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IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Analysis and Comment (58)

Extreme weather is more common than ever. EPA

How does the IPCC know climate change is happening?

Climate change is one of the few scientific theories that makes us examine the whole basis of modern society. It is a challenge that has politicians arguing, sets nations against each other, queries individual…
The IPCC’s latest report sets the record straight on science (again), but could be stronger on the economic case for climate action. EPA/Niels Ahlmann Olesen/AAP

New IPCC report: busting myths, both scientific and economic

The headline statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new Synthesis Report – unequivocal climate change, almost certainly driven largely by humans, and an urgent need to cut emissions…
The IPCC is clear on the dangers of fossil fuels. Pete Markham

Stark IPCC climate report shows the time for talking is over

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is set to publish the “synthesis report” of its fifth assessment period, drawing on three individual working group reports already published on: the…
Renewable energy is an excellent way to hedge against the impacts of climate policies. Indigo Skies Photography/Flickr

Finally, some light relief for the Renewable Energy Target

The Australian government has just received a vitally important report to guide their decisions on the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). But it’s not the RET review report of the Coalition-appointed…
A new study finds overwhelming odds that humans have contributed to higher global temperatures – so how much are we willing to gamble that it’s wrong? Kraevski Vitaly/Shutterstock

99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming: new study

There is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, our new research shows. Published in…
A record-breaking winter heatwave - which makes pretty nice weather for a dip. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

Winter heatwaves are nice … as extreme weather events go

If you’ve stepped outside at lunchtime in Sydney over the past few days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was more like early summer than the beginning of winter. On each of the past 23 days, the…
Treasurer Joe Hockey didn’t even mention the word climate in his budget speech. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The budget shows we’re now flying blind on climate change

The word “climate” was conspicuously absent from Joe Hockey’s first budget speech as treasurer. It’s not hard to guess why – the full budget sets out major cuts to climate research, and strong moves against…
IPCC leaders release their climate mitigation report in Berlin - but governments already have one eye on next year’s UN climate summit. EPA/Joerg Carstensen

‘Censored’ IPCC summary reveals jockeying for key UN climate talks

In the wake of this month’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on ways to cut global greenhouse gas emissions, accusations began to fly in the media that the report had been censored…
Pollution on an industrial scale. SARIN KUNTHONG

Cutting emissions now makes business sense for industry

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report tells us that CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise and that, unchecked, climate change will likely…
While green business is commendable, canola-fuelled elevators will not save us from climate change. monique/Flickr

Can business save us from climate change?

Without a functional international climate policy, and a set of Australian policies that look set to be repealed, it might seem that business offers the greatest hope for mitigating climate change. Business…
Gas-fired industry to reduce emissions in the short-term. Jorge Franganillo

IPCC changes its tune on gas as way to mitigate climate change

The International Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group 3 report is a welcome outline of how to stem the tide of climate change. It illustrates a significant change in strategy, from a complete switch…
Changing how we consume energy is the best way to mitigate climate change. Adam Bowie/Flickr

We all need to pay for climate change mitigation

While the latest IPCC report on mitigation doesn’t recommend any particular strategy for reducing carbon emissions, it suggests changing energy consumption is a key mitigation strategy. According to the…
For the first time the IPCC has addressed the ethical, as well as technical, issues of reducing greenhouse emissions. EPA/How Hwee Young/AAP

IPCC: emissions cuts are about ethics as well as economics

The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that global greenhouse gas emissions have grown faster than ever over the last decade. Taking action to achieve the world’s goal…
No vote: despite activists' urgings, the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks were stymied by the threat of veto. EPA/HENNING BAGGER/AAP

Votes, not vetoes: a new way to cut a United Nations climate deal

Anyone who has watched in frustration as the United Nations repeatedly failed to secure a meaningful climate treaty could be forgiven for taking a rather glum view on this weekend’s report by the Intergovernmental…
How much green will it cost to go green? epsos.de

IPCC report shows Stern inflated climate change costs

How much does climate change cost? What will be the impact on our wallets? The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II has concluded that global warming…
How will Australia respond to so-called ‘climate refugees’? AAP Image/Scott Fisher

Climate change and security: a wake-up call for Australia

The most recent IPCC report included a chapter on security – the first time this has happened. The report pointed to a range of security threats associated with climate change, including ill-health, food…
Coasts are at risk from rising seas, but that risk could be alleviated by coastal ecosystems such as mangroves. Sheep"R"Us/Flickr

How wetlands can help us adapt to rising seas

Instead of costly levees and seawalls, coastal ecosystems could offer an alternative way to protect Australia’s coastal communities from rising seas, saving money and storing carbon along the way. Sea…
If companies won’t see things differently, we need to. frankspandl/Pixel

Trying to cash in on climate change won’t fool nature

We find ourselves in an era of what we might call creative self-destruction. We’re destroying ourselves – it’s as simple as that. Economic growth and exploiting nature’s resources have long gone hand-in-hand…
Flooding as a result of wetter winters is set to continue. Steve Parsons/PA Archive

IPCC report: adapt to cope with climate change

Climate change is a serious threat to human safety and security according to the latest report from the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change. But also coming through loud and clear is that adaptation…
We know what’s in store – now it’s time to do something about it. AAP

The IPCC has spelled out the risks – now what do we do?

Despite the mounting evidence, there are still some who would deny the veracity of human-caused climate change and its potential to disrupt and harm our communities. Most dissenters rely on non-expert…
The largest impacts will occur in poorer and vulnerable populations. 'Collecting water' by UNAMID

Climate change and health: IPCC reports emerging risks, emerging consensus

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Impacts volume of the Fifth Assessment Report will be released today. Here, three contributors to the health chapter explain the ideas and evidence…
It takes a lot of meetings to write a comprehensive summary of climate science. IPCC

Explainer: how are IPCC reports written?

Every day there seems to be more confusing (and sometimes downright misleading) news about climate change. Depending on what you read and whom you listen to, climate change is getting worse, or not happening…
We’ll need a lot more than sandbags in years to come. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

What to expect from the latest IPCC impacts report

Senior scientists and government officials are meeting in Japan to finalise a new report on the impacts of climate change. It will be the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in…
Rousing the Kraken: climate change could make life in the ocean much harder. By Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy/Wikimedia Commons

IPCC preview: deep trouble brewing in our oceans

Scientists are meeting this week in Yokohama, Japan, to finalise and approve the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II – the part of the IPCC process that…
What is the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature rise? Werner Wittersheim

Explainer: what is climate sensitivity?

Humans are emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As these gases build up they trap extra heat and make the climate warmer. But how much warmer? Scientists have long understood that…
There are many reasons mining interests might dismiss a publication which proposes planetary limits to exploitation. Bert Kaufman

Planetary boundaries, Limits to Growth and the climate debate

Do the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Club of Rome deserve a reputation as modern Chicken Littles who claimed repeatedly that the sky is falling? According to Hugh Morgan - former…
The threat to human rights should be a central focus of climate change action. Flickr/The World Wants a Real Deal

Human rights and climate change: a fresh perspective

Climate change has been considered under many lenses – economic, geopolitical, diplomatic and developmental. However, human rights are rarely considered. Instead, they are a peripheral concern for the…
Optimism is lovely, but individual action won’t solve climate change. \!/_PeacePlusOne/Flickr

Fixing climate change: the future isn’t what it used to be

This is the last part of a series following on from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and looking at emerging alternatives to the UN climate agreement…
Getting an agreement on gas could set the tone for other industry emissions reduction agreements. stefo/Flickr

Could sectoral agreements solve climate change?

This is part two of a three-part series that follows on from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, looking at emerging alternatives to the UN climate agreement…
Our climate system is collapsing, but international negotiations in Paris still hold out the best promise for change. 350.org/Flickr

Climate talks could succeed, if Australia toughens targets

Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, said last week that on climate, “We have five minutes before midnight”. He argues that governments have historically avoided…
Marlgu Billabong in Australia’s Kimberley region, which new research nominates as a smart place to invest in conservation. www.shutterstock.com/Janelle Lugge

Adapt or die: where in the world we should start on cost-effective conservation

As the dust settles on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the science of climate change, the obvious question is: what do we do next? Our research, published in Nature…
The future of the globe used to look a lot brighter. ToastyKen

A brief history of climate science

Climate change is often seen as a recent phenomenon, but its roots are actually far older - the effects of human activity on the global climate have been discussed for more than 150 years. In the 1820s…
Criticising renewable energy using antique data doesn’t help the debate at all. Andrew Blakers

Lomborg’s criticism of current renewables is years out of date

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report paints an authoritative picture of the dire consequences if we fail to rapidly curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Solving this will…
The IPCC report is clear: most fossil fuels will need to stay in the ground. Adam Cohn

IPCC report sets a conservative carbon budget

With the release of its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has emphatically set the record straight on what the most recent scientific research says about climate…
Maybe reducing the number of participants would help bring agreement. Andrea Lawardi

International climate agreements? There must be a better way

With the release Friday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report of the state of climate science, the message has never been clearer: we have to do something to get…
The IPCC reports are the most authoritative source of climate information we have. EPA/BERTIL ENEVAG ERICSON / TT SWEDEN OUT

IPCC climate trends: blueprints for tipping points in Earth’s climate

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, authored by 209 lead authors, 50 review editors from 39 countries, and by more than 600 contributing authors from 32 countries, with…
The IPCC’s reports have been rigorous and comprehensive, but it’s time for a different, more agile approach. Sebastien Wiertz

Time to change how the IPCC reports?

This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the outcomes from Working Group I (WG-I) of the Fifth Assessment Report on the physical climate change. The IPCC has issued four…
Melting ice, growing ice, and shifting acidity: what the future holds for the great white south. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

IPCC: where to for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean?

The general thrust of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report - released on Friday – can be summarised as: “there is now more evidence that climate change is occurring". Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are…
There is still scientific work to do on attributing specific events to climate change, but we know enough to make policy decisions. DeGust/Flickr

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: more certainty, not much news

The part of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, dealing with the physical basis of climate change, has now been released. The report - released today in Stockholm…
If a comet was heading for earth, would you just go about your life? Mark Mathosian

A question of ethics: journalists and climate change

Breaking news: scientists have discovered a comet that will collide with Earth in 30 years. Its impact will be devastating, killing millions, flooding coastal cities and disrupting civilisation as we know…
Why would more science make any difference to people who don’t care about science? Larry He's So Fine/Flickr

IPCC report will make no difference in culture of denial

This week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report will be compendious, cautious, thorough and as authoritative as a scientific report can be. But it will not make much difference. In…
Dead science lives on, thanks to the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change. Scott Beale

Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience

The warm start to Australian spring has been accompanied by a deluge of pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigners and aliens made appearances, but the deluge was primarily climate pseudoscience in the…
IPCC reports are complex, but there are ways to break it down. Christian Guthier

Explainer: how to read an IPCC report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the accepted global authority on climate change. It produces reports that are collectively agreed assessments of the scientific literature by leading…
With low solar activity, a double-dip La Nina and more particles in the air, it should be much colder than it is. Les Chatfield/Flickr

Is global warming in a hiatus?

On September 27 2013 the 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released. One part of this report will address the so-called “warming hiatus”. This is the…
Certainty about humanity’s influence on climate change has been steadily increasing. carnagenyc/Flickr

Lost in translation: confidence and certainty in climate science

In the lead up to the release next month of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report we are exploring concepts of confidence and certainty in climate science. You…
We are used to thinking in probabilities: will it be stormy enough to need an umbrella? Luis Martins

In science, the only certainty is uncertainty

In the lead up to the release next month of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report we are exploring concepts of confidence and certainty in climate science. You…
Sometimes a piece of the puzzle won’t fit, but overall the picture is coming together. Dave Ginsberg

150 years and counting: confidence in climate science

In the lead up to the release next month of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report we are exploring concepts of confidence and certainty in climate science. The…
Maybe humans aren’t causing climate change, and maybe penguins choose not to fly. Antarctica Bound/Flickr

Penguins can’t fly and humans are causing climate change: how scientists build theories

In the lead up to the release next month of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fifth Assessment Report we are exploring concepts of confidence and certainty in climate science – beginning…

Columnists (3)

The end is nigh – don’t read all about it

The much anticipated latest summary of peer-reviewed climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been delivered. The jury, as they say, is unambiguously in, even…

Research and News (3)