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New IPCC report on climate change focuses on managing risks

Source: IPCC AR5 WG2 Figure SPM.2a

Source: IPCC AR5 WG2 Figure SPM.2a

A few months ago, we covered the release of the first section of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which dealt with the physical science of climate and climate change. After one last meeting in Yokohama, Japan, the authors of the section on climate “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” have released the final draft of their work. (One additional section will be released in just a couple of weeks, with a synthesis report and the full, official release due at the end of October.)

This thirty-chapter report on climate impacts is the product of 679 scientists from around the world, and it cites over 12,000 studies. Its goal is to summarize observed climate impacts, lay out future risks, and describe types of adaptation that could help manage those risks.

The Summary for Policymakers—the portion of the report subjected to line-by-line approval by government representatives—reads a little differently than past versions, in large part due to an emphasis on risk management as the overarching framework used to consider climate impacts. Its scope is also a little broader than simply earth sciences, as it discusses things like the potential for violent conflicts inflamed by the added stress of climate change.

Click here to read more from this March 31, 2014 ars technica article by Scott Johnson.

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