Climate change

IPCC reports on climate change, conclusions, significance, purpose and history of reports

History of IPCC reports

The IPCC has been sounding the alarm on climate change for decades, publishing regular and comprehensive assessments that summarize the most recent research on the warming of our planet. Periodically, it also publishes special reports on topics such as land use, the ocean and the cryosphere (frozen parts of the earth) and the consequences of a warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

IPCC warnings began in 1990 with its First evaluation report, which successfully predicted the rate of global warming, even without today’s highly complex computer models. the Second assessment, published in 1995, expressed greater certainty that climate change was largely caused by human activities. In 2001, the Third assessment warned that temperature increases will become worse than previously feared if we do not reduce our carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the world increased production and consumption of fossil fuels.

At the time of his Fourth assessmentin 2007, the IPCC used words like unequivocal to describe the consensus that humans were the primary cause of global warming. In 2014, the Fifth assessment told the world a hard truth: greenhouse gas emissions were higher than ever, causing an unprecedented acceleration of the impacts of climate change. And in the Sixth assessment– the first part of which was published by Task Force I in August 2021 as “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” – the panel concluded that we should expect decades of additional warming, even if we reduce emissions immediately. (The full summary of the sixth assessment report will be available in September 2022.)

These report releases often coincide with – and help shape – critical moments in international climate collaboration. The first evaluation report supported the creation of the UNFCCC, which became the basis for coordinated political action. The second evaluation provided an essential contribution to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a landmark agreement that for the first time imposes binding emissions targets on developed countries. The fifth assessment informed the 2015 Paris Agreement, the landmark global agreement that has since been adopted by all nations to address climate change. More recently, the first part of the sixth assessment informed the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, where world leaders and climate experts came together to commit to more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

Yet despite three decades of IPCC warnings — and sporadic displays of global coordination — world leaders have done far too little, far too slowly to halt warming. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now the highest ever recorded, looking back two million years. As the latest IPCC report shows, the need for immediate action is clearer than ever. Every ton of emissions reduction counts. Every investment in adaptation counts.

The latest IPCC report on climate change

When is the latest IPCC report?

In August 2021, the IPCC released Working Group I’s Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, the first of four parts of its Sixth Assessment Report. The next part – the report of the working group II on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability – will be published in February 2022. The report of the working group III on mitigation will then be published in March 2022. And the overall summary of the sixth assessment report will be available in September. 2022.

How many scientists contributed to the IPCC report?

Working Group I, which produced this first part of the Sixth Assessment Report, included 234 scientists from 66 countries (and hundreds of other contributing authors) who analyzed more than 14,000 peer-reviewed studies.

What are the important conclusions of the IPCC report?

Widespread, rapid and intensifying: These are the words used by the IPCC to describe climate change when releasing this August 2021 report – the most comprehensive review of current and future climate impacts to date. His conclusions, based on latest generation of climate modelswere clear: “Observed changes in the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and biosphere provide unequivocal evidence of a warming world,” the report says, and human activity is “unmistakably” of this. the cause.