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IPCC’s Assessment reports


Prelims: Environment reports and agencies, IPCC, global stocktake, Paris Agreement

Mains: General studies III– Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Why in the News ?

Three reports from the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle (AR6) were published in 2021-2022. These documents examine the consequences, adaptation, and vulnerability as well as the mitigation aspects of climate change.

Source: TH

📌 FYI on Prelims:

  • Till now IPCC has released 6 assessment reports.
  • The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) warned that the time to limit the rise of the world’s average surface temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial era — as agreed in the Paris Agreement.
  • To assess the world’s progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, UNFCCC countries conduct a ‘global stocktake’ (GST) every five years.
Source: TH


  • IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) :

    • IPCC Change is a United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
    • It was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
    • Objective: To provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
    • Research: The IPCC does not conduct its own research. Thousands of people from all over the world voluntarily contribute to the work of the IPCC.
  • Reports: 

    • The IPCC prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options.
    • Since its inception in 1988, the IPCC has had six assessment cycles and delivered six Assessment Reports, the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change produced worldwide.
    • The current report, 6th Assessment Report, is divided into three segments i.e. its three Working Groups and a Synthesis Report.
    • The three working group reports have already been published.

Assessment report (AR) :

  • It integrates the main findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) based on contributions from the three Working Groups, and the three Special Reports.
  • Current Status of Climate Change –
    • Global surface temperature was 1.09°C higher in 2011–2020 than 1850–1900.
    • There is a larger increase over land (1.59°C) than over the ocean (0.88°C).
    • In 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years.
    • Concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide were higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years.
    • Global mean sea level increased by 0.20 m between 1901 and 2018.
    • Although overall agricultural productivity has increased, climate change has slowed this growth over the past 50 years globally.
  • Future Climate Change –
    • In the near term (2021-2040), global warming is more likely than not to reach 1.5°C even under the very low GHG emission scenario.
    • Compound heatwaves and droughts are projected to become more frequent, including concurrent events across multiple locations.
      • Due to relative sea level rise, current 1-in-100 year extreme sea level events are projected to occur at least annually in more than half of all tide gauge locations by 2100 under all considered scenarios.
  • Assessment Report 7: In Turkey, the Bureau agreed to produce the full assessment and synthesis reports, the methodology reports, and a special report.
  • Global Stocktake: 
    • To assess the world’s progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, UNFCCC countries conduct a ‘global stocktake’ (GST) every five years.
    • The GST is a mechanism to measure collective progress, identify gaps, and chart a better course of climate action.

About Paris Agreement

  • It replaced the Kyoto Protocol, an earlier agreement to deal with climate change.
  • It is a landmark agreement as it brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, for the first time.
  • It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016.
  • Aim:The agreement seeks to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industry levels
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):
    • To achieve the targets under the agreement, the member countries have to submit the targets themselves, which they believe would lead to substantial progress towards reaching the Paris temperature goal.
      • Initially, these targets are called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). 
      • They are converted to NDCs when the country ratifies the agreement.

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