25 March, 2014 – (IPCC release) Government representatives and scientists on Tuesday opened a five-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to finalize a report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation, and the interactions among climate changes, other stresses on societies, and opportunities for the future.

The meeting, the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment, will approve the Summary for Policymakers of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, checking the text line by line. The meeting will also accept the full report, which besides the Summary for Policymakers consists of a Technical Summary and 30 chapters in two volumes.

This report, produced by the IPCC’s Working Group II, deals with impacts, adaptation, and
vulnerability. It is part two of a four-part assessment. The first part, by Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change, was finalized in September 2013. The Working Group III contribution, assessing mitigation of climate change, will be finalized in April. The Fifth Assessment Report will be completed by a Synthesis Report in October.

“The Working Group II author team assessed thousands of papers to produce a definitive report of the state of knowledge concerning climate-change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Many hundreds of volunteers, in and beyond the author team, approached this work with dedication and deep expertise,” said Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of Working Group II.

The meeting, hosted by the Government of Japan, runs from 25 to 29 March 2014. The Summary for Policymakers is due to be released on Monday 31 March. The draft full report will also be released at the same time, with final publication online and as a two-book series a few months later.

Volume I will cover issues sector by sector. Volume II will consider continental-scale regions.

“This report considers consequences of climate changes that have already occurred and the risks across a range of possible futures. It considers every region and many sectors, ranging from oceans to human security. The focus is as much on identifying effective responses as on understanding challenges,” said Chris Field, the other Co-Chair of Working Group II.

The report builds on the four previous assessment reports produced by the IPCC since it was
established in 1988. Compared to past Working Group II reports, the Working Group II contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report assesses a substantially larger knowledge base of relevant scientific, technical and socio-economic literature, facilitating a comprehensive assessment across a broader set of topics and sectors.