting a forgotten treasure trove of biodiversity

The lesser-known Cerrado biome in Brazil is a hotspot of biodiversity, but it is being destroyed at an alarming rate by unsustainable agricultural activities. A study involving IIASA researchers published in the journal Science Advances, calls attention to this forgotten region and urges the international community to support measures for its protection.  More

15 July 2019
Curbing indoor air pollution in India

Clean cooking energy transitions are extremely challenging to achieve, but they offer enormous potential health, environmental, and societal benefits. A study by researchers from IIASA, the University of British Columbia, and the Stockholm Environment Institute provides new insights about an Indian program that aims to solve one of the most difficult developmental challenges of the 21st century – smoky kitchens.  More

02 July 2019
Leena Srivastava appointed IIASA Deputy Director General for Science

The Vice Chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, Leena Srivastava will join the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as the Deputy Director General for Science on 15 November 2019.  More

24 June 2019
More energy needed to cope with climate change

A new study published today in Nature Communications by researchers from IIASA, Boston University, and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice found that by mid-century climate change will increase the demand for energy globally, even with modest warming.  More

11 June 2019
Exploring the causes of persistent corruption

IIASA researchers used a novel approach to explore the key processes and conditions that determine corruption levels. Their analysis shows that transparency about the integrity of institutions is key to fighting corruption, and that vigilance against corruption must be maintained despite its cost, even when corruption levels appear to be low.  More

11 June 2019
Education trumps age-structure in terms of providing a demographic dividend

The relationship between population changes and economic growth has been a controversial topic among demographers for many years. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) today, challenges the dominant view that fertility decline and changes in age structure are key drivers of economic growth.  More

04 June 2019
Is there a demographic need for migration in Europe?

A European Commission-IIASA flagship report has found that an increase in the EU population aged 65+ is certain – regardless of higher fertility or migration. However, raising labor force participation (particularly for women) and improved education of natives and migrants have the power to nullify aging-related worries.  More

17 May 2019
New study maps symbiotic relationships in forests worldwide

Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveals patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria. The study is the first proof of a new ecological law, and lends new insight into potential climate feedbacks.  More

16 May 2019
Shedding light on the key determinants of global land use projections

Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals. An international research group consisting of researchers from several institutions including PBL Netherlands, IIASA, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, endeavored to disentangle the key determinants of global land use projections in a study published in Nature Communications this week.  More

13 May 2019
Weighing up trade-offs between food security and climate mitigation

IIASA researchers collaborated with colleagues in Japan to clarify the impacts of stringent climate mitigation policies on food security. The team identified smart and inclusive climate policy designs where the risk of food-security for hundreds of millions of people could be addressed at a modest cost.  More

13 May 2019
Trade could be key to balancing the conservation of natural freshwater sources and food security

An IIASA study published in the journal Nature Sustainability today, evaluated whether water for the environment could be prioritized under growing competition from other sectors. The results indicate that this could be achieved by shifting crop production from water scarce- to water abundant regions and tripling international food trade.  More

07 May 2019
Reducing carbon emissions while improving health is economically attractive

The findings of a study involving researchers from IIASA, Princeton, and several other institutions looked into the question of how much the current generation should invest in reducing carbon emissions for the benefit of future generations. Their findings support the climate targets of the Paris Agreement.  More

06 May 2019
Gender in the transition to energy for all: From evidence to inclusive policies

IIASA researchers contributed to a new report released by the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy that looked at the role of gender in achieving sustainable energy for all.  More

27 February 2019
New measures show population aging likely to end this century

Policymakers have long been concerned about the effects of an aging population on society, but researchers at IIASA have developed a new tool that shows population aging will likely end by the middle of the century in high-income countries.  More

07 February 2019
Stalled fertility declines linked to disruptions in women’s education in Africa

A slowdown in fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa was partially caused by disruptions in women’s education in the 1980s, according to new IIASA research.  More

07 February 2019
Addressing cooling needs and energy poverty targets in the Global South

With most of the northern hemisphere currently in the icy grip of one of the coldest winters ever recorded, in the south it is record breaking heat that is the problem. The results of a new IIASA study show that between 1.8 and 4.1 billion people require access to indoor cooling to avoid heat related stresses.  More

06 February 2019
Diffusing the methane bomb: We can still make a difference

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, causing the carbon containing permafrost that has been frozen for tens or hundreds of thousands of years to thaw and release methane into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global warming. The findings of a study that included researchers from IIASA, however, suggest that it is still possible to neutralize this threat.  More

29 January 2019
Biofuel production in sub-Saharan Africa could be prioritized for aviation

A new study, designed by IIASA researchers for conservation charity WWF, has found that while there is a small but not insignificant potential for the production of sustainable biofuels in sub-Saharan Africa, this should be prioritized for the aviation industry which has limited other options when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.  More

23 January 2019
New study establishes causal link between climate, conflict, and migration

IIASA-led research has established a causal link between climate, conflict, and migration for the first time, something which has been widely suggested in the media but for which scientific evidence is scarce.  More

11 January 2019
Integrated pathways for meeting climate targets and ensuring access to safe water

IIASA researchers have led work to develop new pathways showing how the world can develop water and energy infrastructure consistent with both the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.  More

2018

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17 December 2018
Changes in agriculture could cut sector non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%

The agricultural sector is the world’s largest source of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, and IIASA-led research has found that changing agricultural practices and a shift in diet away from meat and dairy products could reduce the sector’s emissions by up to 50% by 2050 compared to a situation without mitigation efforts.  More

07 December 2018
Disability among India’s elderly much higher than census estimates

New estimates of disability among India’s elderly population, based on the ability to carry out three basic living activities – walking, dressing, and toileting – show that the scale of the problem is much larger than suggested by the Indian national census.  More

30 November 2018
Holistic, network approach to life science needed to solve systemic environmental problems

Achieving a sustainable world will require a paradigm shift in the way we approach life sciences and ecology, according to a new book cowritten by IIASA researcher Brian Fath, with a focus on a holistic, multi-model view of life and the environment.  More

30 November 2018
European Commission long-term strategy on climate change underpinned by IIASA research

The European Commission has adopted a new long-term strategy, A Clean Planet for all, on how Europe can become climate neutral by 2050 and meet its Paris Agreement commitments, and IIASA research has contributed to the quantitative backbone.  More

29 November 2018
Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths

IIASA researchers have contributed to a major new report in The Lancet medical journal looking at the effects of climate change on human health, and the implications for society.  More

27 November 2018
New UNEP report concludes nations must triple efforts to reach 2°C target

IIASA researchers Joeri Rogelj and Daniel Huppmann were among the contributors to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) 2018 Emissions Gap Report, which says that while it is still possible to keep global warming below 2°C, the nations of the world must triple their efforts to reduce emissions.  More

22 November 2018
Crowdsourced field data shows importance of smallholder farms to global food production

A new global field size data set collected as part of a crowdsourcing citizen science project by IIASA researchers has shown that the proportion of smallholder farms may be much larger than previously thought, contributing much more to global food production.  More

06 November 2018
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index

IIASA researchers have introduced a new, simple measure for human wellbeing across countries, called the Human Life Indicator (HLI), that takes inequality into account and could replace the commonly used but error-prone Human Development Index (HDI).  More

01 November 2018
Reducing US coal emissions through biomass and carbon capture would boost employment

Employing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), would not only retain 40,000 jobs currently held as part of the US coal industry but would create 22,000 new jobs in the forestry and transportation sectors by the middle of this century, according to new IIASA-led research.  More

30 October 2018
Nothing natural about nature’s steep decline: WWF report reveals staggering extent of human impact on planet

Humanity and the way we feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature and the services that power and sustain us to the brink, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018.  More


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Last edited: 23 January 2019

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