IPCC authors meet in Ecuador to develop ocean and cryosphere report

QUITO, Ecuador, Feb 8 – Experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet in Quito, Ecuador, on 12-16 February 2018 to advance preparations of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

The Second Lead Author Meeting of the report will bring together around 100 experts from more than 30 countries, and is hosted by the Government of Ecuador.

The report on the ocean and cryosphere is one of three special reports that the IPCC, the leading body for assessing the science related to climate change, is releasing over the next two years.

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.

“IPCC authors are assessing scientific literature about changes in the ocean and the frozen parts of our planet, their effects on ecosystems and humankind and options for adapting to them,” said IPCC Vice-Chair Ko Barrett. “This report will help policymakers better understand the changes we are seeing and the risks to lives and livelihoods that may occur with future climate change.”

The meeting in Quito, the second of four lead author meetings for the report, will lead to the preparation of the First Order Draft which will be circulated for expert review in May 2018. The report will be finalized in September 2019.

“The ocean and the cryosphere play essential roles in the climate system and the ecosystem services that humankind depends on,” said Hans-Otto Poertner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “Scientists are also trying to understand how the frozen and liquid water bodies of our planet interact, and how sea level will change and affect coastlines and cities.”

Mr Poertner noted that glaciers are already retreating in the Andes, with impacts on water supplies for large cities such as Quito. “Furthermore, the region hosts unique ecosystems with high biodiversity which are now challenged by human-induced climate change on top of other human influences.”

The report is being prepared by IPCC Working Group I, which assesses the physical science basis of climate change, and Working Group II, which deals with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.

Media dialogue and outreach event

Tarsicio Granizo Tamayo, Minister of the Environment of Ecuador, and Maria Victoria Chiriboga, Undersecretary of Climate Change, as well as IPCC co-chairs will address the opening ceremony of the meeting, at 09:00-10:00 on Monday 12 February at the Hilton Colon Quito. Media are invited to the opening ceremony and a media dialogue preceding it at 08:00-08:30.

A public event presenting the work of the IPCC will take place on 16 February at 18:30, hosted by the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar.

For more information about the media dialogue and interviews go to:

For more information about the public outreach event on 16 February go to:

For more information, contact:
Nina Peeva
IPCC Information and Communications Specialist
E-Mail: ipcc-media@wmo.int
Office phone: +41 22 730 8142

Maike Nicolai
IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit
Communications Officer
Email: maike.nicolai@ipcc-wg2.awi.de
Office phone: +49 471 4831 2445

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Notes for editors
What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states.

Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014. The next comprehensive assessment is due to be completed in 2022. The IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.

In addition to the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, the IPCC is preparing two other special reports during this assessment cycle:

  • Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, to be finalized in October 2018; 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, to be completed in September 2019.

The IPCC also prepares methodologies to enable countries to report their emissions and removals of greenhouse gases. It is currently updating the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, for completion in May 2019.

For more information, including links to the IPCC reports, go to: www.ipcc.ch