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Concluding instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Concluding instalment of the Fifth Assessment Report: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects (PDF)
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change and implementing stringent mitigations activities can ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.

These are among the key findings of the Synthesis Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday. The Synthesis Report distils and integrates the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months – the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken.

+ Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report (PDF)

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IPCC Report: A changing climate creates pervasive risks but opportunities exist for effective responses; Responses will face challenges with high warming of the climate

March 31, 2014 Comments off

IPCC Report: A changing climate creates pervasive risks but opportunities exist for effective responses; Responses will face challenges with high warming of the climate (PDF)
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report today that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. A total of 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers.

The report concludes that responding to climate change involves making choices about risks in a changing world. The nature of the risks of climate change is increasingly clear, though climate change will also continue to produce surprises. The report identifies vulnerable people, industries, and ecosystems around the world. It finds that risk from a changing climate comes from vulnerability (lack of preparedness) and exposure (people or assets in harm’s way) overlapping with hazards (triggering climate events or trends). Each of these three components can be a target for smart actions to decrease risk.

+ Summary and Full Report

Human influence on climate clear, IPCC report says

September 27, 2013 Comments off

Human influence on climate clear, IPCC report says (PDF)
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes.

It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.

Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850, reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by member governments of the IPCC in Stockholm, Sweden.

IPCC releases full report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)

March 30, 2012 Comments off

IPCC releases full report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) (PDF)
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Evidence suggests that climate change has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation in the past half century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said today. Climate extremes, or even a series of non-extreme events, in combination with social vulnerabilities and exposure to risks can produce climate-related disasters, the IPCC said in its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX).

While some extreme weather and climate events lead to disasters, others do not. Policies to avoid, prepare for, respond to and recover from the risks of disaster can reduce the impact of these events and increase the resilience of people exposed to extreme events, the IPCC shows in the report, published on Wednesday.

At the same time, as the IPCC notes in the report, limits to resilience are faced when thresholds or tipping points associated with social and/or natural systems are exceeded, posing severe challenges for adaptation.

“The main message from the report is that we know enough to make good decisions about managing the risks of climate-related disasters. Sometimes we take advantage of this knowledge, but many times we do not,” said Chris Field, Co-Chair of IPCC’s Working Group II, which together with Working Group I produced the report. “The challenge for the future has one dimension focused on improving the knowledge base and one on empowering good decisions, even for those situations where there is lots of uncertainty,” he said.

+ Full Report (PDF)

IPCC — Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation

November 19, 2011 Comments off

Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
From press release (PDF):

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) was approved today by member governments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, said today: “This summary for policymakers provides insights into how disaster risk management and adaptation may assist vulnerable communities to better cope with a changing climate in a world of inequalities”. “It also underlines the complexity and the diversity of factors that are shaping human vulnerability to extremes–why for some communities and countries these can become disasters whereas for others they can be less severe,” he added.

Qin Dahe, Co-chair of IPCC Working Group I, which together with Working Group II was responsible for the development and preparation of the report, said: “There is high confidence that both maximum and minimum daily temperatures have increased on a global scale due to the increase of greenhouse gases.”

“Changes in other extremes, such as more intense and longer droughts are observed in some regions, but the assessment assigns medium confidence due to a lack of direct observations and a lack of agreement in the available scientific studies. Confidence in any long-term trend in tropical cyclone intensity, frequency or duration is assessed to be low,” he added.

Regarding the future, the assessment concludes that it is virtually certain that on a global scale hot days become even hotter and occur more often. “For the high emissions scenario, it is likely that the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of 10 in most regions of the world”, said Thomas Stocker the other Co-chair of Working Group I. “Likewise, heavy precipitation will occur more often, and the wind speed of tropical cyclones will increase while their number will likely remain constant or decrease”.

“Nevertheless, there are many options for decreasing risk. Some of these have been implemented, but many have not. The best options can provide benefits across a wide range of possible levels of climate change.” said Vicente Barros, Co-chair of Working Group II.

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