Questions for the IPCC AR5

May 11, 2009

in Politics, Science, The environment

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:

  1. How will fossil fuel production likely change over the next century? What effect will that have on climate change?
  2. Which strong positive feedback effects are likely to emerge at the lowest levels of warming? At what levels will they take place?
  3. Would any of the current proposed geoengineering strategies effectively combat climate change? What side-effects would they have?
  4. How will the regional impacts of climate change vary across time?
  5. 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

R.K. May 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm

What projections exist about the future of glaciers and summer snowpack in Canada?

How will the loss of both affect water availability and hydro power? In particular, what will be the effect on rivers shared with the USA?

Milan May 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Some more questions:

  1. What are the most likely values for climatic sensitivity?
  2. What affect will changes in the oceans have on ecosystems and food supplies?
  3. What changes might occur in ocean currents, and what effects would they have?
  4. What will happen to Arctic summer sea ice, and what importance will it have as a feedback effect?
  5. Which biofuels have the most potential to be genuinely renewable, with a good energy return on investment?
  6. What new energy technologies could become commercially viable in the next few decades?
  7. What can be done to reduce emissions of powerful trace gasses like PFCs and HFCs?
  8. How accurate are existing economic analyses of the costs of inaction? What major assumptions do they depend on?
  9. How do global population and the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations relate?
. July 20, 2009 at 11:28 am

Next IPCC report will focus on clouds and sea level rises

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is also planning an extra report on extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat waves or mudslides projected because of global warming.

Michael von Bülow 20/07/2009 07:55

The next assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due in 2014, will have more attention on cloud formation and rises in sea level, the head of the panel Rajendra Pachauri said on Friday.

“In the case of clouds we will certainly provide much greater emphasis in this report – clouds, aerosols, black carbon. These are issues that we will certainly cover in much greater detail,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview from Venice, where leading scientists met last week to work out an outline to be approved later this year.

“Sea level rise is another issue that…will get much greater in-depth attention,” Pachauri said.

. August 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

“In considering the AR5 outline, it should be recalled that the IPCC is currently preparing two Special Reports on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation to be completed in December 2010, and one on Extreme Events and Disaster: Managing the Risks” to be completed in mid 2011. Information resulting from these two Reports will be reflected and integrated in all relevant volumes of the AR5.”

. October 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

IPCC aims for clarity and relevance in new report
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News

Providing information that policymakers can use is key to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as work begins on its next global assessment.

The report, known as AR5, will focus on factors that materially affect people’s lives, such as the Asian monsoon.

It will also look at what aspects of climate change might be irreversible.

Leaders of the IPCC’s scientific assessment were speaking to BBC News during a conference in South Korea aimed at modernising the organisation.

They indicated that procedures used in compiling AR5 will reflect some criticisms made in the wake of errors uncovered in its previous assessment, in 2007.

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