The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed the outlines of two new reports that will help governments understand the impact climate change is having on human activities and nature on land and sea and how human activity in these areas is affecting climate change.
The Panel approved the outlines of the Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, both to be finalized in September 2019.
The decision on the outlines, or tables of contents, which had been drafted by scoping meetings in December and February, clears the way for the IPCC to launch the call for nominations for authors for both reports in early April.
“This outcome combines the best scientific expertise available along with policymakers’ requirements to help advance our knowledge of how climate change affects the oceans and cryosphere. The IPCC looks forward to working with experts from around the world on this important topic that impacts billions of people, from the high mountains and polar regions to the coasts,” said IPCC Vice-Chair Ko Barrett, who chaired the scientific steering committee for the scoping meeting that drafted the outline of the Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
The cryosphere – from the Greek kryos meaning cold or ice – is a word to collectively designate the areas of the Earth where water is found in its solid state. This includes ice sheets, frozen lakes and rivers, regions covered by snow, glaciers, and frozen soil.
“This report will address some of the key issues that countries are grappling with in responding to climate change: how to sustain the ability of our land resources to sustain our societies in the face of a changing climate, and how emissions from the land sector can be reduced without jeopardising other development goals,” said IPCC Vice-Chair Youba Sokona, who chaired the scientific steering committee for the scoping meeting that drafted the outline of the Climate Change and Land. “The report will look in detail at desertification, land degradation and food security, but will also assess options for integrated responses that support sustainable development and respond effectively to climate change,” he said.