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2020

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21 September 2020
Advancing the accurate tracking of energy poverty

IIASA researchers have developed a novel measurement framework to track energy poverty that better aligns with the services people lack rather than capturing the mere absence of physical connections to a source of electricity. This alternative framework can aid better tracking of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by virtue of its simplicity and sensitivity to the diversity in service conditions among the poor.  More

17 September 2020
COVID-19 could cause declines in life expectancy in 2020 in severely affected areas

A new analysis of period life expectancy around the world shows that the COVID-19 pandemic could cause a short-term decline in life expectancy in many regions of the world.  More

14 September 2020
Climate change triggers migration

Environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions, especially in middle-income and agricultural countries. According to a new study, changes in temperature levels, increased rainfall variability, and rapid-onset disasters such as tropical storms play an important role in this regard.  More

10 September 2020
Bending the curve of biodiversity loss

Plant and animal species across the world are steadily disappearing due to human activity. A major new IIASA-led study suggests that without ambitious, integrated action combining conservation and restoration efforts with a transformation of the food system, turning the tide of biodiversity loss by 2050 or earlier will not be possible.  More

04 September 2020
Research Group Leadership

As part of the implementation of the new strategy IIASA has made some further research leadership appointments. The research group leaders in each Program will provide research oversight and management of their respective groups and facilitate the functioning of program directors.  More

05 August 2020
New leadership appointments to support strategic research objectives

In 2021, IIASA will embark on a new strategy, which will develop and apply systems science to support transformations to sustainability. Michael Kuhn and Steffen Fritz will join the scientific leadership team that will address the institute’s research priorities to ensure that program objectives are aligned with the new IIASA strategy and institute values.  More

03 August 2020
Evaluating the effectiveness of travel bans

With the reopening of flights during the summer holiday season in Europe, many countries have started to see an increase in COVID-19 infections. A new IIASA-led study sheds light on how COVID-19 spreads regionally and between countries, as well as on how effective governmental measures to curb the spread of the pandemic have been to date.  More

21 July 2020
Making comprehensive water resources modeling more accessible

A new large-scale, open source hydrological and water resources model developed at IIASA will support and enable different stakeholder groups and scientific communities to engage with a hydrological model and support their investigations.  More

20 July 2020
Free trade can prevent hunger caused by future shifts in climate patterns

An international team of researchers investigated the effects of trade on hunger in the world as a result of climate induced crop yield changes. The conclusion is encouraging: international trade can compensate for regional reductions in agricultural production and reduce hunger when protectionist measures and other barriers to trade are eliminated.  More

15 July 2020
Limiting CO2 emissions is not enough, methane must also be reduced

An international team of researchers working under the auspices of the Global Carbon Project has found that global methane emissions increased by 9% (or approximately 50 million tonnes) between 2000-2006 and 2017, and that manmade emissions are responsible for the majority of this increase.  More

09 July 2020
Jordan joins IIASA as a prospective member

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has joined IIASA as a prospective member through the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan.  More

08 July 2020
When is someone old?

Populations around the world are living longer lives than was the norm just a few decades ago, presenting governments with significant challenges in terms of caring for their growing elderly populations. According to a new study published in PLOS ONE, understanding how to assess who is elderly is a crucial first step for our understanding of population aging.  More

06 July 2020
Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into turmoil and disrupted the status quo, but it is also providing opportunities for innovation in the way we live and work. According to the latest report released by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative, the crisis can provide an opportunity to create sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all.  More

03 July 2020
Closing the gap: Citizen science to monitor sustainable development

Citizen science could help track progress towards all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An IIASA-led study, for the first time, comprehensively analyzed the current and potential contribution of citizen science data to monitor the SDGs at the indicator level.  More

26 June 2020
Planning for a growing elderly population

The fact that people are living longer lives represents one of the crowning achievements of the last century, but also requires careful planning on the part of governments. A new IIASA study investigated the prevalence of activity limitations among older adults in 23 low- and middle-income countries, to help policymakers prepare for the challenges associated with the world’s aging population.  More

24 June 2020
New scenarios to help global finance go green

A key role of central banks is to strive for financial stability. To assess climate destabilization risks, major central banks and supervisors plan to utilize a new set of climate scenarios developed by an international team of researchers.  More

22 June 2020
Earth Challenge 2020: Calling on citizens to help support global food supply

IIASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Earth Day Network and the US State Department are providing citizens with an opportunity to get involved in one of the world’s most challenging problems: how to provide enough, high quality, nutritious food to the ever expanding global population.  More

19 June 2020
Matching-commitment agreements to incentivize climate action

Many countries are failing to comply with the non-binding commitments of the Paris Agreement, making it increasingly clear that we have to reconsider how to ensure collective action to limit global warming to less than 2°C above preindustrial levels. A new IIASA-led study supports a different approach to designing an international climate agreement that would incentivize countries to cooperate.  More

19 June 2020
Coronavirus: a wake-up call to strengthen the global food system

A new commentary in the journal One Earth highlights not only climate-related risks to the global food system, such as drought and floods, but also exposes the coronavirus pandemic as a shock to the system that has led to food crises in many parts of the world. To address the challenges of a globally interconnected food system, a systems approach is required.  More

16 June 2020
Homo sapiens literata - the brainpower for sustainable development

Universal education - particularly of women - has been a fundamental driver of human development and progress. The changes that education brings could also determine the future path of humanity, argues IIASA World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz in a new publication with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.  More

03 June 2020
Making sense of climate scenarios: New toolkit available for decision makers

To make climate scenarios work for decision makers, an international team of researchers have developed a comprehensive interactive online platform.  More

27 May 2020
Building pathways to sustainability in a post-COVID world

IIASA and the International Science Council (ISC) have established a partnership combining the strengths and expertise of the two organizations to define and design sustainability pathways, through a multi-stakeholder dialogue, that will enable a more equitable post-COVID world.  More

27 May 2020
Research leadership appointments

In light of the new strategic plan that will become operational in 2021, IIASA has appointed four program directors to lead new research programs. Raya Muttarak, Keywan Riahi, Elena Rovenskaya, and Yoshihide Wada will form part of the scientific leadership that will address the institute’s research priorities to ensure that program objectives are aligned with the new IIASA strategy and institute values.  More

25 May 2020
Why are we still failing to stop deforestation?

While national and international efforts to reverse the trend of deforestation have multiplied in recent years, there is still no clear evidence to suggest that these initiatives are actually working. A new paper published in One Earth, calls for a radically different approach that focuses on our understanding of how individuals make their choices about forests and livelihoods.  More

19 May 2020
Game-changing technologies to transform food systems

According to new research, a pipeline of disruptive technologies could transform our food systems, ecosystems, and human health, but attention to the enabling environment is needed to realize their potential.  More

11 May 2020
Exploring the impacts of climate change on hydropower production

A new study by researchers from IIASA and China investigated the impacts of different levels of global warming on hydropower potential and found that this type of electricity generation benefits more from a 1.5°C than a 2°C climate scenario.  More

11 May 2020
Towards a new generation of vegetation models

Plants and vegetation play a critical role in supporting life on Earth, but there is still a lot of uncertainty in our understanding of how exactly they affect the global carbon cycle and ecosystem services. A new IIASA-led study explored the most important organizing principles that control vegetation behavior and how they can be used to improve vegetation models.  More

08 May 2020
Defining a safe and just space for people and planet

A new working group of the Earth Commission, comprising renowned scientists from institutions around the world including IIASA, will investigate future pathways of how humanity might develop sustainably to ensure a safe and just world for all.  More

07 May 2020
Can we estimate the time until the next recession?

As the world economy is falling into one of the biggest contractions of the last decades, a new study of economic recession patterns finds that the likelihood of a downturn was high even before the onset of the Coronavirus crisis.  More

30 April 2020
Five years after the Paris Agreement: The gap between promises and implementation

The results of a new study show that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require a deep reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, ideally by around 40% to 50% by 2030.  More

30 April 2020
A new approach to measuring inequalities in development

A new study by researchers from IIASA and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for the first time systematically explored and compared the use of the Human Life Indicator as a viable alternative to the conventional Human Development Index as a means of measuring progress in development.  More

28 April 2020
New ERC grant to explore making pension policies more fair

The IIASA World Population Program has received a new grant from the European Research Council to explore how to make pension policies more equitable by identifying fair normal pension ages and ensuring new measures of population ageing are up-to-date.  More

21 April 2020
Economic recovery after shutdown could take up to three years

The coronavirus pandemic poses an enormous challenge for the domestic and global economy. Despite the measures taken by the Austrian government, the consequences of the lockdown and partial suspension of global trade flows will be felt for a long time.  More

21 April 2020
SAS and IIASA call for crowd-driven artificial intelligence to help track deforestation

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, SAS and IIASA join forces to transform crowdsourced knowledge into actionable intelligence to help protect the planet.  More

17 April 2020
Can sub-Saharan Africa achieve sustainable access to energy for all by 2030?

In 2019, the global population without access to electricity dipped below 1 billion for the first time. This progress has however been uneven, both across and within different regions. A new IIASA study shows that to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern electricity services by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, the pace of electrification must more than triple.  More

16 April 2020
Returning land to nature with high-yield farming

The expansion of farmlands to meet the growing food demand of the world’s ever expanding population places a heavy burden on natural ecosystems. A new IIASA study however shows that about half the land currently needed to grow food crops could be spared if attainable crop yields were achieved globally and crops were grown where they are most productive.  More

15 April 2020
IIASA-NERC collaborative research fellowships awarded

IIASA and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have awarded three fellowships to support talented early career researchers in delivering challenging research and supporting collaboration between the two organizations.  More

14 April 2020
Reducing the risk to children’s health in flood-prone areas of India

Monsoon rainfall has become more unpredictable in India. Floods and droughts have become more common and pose multiple risks to human health and wellbeing, with children under five being particularly vulnerable. New research finds that more assistance needs to be provided to communities in flood-prone areas to protect children under five from undernutrition.  More

13 April 2020
Exploring the link between education and climate change

What are the most effective ways to achieve desired sustainable development outcomes across all aspects of wellbeing, and how might the pursuit of some of these goals affect progress toward others? A new study by an international team of researchers aims to address these questions to help understand possible synergies and tradeoffs among these goals.  More

03 April 2020
Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets

Low-carbon technologies that are smaller scale, more affordable, and can be mass deployed are more likely to enable a faster transition to net-zero emissions, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.  More

01 April 2020
Slovak Republic re-establishes ties with IIASA

The Slovak Republic has rejoined IIASA as a national member with its membership supported through the Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sport, and the Slovak Committee for Cooperation with IIASA.  More

31 March 2020
COVID-19: Visualizing regional indicators for better decision making

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, it is fast becoming clear that no one is exempt from its disruptive effects. IIASA researchers are working to visualize key demographic and socioeconomic information to help inform decisions by health professionals, governments, and policymakers to address the crisis.  More

24 March 2020
Planning for future water security in China

China’s fast economic growth and accompanying rise in food demand is driving an increase in water use for agriculture and industry, thus threatening the country’s water security. The findings of a new study underscore the value and potential of technological adoptions to help design targets and incentives for water scarcity mitigation measures.  More

23 March 2020
How can migration, workforce participation, and education balance the cost of aging in Europe?

New IIASA research shows that higher levels of education and increasing workforce participation in both migrant and local populations are needed to compensate for the negative economic impacts of aging populations in EU countries.  More

19 March 2020
India rejoins IIASA

Recognizing the mutual benefits of scientific collaboration in a broad field of activities of global concern and interest, India has rejoined IIASA as a full member through the Technology Information, Forecasting, and Assessment Council (TIFAC).  More

19 March 2020
Shedding light on how much carbon tropical forests can absorb

Tropical forest ecosystems are an important part of the global carbon cycle as they take up and store large amounts of CO2. It is however uncertain how much these forests’ ability to take up and store carbon differ between forests with high versus low species richness. New IIASA research sheds light on this question aiming to enhance our ability to predict tropical ecosystems’ strength as global carbon sinks.  More

17 March 2020
Rethinking mortality and how we plan for old age

Many people dream of comfortably living out their golden years. A new IIASA study however shows that older Europeans, and especially women, frequently underestimate how many years they have left, which could lead to costly decisions related to planning for their remaining life course.  More

16 March 2020
IIASA operational while taking coronavirus protective measures

In accordance with the Austrian government’s measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, IIASA premises in Laxenburg are closed. However, the institute remains operational via remote working.  More

09 March 2020
From climate change awareness to action

Awareness of climate change and its impacts is not enough to move people to action. New research on how people’s worldviews affect their perceptions and actions could help policymakers and activists reframe the discussion around climate change mitigation.  More

03 March 2020
Study identifies regional malnutrition clusters across India

Childhood malnutrition in India remains a major problem. A new study shows that the problem is concentrated in specific geographic areas, which could help policymakers working to address the issue.  More

28 February 2020
Containing methane and its contribution to global warming

Methane is a gas that deserves more attention in the climate debate as it contributes to almost half of human-made global warming in the short-term. A new IIASA study shows that it is possible to significantly contribute to reduced global warming through the implementation of available technology that limits methane release to the atmosphere.  More

27 February 2020
New systemic approach needed to tackle global challenges

Putting systemic thinking at the centre of policymaking will be essential to address global issues in an era of rapid and disruptive change, according to a new joint report by IIASA and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  More

19 February 2020
Could water solve the renewable energy storage challenge?

Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study from IIASA scientists.  More

17 February 2020
Systems analysis for a new Arctic

A major new IIASA report highlights new and emerging policy trends in the Arctic, a region on the front lines of climate change, geopolitics, and global governance.  More

27 January 2020
Sea level rise to cause major economic impact in the absence of further climate action

Rising sea levels, a direct impact of the Earth’s warming climate, is intensifying coastal flooding. The findings of a new study show that the projected negative economy-wide effects of coastal flooding are already significant until 2050, but are then predicted to increase substantially towards the end of the century if no further climate action on mitigation and adaptation is taken.  More

27 January 2020
Fabian Wagner to lead capacity development activities at IIASA

Fabian Wagner has been appointed as the new Capacity Development and Academic Training (CDAT) Dean from 1 February 2020.  More

24 January 2020
Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior

To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors. A new IIASA study shows how even minor changes to available infrastructure can trigger tipping points in the collective adoption of sustainable behaviors.  More

14 January 2020
Christiane Pohn-Hufnagl appointed IIASA Chief Operations Officer

Christiane Pohn-Hufnagl will join the executive team of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as Chief Operations Officer (COO) on 1 July 2020.  More

13 January 2020
Exceptional young scientists awarded

IIASA has recognized four outstanding young scientists from the 2019 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) as YSSP awardees. Two candidates will receive funding to continue their research projects at IIASA and two have been given an Honorable Mention for exceptional effort.  More

10 January 2020
Effective institutions to support sustainable development

IIASA provided scientific input to the World Public Sector Report 2019, prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UNDESA). The report focuses on the Sustainable Development Goal 16 on public institutions.  More



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Last edited: 18 March 2020

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