Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Science and the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides the best knowledge on climate change, compiled by thousands of the world’s leading scientists, with summaries approved by all governments. 

The IPCC is organized into three Working Groups. Follow the links below for full Climate Centre coverage on their reports, including links to the IPCC material itself.

Working Group I covers the physical science of climate change: what’s happening in the atmosphere and oceans, ice sheets and glaciers.

Working Group II on impacts and adaptation covers the changing risks to people and ecosystems and how can we deal with these changes – generally regarded as the most relevant of the three for the humanitarian community and the most important for the Red Cross Red Crescent.

Working Group III centres on how to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

In 2012 the IPCC also released its Special report on the risks of extreme events and disasters, known as SREX. 

The UK-based Climate and Development Knowledge Network, a Climate Centre partner organization, produced 
four regional reports distilling AR5's key messages, for Africa, South Asia, Small Island Staes and Latin America, as well as a media toolkit.

We are currently in the 6th Assessment Cycle of the IPCC. There have been several special reports issued as part of this cycle.

First, the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (SR15) was released in October 2018, and it highlighted the increasing risks with increasing amounts of climate change. Later that year, the Climate Centre jointly organized a historic 'Climate Science and Humanitarian Dialogue' to discuss the results.

Second, the Special Report on Climate Change and Land was released in August 2019, assessing the increase in risks to land-based systems, such as food systems.

Third, the Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere was released in September 2019. The Climate Centre released a Cartoon Summary of the report.

Currently, the IPCC is working on its 6th Assessment Report, and the Climate Centre convened a 'pre-scoping' meeting to offer humanitarian and practitioner perspectives on the most policy-relevant questions to be addressed. Three members of the Climate Centre are serving as authors.