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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

831 Scientists Named To Write Fifth Assessment Report by June 2014 for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

831 scientists will contribute to the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to be published between June 2013 and March 2014. On June 24, the IPCC Secretariat in Geneva released the list of experts who will work towards delivering the three Working Groups’ reports. Seven scientists working at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have been named.

Over the next four years, authors from all around the world – including 36 scientists working in Germany – will work unpaid to draft and review the AR5 of the IPCC. They will also contribute to the Synthesis Report, to be published in 2014 as well.

The IPCC received approximately 3,000 nominations by respective national IPCC focal points, by the Bureau, or by approved observer organisations like the International Energy Agency. According to the IPCC Secretariat, the number of nominations increased by about 50 percent, compared to the fourth Assessment Report published in 2007, demonstrating the growing interest among scientists to contribute to the IPCC.

The selection process was coordinated by the three Working Groups, with the nominees’ expertise being the most important factor in the decision-making process. Besides ensuring that the author teams consist of leading experts in the respective fields, particular attention was given to selecting authors reflecting the range of scientific views on climate change. In order to achieve a balanced selection, country of origin and gender of the scientists were also taken into account. Thus, it was possible to increase the percentage of authors from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to about one third, and that of female experts to about a quarter.

“We were able to engage a number of excellent scientists, including economists, engineers, social scientists and philosophers as authors,“ says Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III “Mitigation of Climate Change“. The new Working Group III Report will focus on mitigation response strategies in an integrated risk and uncertainty framework.

According to Edenhofer, “the report will also explicitly cover ethical problems“. Authors will analyse the impacts of climate change that are inevitable even with the implementation of different solution strategies. Policy makers will not only be provided with information on costs and advantages of different climate protection measures, but also their risks.

Hermann Held, Chair of Research Domain III “Sustainable Solutions” at PIK, has been appointed lead author for the chapter “Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response Policies”. Elmar Kriegler will also be a lead author, contributing to a chapter analysing different pathways towards a low-carbon economy.

Wolfgang Cramer has been appointed coordinating lead author for the Working Group II Report, dealing with impacts of climate change. The Chair of Research Domain I “Earth System Analysis” at PIK and Stephen Schneider from Stanford University are responsible for the chapter on “Detection and attribution of observed impacts”. Bill Hare will contribute to the report’s introductory chapter “Point of departure” as a lead author.

Anders Levermann has been appointed lead author for the chapter “Sea Level Change” of the Report of Working Group I “The Physical Science Basis“. Andrey Ganopolski is part of the lead author team of the chapter “Information from Paleoclimate Archives”. Victor Brovkin from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg is a guest scientist at PIK and a lead author for the report’s chapter “Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles”.

Sources and Contacts:
Joint press release by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the IPCC Working Group III, PIK press office
IPCC press release on AR5 authors (pdf file)
Homepage of Working Group III of the IPCC: http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/

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