The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed the outline of its next comprehensive scientific assessment of climate change, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
At a Session of the Panel in Montreal, Canada, the IPCC agreed the outlines of the three working group contributions to AR6, which will all be delivered in 2021. The next step for the IPCC is to invite nominations through Governments and observers organizations for authors from among the international research community, who will prepare the report.
“The agreed outline combines scientific expertise across a range of disciplines with policymakers’ priorities. It will allow IPCC authors to prepare a comprehensive, balanced and objective assessment of our knowledge of climate change that is relevant to policymakers at all levels and in all regions,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.
The IPCC session was attended by WMO Deputy Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova and WMO President David Grimes, who is Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Meteorological Service. They stressed that WMo will enhance its key contributions on science information, projections etc, to AR6. WMO will also continue its financial, administrative and operational support.
The draft outlines had been prepared following a scientific scoping meeting in May held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the meeting in Montreal, representatives of the IPCC’s 195 member governments discussed this draft and agreed on a final outline.
The IPCC includes three working groups: Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II is responsible for impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III assesses the mitigation of climate change. It also includes a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that focuses on developing internationally agreed methodologies for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.
The outline of the Synthesis Report, the final instalment of AR6, will be agreed in 2019. The Synthesis Report will integrate the three working group contributions and the Special Reports produced during the AR6 cycle. It will be finalized in April 2022.
The agreed outlines, subject to final copy edits, are available now on the IPCC website. The full agenda and documents can be found here.
Among other business in Montreal the IPCC also considered options for strengthening the financial stability of the IPCC and for aligning its work with the global stocktake cycles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. WMO scientific products, including its annual statement on the status of the global climate and its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contribute to the global stocktake between the full IPCC assessment reports.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.
IPCC press release is available here.