IPCC publishes its Synthesis Report on the Science of Climate Change
The IPCC just released in Copenhagen the 4th and final volume of its 6-year effort. More than 800 authors – four of whom from FEEM – have analysed thousands of scientific papers to deliver selected and firm key messages to the world leaders.
Although there is no formal novelty in this last volume, as it simply brings together the key findings of the three impressive reports released earlier this year and in 2013, it is of fundamental importance mainly for two reasons. First, it bridges the work of the three IPCC working groups dealing with different but very interrelated issues (the physics of climate change, its impacts, and the possible measures). Second, it keeps the momentum in view of the important policy deadlines leading towards Paris 2015, where a global agreement on climate change should be sealed.
The key messages which are circulating for the present release are necessarily and mostly related to the physics of climate change and to its impacts, while FEEM Lead Authors have worked on the very important third volume dedicated to the needed climate policies, which will be the basis for the crucial climate negotiations aiming to curb global warming below a reasonable temperature increase and within a decent timespan to avoid excessive costs.
Indeed, CO2 concentrations have never been higher in the last 800,000 years, mankind contribution is unequivocal leading us from 2 till 7°C of climate change by 2100, while climate change impacts are already being felt and will increase in the future because of climate inertia. Should we want to keep temperature increase below a reasonable level (commonly +2°C with respect to pre-industrial levels), GHGs emissions need to drop down to zero by the end of the century. As indicated by the work carried out by FEEM researchers and explicitly quoted in the IPCC report, acting towards a zero carbon society is indeed still feasible, but waiting further boosts the costs.
In view of this occasion, several Italian IPCC Lead Authors discuss and highlight, in a non technical language, the main findings of the IPCC report in an interesting series of videos addressed to non experts and produced by CMCC, FEEM and ICCG, released on November 2, 2014 and available on www.clima2014.it. The English version of these videos was released last spring and published by Re3, FEEM’s online e-magazine.