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IPCC is short for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel is a UN body that documents scientific knowledge about the changing climate. They update decision-makers and suggest strategies for mitigation.

For example, IPCC reported the consequences of global warming of 1.5°C, explaining why humans need to stop emitting greenhouse gases. The body presents its findings in the famous IPCC reports. These collections of contemporary scientific facts get a lot of media attention. Their primary purpose is to present research of high quality to decision-makers. For example, the reports get used at the COP meetings for climate change.

What is the IPCC?

The IPCC has existed since 1988. The body was created by the WMO, World Metrological Organisation, and the UNEP, United Nations Environmental Program. Today, the organisation IPCC consists of 195 countries. These are either members of the WMO or the UN. The work of the IPCC builds on research from scientists all over the world.

However, the IPCC does not finance their own research. Instead, it evaluates already existing, new and relevant research. Then, it highlights and brings forward the facts they believe are accurate and most urgent.

Large scientific reports

The IPCC reports the present state of the scientific, technical and socio-economical parts concerning climate change. More so, they present the consequences of current emissions and the risks that these have for the future. As mentioned, they introduce ideas for mitigation and give other types of advice.

There are different kinds of IPCC reports. Particularly the “Assessment Reports” present the research from a particular epoch. So far, the UN has released 6 of these reports. They are chronologically named. For example, the 6th one is known as the sixth assessment report – AR6. This one got released in 2022. It presents an overlook reaching from 2014 to 2022. Hence the report before that, AR5, was released in 2014.

Other kinds of reports are the so-called “special reports”. Such as the “IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C” from 2018. This report builds on about 6000 scientific articles. More so, it got written by 91 researchers from 40 countries. In other words, the material builds on an enormous amount of scientific work. Furthermore, this special report got used to create the Paris Agreement in 2015. Hence the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C but preferably 1.5 °C.

Example of source: Nature


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