IPCC Releases its Report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

IPCC logo31 March 2014. Decision makers need accurate, recent and country-specific information to inform their decision. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents its 2014 report on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in order to feed the decision making process in all countries. The report was launched on 31 March 2014 in Yokohama.

“Over the coming decades, climate change will have mostly negative impacts on cities and infrastructure, migration and security, ecosystems and species, crops and food security, public health, water supplies, and much more. We will see more ocean acidification and extreme droughts, floods and heatwaves. The poor and vulnerable will be most affected,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), established the IPCC in 1988.

The IPCC report details these impacts and how they are expected to vary from region to region and to evolve over the coming decades. It describes the evidence and the uncertainties, and it confirms that, without urgent and ambitious efforts to reduce emissions, climate change will cause increasingly serious impacts over the course of the 21st century. The report also assesses various options for adapting to the new climate conditions.

“This report provides invaluable guidance on how we can reduce climate vulnerabilities and adapt to the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. The next step is to ‘operationalize’ some of the climate research assessed by the IPCC by transforming it into practical and actionable information. Working together, national meteorological services and other organizations will deliver increasingly sophisticated decision-support services aimed at building climate resilience, adapting to new conditions and mitigating emissions,” said Mr Jarraud.

The report confirms that advances in seasonal and longer term climate prediction now make it possible to develop effective climate services. These services combine science-based climate information and forecasts with socio-economic data and sectoral information to empower decision-makers to manage climate risks and opportunities and adapt to climate change.

In addition to “downscaling” global climate models to produce regional climate scenarios and predictions with finer resolution, researchers are conducting more impacts, adaptation and vulnerability studies at the regional, sub-regional, national and local levels. Climate services can now be fine-tuned and targeted more precisely to user needs thanks to researchers’ continuing explorations of how climate change will affect people and communities in their particular region.

“Together with the IPCC’s Physical Science Basis report issued last September, this new assessment will help WMO Members to further reduce vulnerabilities to weather and climate trends and extremes. Continuing improvements in climate monitoring systems, operational forecasts and adaptation policies will enhance the ability of meteorological services to contribute to reducing disaster risks and deliver advance warnings of storms, floods, droughts, and hot and cold extremes,” said Mr Jarraud.

The summary for policymakers of the report can be found here.

Details of the report can be found here.

More information on IPCC’s Physical Science Basis here.