Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some info on the IPCC

The IPCC is divided up into 3 working groups.

The IPCC Working Group I (WG1) assesses the physical scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.

Its latest report "Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis" was launched on 2 February 2007 in Paris.

The report includes information on changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere and the extent to which they affect climate. It provides details of recent changes in air, land and ocean temperatures, rainfall, glaciers and ice sheets and considers a large amount of new satellite and other data that have not been assessed previously. A paleoclimatic perspective considers the Earth's past cold and warm periods and the understanding of climate processes that can be gained from these. New information on feedbacks arising from the interaction of climate change with the biosphere and geochemistry is also considered. The most recent climate models are evaluated in detail, as is their use to explain observed climate change in terms of different driving factors. Projections of future climate change using climate models are considered broadly and cover near term climate change, the degree to which this is 'committed' due to past increases in greenhouse gases, and a range of potential longer term climate changes. Patterns of future climate change are considered both globally and regionally.

The IPCC Working Group II (WG2) assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.

Its latest report "Climate Change 2007 - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" was launched on 6 April 2007 in Paris.

The report assesses the latest scientific, environmental and socio-economic literature on "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". It provides a comprehensive analysis of how climate change is affecting natural and human systems, what the impacts will be in the future and how far adaptation and mitigation can reduce these impacts. It also takes into consideration the inter-relationship between adaptation and mitigation, and the relationship between climate change and sustainable development. The report contains chapters on specific systems and sectors (water resources; ecosystems; food & forests; coastal systems; industry; human health) and regions (Africa; Asia; Australia & New Zealand; Europe; Latin America; North America; Polar Regions; Small Islands).

The IPCC Working Group III (WG3) assesses options for mitigating climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing activities that remove them from the atmosphere.

Its latest report, "Climate Change 2007 - Mitigation of Climate Change" was launched on 4 May 2007 in Bangkok.

After describing the GHGs emission trends, the report analyses mitigation options for the main economic sectors in the near-term ? between now and 2030, providing an in-depth analyses of the costs and benefits of different approaches. It further evaluates long-term mitigation strategies for various stabilization levels, paying special attention to implications of different short-term strategies for achieving long-term goals. Cross-sectorial matters such as synergies, co-benefits and trade-offs are taken into consideration. The report, oriented at assessing the solutions to respond to climate change, considers the policy measures and instruments available to governments and industries to mitigate climate change. It also addresses the significant relationship between mitigation and sustainable development.


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