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Monday, May 07, 2007

Wildlife and Climate Change and IPCC Reports

SWT have been expressing their concern that climate change is going to have a growing effect on wildlife in Somerset. The most important source of data is the IPCC. The build up to the latest reports on Climate Change from the IPCC is difficult to follow but an understanding helps to make sense of it all. Here is a much simplified account.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. It is open to all members of the UN and WMO.

The First IPCC Assessment Report was completed in 1990. The Report played an important role in establishing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by the UN General Assembly. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It provides the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change issue.
The IPCC has continued to provide scientific, technical and socio-economic advice to the world community, and in particular to the Parties to the UNFCCC through its periodic assessment reports and special reports. Its Second Assessment Report, Climate Change 1995, provided key input to the negotiations, which led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997.
The major activity of the IPCC is to prepare in regular intervals comprehensive and up-to-date assessments of policy-relevant scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, potential impacts of climate change and options for mitigation and adaptation.

We now have the 4th Assessment Report(AR). This is being released throughout 2007 as shown below.

Climate Change 2007:
Working Group III Report "Mitigation of Climate Change"
Bangkok, 4 May 2007

Working Group II Report "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability"
Brussels, 6 April 2007

Working Group I Report "The Physical Science Basis"
Paris 2 Feb 2007

The final part of the Report is to be published at the end of 2007 and will be the
AR4 Synthesis Report ( SYR).

As defined in the IPCC Procedures the SYR will “synthesize and integrate material contained within IPCC Assessment Reports and Special Reports”. Its scope will include material contained in the three Working Group contributions to the AR4, and it would draw on information contained in other IPCC Reports as required. Cross cutting themes will be considered throughout the report. The SYR should be largely self-contained, but guide readers to the underlying material if they wish to look further.