Key points and questions about the UN IPCC's 5th Assessment Report on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

Detail

The UN’s Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the second volume of its 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability in Yohohama, Japan on 31 March 2014. The report was finalised after a six day meeting attended by delegates from over 100 countries and a number of the Report’s expert authors.

The IPCC’s first report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change was published in September 2013. It showed clearly that climate change is happening now and greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the dominant cause. This new report shows how climate change is already having an impact on the natural environment and man. It warns that increasing magnitudes of warming will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts in the future. It assesses how climate change impacts and risks can be reduced and managed through adaptation and mitigation.

This is the most significant report on the topic since the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report in 2007. It has been prepared over the last four years by 310 experts from across the world who reached their conclusions by reviewing thousands of published research papers. It has undergone peer review by many other scientists, experts and by IPCC member governments. The thoroughness of the process is without parallel in terms of scope, rigour, transparency and level of government engagement.

We published our Q&A following the working group 1 report on 2 October 2013.