The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s (IPPC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
Recently the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change published its fifth assessment report on climate change. The report can be read on the IPPC website. Additionally there are various policy reports including:
- Mitigation of Climate Change
- Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
- The Physical Science Basis (from 2013)
One of the other reports that has been written and is in the process of being reviewed is the synthesis report. It has its own web site (see this link) and is an approved version for policy makers that includes the following observed impacts, vulnerabilities and exposures that have a high confidence of happening:
- Glaciers continue to shrink.
- Permafrost warming and thawing in high-latitude regions.
- Marine species are shifting their geographical ranges.
- There have been more negative climatic impacts on agricultural yields than positive ones.
- A significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability (this has a very high confidence).
- Other stresses will increase and there will be negative outcomes for those in poverty.
There are other changes noted that may have a medium or low confidence.
The synthesis report has an adaptation experience section where there is some positive news: Adaptation experience is accumulating across regions and in many planning process areas. An iterative risk management framework is seen as an option to assist in the decision making process.
The report considers five integrative reasons for concern (RFCs) that provide a framework for summarising key risks across sectors and regions. The reasons for concern are:
1. Unique and threatened systems including ecosystems and cultures, are at risk from climate change.
2. Extreme weather events: extreme events from climate change, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding are likely to rise with temperature increases.
3. Distribution of impacts: Geographically the risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people.
4. Global aggregate impacts: these affect natural and economic systems. There is likely to be a large impact on economic systems as the temperature rises.
5. Large-scale singular events: where tipping points are reached that change things, such as ecosystems, abruptly.
The report goes on to consider human impacts on health and potential conflicts amongst other things. It considers various adaptation measures including Principles for Effective
A full copy of the report is available on this Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability: SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS link, and is 44 pages long.
The IPPC have produced some important documents that show the climate change issues: it is now time for the policy makers, business leaders and the rest of global society to take note.