German Science Hour

The Paris Agreement was an important milestone for climate research: research has provided the knowledge basis and now plays a crucial role in achieving the targets of the Agreement.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research therefore brings science onto the stage during the negotiations at COP23 by hosting the German Science Hour every day. Experts from science and relevant stakeholders from politics and society ...

... present the latest scientific facts about climate change
... explain research findings in an understandable way
... answer the audience's questions

The scope of the German Science Hour ranges from the natural science basis to socio-economic aspects including climate communication in times of fake news.

Mo, 06.11. Science of extreme events
It is difficult to feel and experience climate change, but extreme events such as heat waves, floods, droughts make it to the news headlines. How does climate change influence such extremes? What can we do to avoid dangerous impacts?

Vera Stercken, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Harald Kunstmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Clemens Simmer, University of Bonn
Uwe Ulbrich, Freie Universität Berlin
Aiko Voigt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Tu, 07.11. Climate of the past - climate of the future
The climate has always changed, but the current change is not caused by natural reasons, is much faster and poses high risks for human welfare. What happened in the past to ecosystems and humans? Why is the current change different? How will the Earth system develop in the future? What are the implications of the Paris Agreement?

Elmar Kriegler, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Mojib Latif, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Deutsches Klima-Konsortium (DKK)

Wed, 08.11. Communicating climate science
Despite the scientific facts on climate change large parts of the public are not aware of the associated risks and the need for transformational change. Many think that climate change is a matter of believe and do not trust the science. How can science communication be improved? What are dos and donts when talking to different target audiences?

Hannah Schmid-Petri, University of Passau
Marie-Luise Beck, Deutsches Klima-Konsortium (DKK)
Pieter Pauw, German Development Institute (DIE)
Jonathan Lynn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Secretariat 

Th, 09.11. The fate of greenhouse gases: the knowns and the unknowns
Greenhouse gas emissions are highest in human history and rising concentrations are changing the climate, as well as heating and acidifying the oceans. What do we know about the carbon cycle? Which methods are used to observe greenhouse gas fluxes from land, ocean, and in the atmosphere? How can we detect the human signal?

Gerhard Ehret, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Werner Kutsch, ICOS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)
Julia Marshall, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC)

Fr, 10.11. Carbon pricing: making polluters pay or selling out our future?
Carbon pricing, in the form of carbon taxes and cap & trade schemes, is becoming a pillar of climate policy around the world. Recently it has been argued that it could also help to overcome the cooperation problem at the global level. At the same time, concerns about effectiveness, persistently low prices, interactions with other instruments and distributional effects continue to grow. The session aims at giving an interdisciplinary perspective on the strength and limits of carbon pricing in the pursuit of a low-carbon and inclusive future.

René Haak, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Grischa Perino, Universität Hamburg
Karen Pittel, ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, German Research Foundation (DFG), German Committee Future Earth (DKN)
Julia Anna Bingler, Germanwatch e. V.

Sa, 11.11. Our ocean future: marine ecosystems under climate change
Climate change poses multiple risks for the oceans: increasing acidification, warming and deoxygenation affect marine ecosystems, which are already threatened by marine litter. At the same time a substantial fraction of the global population depends on fishery for their livelihoods. The event will provide insights in risks of the multiple changes in the oceans and possible consequences for society.

Wilfried Kraus, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Ulf Riebesell, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Sebastian Ferse, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research  (ZMT)
Hans-Otto Pörtner, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

Mo, 13.11. Science in times of fake news
Science and the IPCC in particular have identified the problem of climate change and the challenges involved to tackle this problem. The UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are committed to be science-based, but important countries and stakeholder deny the facts. The event will discuss the role of science for climate policy as well as different forms of scepticism and ways to address these.

Karl Eugen Huthmacher, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Bernhard Pötter, die tageszeitung (TAZ)
Susanne Dröge, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Ellen Matthies, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg / German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Tu, 14.11. Paris, coal, and the price of carbon
Keeping global temperature rise below 2°C or 1.5°C requires highly ambitious mitigation actions by all countries such as the immediate phase-out of coal and avoiding carbon-intensive infrastructures. Yet, global cooperation is challenged by to-date inadequate credibility of Nationally Determined Contributions, increasing concerns around national competitiveness, regional development, and the renaissance of cheap coal. This German Science Hour will explore options to implement the global Energiewende with a specific view to the role of international carbon pricing.

Ottmar Edenhofer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research(PIK) / Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)
Ulrike Kornek, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)
Andreas Löschel, University of Münster

Wed, 15.11. Transformation - turning the climate tide
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: “We must end the Dictatorship of Now – our culture of short-term convenience that comes at the expense of the live chances of future generations. In poorer countries in particular, droughts, floods or hurricanes can trigger entire cascades of impacts. Agriculture and health are affected, and of course this has consequences for migration both regionally and globally.”
Today’s young people are the ones to be confronted with the devastating effects of climate change in the near future. Consequently, we must integrate their perspectives into the debate about tackling the climate problem. This “Dialogue with the Young Generation” offers the opportunity to get to hear voices from people in their Twenties, from three different continents, discussing with one of the most renowned scientists who has been investigating the climate for more than a quarter of a century. 

René Haak, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) / German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Dorothea Epperlein, Youth Alliance for Future Energies
Genevieve Jiva, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network
Jean Paul Brice Affana, Germanwatch

Th, 16.11. (12-13h) Failing the carbon budget - what's next?
A large fraction of emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries, and any amount of warming can be closely associated with a certain carbon budget. To stop global warming, emissions must go to net zero. How much CO2 and other greenhouse gases can we still emit and keep global warming below 1.5°C, 2°C or 3°C? What are the options if we fail to reduce emissions fast enough? The event will address technology options from a scientific, social and political perspective as well as the risks and benefits of technology options vs. transformation.

Karl Eugen Huthmacher, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Lili Fuhr, Heinrich Böll Foundation
Oliver Geden, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Mark Lawrence, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel