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Expert Review of the First Order Draft of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC

The expert review of the first order draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15) will take place from 31 July to 24 September 2017. Expert Reviewers can register as of today, 17 July 2017, until one week before the end of the review period.

Experts from around the world will provide scientific comments to the author team of the report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C: an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

“The quality of the IPCC assessment strongly depends on the contribution made by Expert Reviewers from all over the world”, says Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I. “We solicit experts to join us in this review effort, including early career scientists, as an opportunity to participate in the IPCC process and contribute directly to the preparation of the special report.”

All IPCC reports go through two stages of formal review. The first draft is evaluated by Expert Reviewers, before a second draft is reviewed by both governments and experts for final assessment. This comprehensive review process ensures that IPCC reports cover the most up to date scientific, technical and socio-economic findings, and are representative of a broad range of independent expertise from developed and developing countries.

Expert Reviewers are invited to comment on the report to achieve a comprehensive, exhaustive, objective and transparent assessment of the available scientific literature. Contributions to the Expert Review are acknowledged once the report is finalized.

To register as an Expert Reviewer, a self-declaration of expertise is required. Once the registration is complete, reviewers are requested to respect the confidentiality of the draft that is provided solely for the purpose of the review. The drafts may not be cited, quoted or distributed.

Register here to become an Expert Reviewer.

Global Warming of 1.5ºC will be finalized in September 2018 and is being prepared in response to an invitation from the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. The Panel approved the outline of the report in October 2016.

What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.

IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC assessments are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency.

The IPCC assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to tell policymakers what we know and don’t know about the risks related to climate change. The IPCC identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences of opinion, and where further research is needed. It does not conduct its own research.

To produce its reports, the IPCC mobilizes hundreds of scientists. These scientists and officials are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Only a dozen permanent staff work in the IPCC’s Secretariat.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.

IPCC Assessment Reports consist of contributions from each of the three working groups and a Synthesis Report. Special Reports undertake an assessment of cross-disciplinary issues that span more than one working group and are shorter and more focused than the main assessments.
Sixth Assessment Cycle

At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015 it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle. At its 43rd Session in April 2016, it decided to produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and AR6.

The first of these special reports, to be finalized in September 2018, is Global Warming of 1.5ºC, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. It is being prepared under the joint scientific leadership of all three working groups, with support from the Working Group I Technical Support Unit.

The Methodology Report, entitled 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, will be delivered in May 2019.

In September 2019 the IPCC will also finalize two Special Reports: the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. The AR6 Synthesis Report will be finalized in the first half of 2022.

The IPCC will approve the outlines of AR6 in September 2017. The three working contributions will be released in 2021 and the Synthesis Report in April 2022.

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