The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is asking governments what sort of policy-related questions they would like to have examined in the Fifth Assessment Report (5AR), due out in 2014. Here are a few ideas that come to mind:
- How will fossil fuel production likely change over the next century? What effect will that have on climate change?
- Which strong positive feedback effects are likely to emerge at the lowest levels of warming? At what levels will they take place?
- Would any of the current proposed geoengineering strategies effectively combat climate change? What side-effects would they have?
- How will the regional impacts of climate change vary across time?
- What will the effects of ocean acidification be?
Do readers have other suggestions?
Incidentally, the fact that we need to wait five years for another IPCC report demonstrates one disadvantage of its complex and process-heavy approach to evaluation. It’s a real shame that, despite all these efforts, so many people continue to reject out of hand the fact that there is a robust scientific consensus on the issue.