The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an international scientific organisation that provides research-based information about the causes and consequences of climate change, including both human-influenced and naturally-occurring climate change.
The IPCC also assesses measures for lessening the severity of climate change and the potential for adapting to its consequences. Its purpose is to inform government policy, but it does not recommend which policies governments should adopt. It was formed in 1988 by two bodies: the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Thousands of scientists from across the world voluntarily contribute to its assessment reports, which are published every six years or so. The IPCC is formed by:
- Working Group 1, which sets out the physical science basis of climate change.
- Working Group 2, which looks at impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
- Working Group 3, which examines the mitigation of climate change.
The most recent major publication from the IPCC, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), was published in stages from 2013 to 2014. The Summary for Policymakers, which brings together key aspects of the report, is the work of 209 lead authors and 50 review editors from 39 countries, and over 600 contributing authors from 32 countries. The text of the summary was also reviewed and approved by governments of 195 contributing countries. As an authoritative document, AR5’s contents form the evidence basis for decision makers in government, business and organisations around the world.
In the following video Coordinating Lead Author, Peter Stott, talks about the IPCC process:
Credit: UK Met Office https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/science/uk/ipcc