IPCC seventh assessment cycle

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently concluded its elections, marking the beginning of the seventh assessment cycle.
About IPCC:
  • The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 
  • Its main activity is to prepare Assessment Reports, special reports, and methodology reports assessing the state of knowledge of climate change.
  • However, the IPCC does not itself engage in scientific research. Instead, it asks scientists from around the world to go through all the relevant scientific literature related to climate change and draw up the logical conclusions.
What are the IPCC assessment cycles?
  • The IPCC has had six assessment cycles so far during which it released six comprehensive assessment reports.
  • In each of these cycles, it also produced several special reports on specific topics.
  • IPCC also publishes methodology reports during these cycles, in which it provides guidelines for governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
Assessment Reports:
  • The IPCC’s Assessment Reports (ARs) are the most comprehensive and widely accepted scientific evaluations of the state of the Earth’s climate.
  • So far, it has released six ARs — the final synthesis report of the sixth AR came out in March 2023 — and with the latest elections, the body has initiated a new cycle of producing the next AR.
Assessment Report Highlights
First (1990)
  • Global temperatures have risen by 0.3 to 0.6 degree Celsius in the last 100 years.
  • In the business-as-usual scenario, temperatures were likely to increase by 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels by 2025, and 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. Sea levels were likely to rise by 65 cm by 2100.
  • The report formed the basis for the negotiation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, known as the Rio Summit.
Second (1995)
  • Revised the projected rise in global temperatures to 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100, and sea-level rise to 50 cm.
Third (2001)
  • Revised the projected rise in global temperatures to 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to 1990. 
  • The report predicted increased rainfall on average, and that by 2100, sea levels were likely to rise by as much as 80 cm from 1990 levels.
  • The report presented new and stronger evidence to show global warming was mostly attributable to human activities
Fourth (2007)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions increased by 70 per cent between 1970 and 2004, and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 in 2005 (379 ppm) were the most in 650,000 years.
  • The report won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for IPCC. It was the scientific input for the 2009 Copenhagen climate meeting.
Fifth (2014)
  • The rise in global temperatures by 2100 could be as high as 4.8 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times, and more frequent and longer heat waves were “virtually certain”.
  • A “large fraction of species” faced extinction, and food security would be undermined
Sixth (2021)
  • More intense and frequent heat-waves, increased incidents of extreme rainfall, a dangerous rise in sea-levels, prolonged droughts, and melting glaciers ;1.5 degrees Celsius warming was much closer than was thought earlier, and also inevitable.
  • Warning that multiple climate change-induced disasters were likely in the next two decades even if strong action was taken to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
News Source: Indian Express

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