Every six years or so, top climate scientists from around the world address world’s governments with a thick report on climate change. End of September 2013 it is about that time again. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will summarise what’s happening to the planet as a result of human activities. Will governments listen?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the scientific assessment of climate change. Operating under the United Nations, it brings together the top climate scientists from all over the world to conduct assessments on the latest climate science and to inform governments in decision making. The IPCC does not conduct any research of its own, nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Instead it brings scientists together to assess the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information on climate change and its mitigation. Thousands of scientists and experts from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers on a voluntary basis.
The IPCC is most known for its comprehensive Assessment Reports that have been published about every six years, since 1990. The work takes place in three working groups (WG). In 2013-2014 the 5th Assessment Report will be approved in four pieces:
- The WG 1 report: The Physical Science Basis, 23-26 Sep 2013, Stockholm, Sweden
- The WG 2 report: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, 25-29 Mar 2014, Yokohama, Japan
- The WG 3 report: Mitigation of Climate Change, 7-11 Apr 2014, Berlin, Germany
- AR5 Synthesis Report (SYR), 27-31 October 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark
The WGI report of the AR5 covers the physical science of climate change. It will tell us what is happening to the planet in terms of temperature increase, sea-level rise, glacier melting, extreme weather events and so on, as a result of human activities. It will provide information on what is likely to happen if we continue on the same path and to what extent can we prevent future impacts with emission cuts.
More background information
The world is quickly reaching a point of no return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. But it’s not too late to change the course. The crucial period in our energy choices is the time between now and 2020.
- Climate chaos is not inevitable, as renewable energy and energy efficiency are already providing an alternative without catastrophic side effects. Our Energy Revolution blueprint provides a consistent fundamental pathway for how to protect our climate and clean our energy system.
- Yet, the fossil fuel industry has plans for massive new fossil fuel projects around the world, listed here, which could push us over the edge. These developments must be stopped.
- The destruction of forests is responsible for up to a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions - more than every plane, car, truck, ship and train on the planet combined. Our forest solutions stories from around the world provide tangible solutions to global forest management issues.
- Due to burning of fossil fuels, our oceans are becoming more acidic faster than perhaps ever before in the Earth’s history, threatening marine life that’s already under stress due to warming waters and gross overfishing. This alone should motivate us to cut CO2 emissions as fast as possible. Find out more about it here.