WMO spearheaded a United Nations side event on supporting adaptation and mitigation under the Paris Agreement on the opening day of COP23 in Bonn on 6 November.
Science plays a crucial role not only in supporting decision-making for mitigation and adaptation actions, but also in providing evidence about the progress made towards the Paris Agreement. Some examples include the WMO annual and multi-year Statements on the State of Global Climate, the assessments for needs to strengthen a global observing system for climate (GCOS), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Reports.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas presented the WMO provisional statement on the state of the climate at the side event. The year 2017 is set to be one of the warmest three years on record, with many extreme weather events. The report contains extensive information on impacts of extreme weather and climate change on health, food security, and well-being.
Guy Brasseur, Chairperson of the Joint Scientific Committee, World Climate Research Program (WCRP), moderated the event. Stephen Briggs, Chairperson of Steering Committee for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), discussed the needs for systematic observations & research and introduce indicators for a changing climate.
The side event brought together specialists to discuss different initiatives that are currently informing the status of the global climate and decision-making process in the local level to strengthen resilience to climate shocks and address the loss and damage associated to the adverse effects of climate change on food insecure populations.
Dr. Jan Fuglestvedt, vice-chair of IPCC Working Group I, Research Director at CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo, Norway, provided information on the coming assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In order to help inform adaptation options, decision-makers need to be able to plan to adapt to a world with different levels of global warming. A better understanding on the long-term impacts of climate change on food security and nutrition is helping practitioners like the World Food Programme to enhance climate resilience capabilities of vulnerable groups and national systems, according to WFP’s Tania Osejo.
Initiatives such as the High-End Climate Impacts and Extreme (HELIX) are contributing to assess and present the long-term impacts of extreme climate change across different temperature increases and inform adaptation efforts scenarios.