The Synthesis Report – AR5

syrAR5 cover“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, quoted his countryman, Mahatma Gandhi, in welcoming the delegates to the final session of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) cycle.  The IPCC counts among its victories, certainly, winning a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Continue reading

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Inaction = Catastrophe

withering corn AR5 WGIIUS Secretary of State John Kerry is a man with things on his mind:  Putin’s bad attitude, genocide in Syria, a ticking clock for a Palestinian and Israeli peace deal.  Yet with all this, he knows that the climate system needs to be at the top or near the top of his priority list.  His reaction to the new report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability from the IPCC is clear:  “The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”  His statement yesterday reminds us that we are on very thin ice and we can hear it starting to crack. Continue reading

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What We Know

what we knowI think it’s, to be honest, more-than-a-little absurd that scientists and policy makers feel the need, at this late date, to further underscore the immediacy, the clarity and the solid basis of the climate science that has been showing us, for decades, that we are in a crisis – and that catastrophe is looming. Continue reading

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Climate Risk, Building Resilience

World Bank adaptation report2Haiyan, Sandy, Katrina.  By now, we should have gotten the message.  Some have, but not enough of us.  Yet.

The IPCC got it.  Years ago.  And one of their many important contributions has been to focus our attention on the need for adaptation to the worsening impacts of climate change.  I wrote about their comprehensive Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) here two years ago. Continue reading

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Summary for Policymakers – The Physical Science

ipcc_altlogo_full_rgbIn September, the IPCC kicked off its cycle for the Fifth Assessment Report with the release of its look at the physical science, aka the Working Group I report.  I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that they’ve now issued the finalized Summary for Policymakers (SPM) with all of its graphics.  This had been held up in the pipeline as final edits and review were performed.  It is a document well worth reading.  In fact, if you want to have the most thorough and, at the same, most easily readable overview of what the scientists have been seeing, then this is what you should read.  You can find the SPM here. Continue reading

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Ocean Impacts – IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

IPCCAR5oceanacidificationgraphThe first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) has been out for a couple of weeks.  Looking at the physical science, AR5 covers the full range of how greenhouse gases are changing the face of our planet.

One area that is getting more attention this time around is the ocean.  As you can see here, for instance, as carbon Continue reading

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New IPCC Assessment Report Kicks Off

ar5 wg1The Fifth Assessment Report – AR5 for short – kicked off this morning in Stockholm.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, held a press conference to announce the findings of the first working group (WG1) on “The Physical Science Basis.”  (The rest of the AR5 will roll out in three more reports culminating in the Synthesis Report in October of next year.)

The lead in the press release today is “Human influence on the climate system is clear.”  That’s for those who have been living in another solar system for the past ten years.  For the rest of us, the report underlines a lot of what we already have learned.  It is a herculean task for the 259 authors Continue reading

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Climate Change is Driving Global GDP Loss

Back in 2006, Lord Nicholas Stern and his team produced the first comprehensive look at the economic impacts of climate change.  The Stern Review was a serious clarion call to policy makers that climate change was a threat where nearly everyone feels it most:  in the pocketbook.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also considered these impacts from the time of their first assessment report in 1990 through to their report this year on extreme events and disasters.

A new report out today, the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, says that “that climate change has already held back global development and inaction is a leading global cause of death.”  Continue reading

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