Reports are published over periods and offer reputable science for decision-makers. The most recent report was the 6th assessment in 2021.
What is the IPCC?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a body of the United Nations (UN), established in 1988. Every 6-7 years the International Council for Science (ICSU), UN and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) come together to provide policymakers and political leaders periodic assessments on climate change while offering solution-based strategies to help mitigate the impacts.
How are IPCC reports produced?
The core purpose of the IPCC stands in objectivity and transparency. Thousands of international scientists volunteer their time and reports are not funded by any specific government so they remain independent of any political agenda.
Reports are developed by a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (that develop emissions mitigation methods) and three working groups (WG):
- Working Group I deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change,
- Working Group II with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and
- Working Group III with Mitigation of Climate Change.
The IPCC seeks to provide information from a neutral perspective, assessing and identifying disparities between published data on climate change. This information is then produced and presented in reports that provide accessible and transparent information for the development of climate policies.
What are the key findings of the 6th assessment report?
The most recent 6th Assessment Report (6AR) is an amalgamation of information from all three of the WG’s and the Task Force. Information currently available was produced by WG I, a team of 234 authors, categorised under 4 subheadings;
The current state of the climate
- Humans are undeniable contributors to climate change and thus responsible for much of the widespread and rapid changes to the environment,
- Human influence on the environment has increased exponentially since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014.
- The equilibrium of climate sensitivity (ECS) is the projected temperature increase proportional to greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere. The IPCC currently estimates the ECS at 3°C, with the range likely to exist between 2.5°C and 4.5°C, which is a narrower range than previously stated in the 2014 AR5.
Possible climate futures
- Unless immediate action is taken, global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded, with the global surface temperature of the earth increasing until (at least) the mid century under every climate scenario simulated.
- Extreme weather events are projected to increase in frequency and severity, while continued global warming is expected to intensify the global water cycle, leading to rising sea levels
- As carbon emissions increase the ocean and land is predicted to become less effective at mitigating CO2 levels.
Climate information for risk assessment and regional adaptation
- Naturally climate variability (such as volcanoes and El Nino) modulate anthropogenic environmental changes, since it both accentuates and masks human activities and their impact on the environment. It is important to account for these when planning potential risks.
- Flooding, tornados, droughts, sea levels and heat waves are all expected to increase while low-likelihood outcomes, such as ice sheet collapse and abrupt ocean circulation changes cannot be ruled out.
Limiting future climate change
- This report re-establishes the linear connection between anthropogenic production of CO2 and global warming. The only way to abate this change is to reduce our CO2 emissions to net zero while reducing production of other greenhouse gases.
- CO2 levels can be reduced and securely stored in reservoirs. This could subsequently lead to a global net negative in emissions.
- If a state of global net negative CO2 emissions were reached and sustained, the surface temperature would eventually revert but many other climate changes would continue for decades (i.e.. sea levels, ice sheets, permafrost).
- Human-induced positive radiative forcing has caused additional heat energy to be trapped, warming the ocean by 91% with land warming, ice loss and atmospheric warming accounting for about 5%, 3% and 1%, respectively.
How does this all relate to Climate Valuation’s products & services?
The goal of Climate Valuation is to democratise climate risk information to empower people to make informed decisions about their financial futures. We provide professional, investment-grade physical climate risk analysis to property owners and home buyers. Our products and services are available to individuals and organisations to help assess the physical and financial risks associated with climate change to residential property assets. We believe that when people can quantify the costs of climate change they can plan, predict and innovate to build resilience in the face of climate change.