Media reports on the draft IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

GENEVA, Feb 5 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that news articles have appeared citing a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

The IPCC recently circulated the Second Order Draft of the report, including a first draft of the Summary for Policymakers, for Expert and Government Review. This review ran from 16 November 2018 to 11 January 2019. Draft reports are provided to reviewers as working documents. They are not intended for public distribution or to be quoted or cited for the following reasons:

  • First, the text can change between the drafts and the final version once the report’s authors have carefully considered every individual review comment from experts and member governments. As with any work in progress, it is important to respect the authors and give them the time and space to finish writing before making the work public.
  • Second, the Second Order Draft is based on scientific literature published or submitted for publication before the start of the review. Newly published scientific evidence can be taken into account in the Final Draft as long as it is has been accepted for publication in a journal by then. Papers submitted for publication and cited in the draft may not be used in the final draft if they have not been accepted for publication by then.

The review process helps the IPCC shape an assessment that is exhaustive, rigorous, objective and transparent. Authors of a report must address each comment received. Drafts of the report are collective works in progress that do not necessarily represent the IPCC’s final assessment of the state of knowledge. According to the IPCC rules and procedures agreed by its member governments, reports are only made available to the public after their Summary for Policymakers has been approved and the underlying report accepted. The IPCC is due to consider the Summary for Policymakers for approval at a Session in September 2019. The IPCC does not comment on draft reports while work is ongoing.

The IPCC is committed to an open, robust and transparent assessment process. In each stage of review, the Working Groups actively seek the collaboration of researchers and practitioners across a broad range of expertise. As with the normal practice of peer review, this process is designed to make the report more accurate, comprehensive and objective.

Journalists or others seeking context or background information can contact Maike Nicolai, Communications Officer, IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, or Jonathan Lynn, Head of Communications, IPCC.

For more information contact:

IPCC Press Office, Email: Twitter: @IPCC_CH
Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066 or Werani Zabula, +41 22 730 8120

IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit:
Maike Nicolai, +49 471 4831 2445, Email:, Twitter: @NicolaiM

Notes for editors

About the SROCC

For the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), more than 100 scientists from more than 30 countries are assessing the latest scientific knowledge about the physical science basis and impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems, and the human communities that depend on them. Their vulnerabilities as well as adaptation capacities are also evaluated. Options for achieving climate-resilient development pathways will be presented. The SROCC is being prepared under the joint scientific leadership of Working Group I and Working Group II, with operational support from the Working Group II Technical Support Unit.

About the IPCC

 The IPCC provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.

The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. The IPCC currently has 195 members. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

An open and transparent review by experts and governments around the world is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment and to reflect a diverse range of views and expertise. Through its assessments, the IPCC identifies the strength of scientific agreement in different areas and indicates where further research is needed. The IPCC does not conduct its own research.

The IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force. Working Group I deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, Working Group II with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and Working Group III with Mitigation of Climate Change. The main objective of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

Alongside the Working Groups and the Task Force, other Task Groups may be established by the Panel for a set time period to consider a specific topic or question. One example is the decision at the 47th Session of the IPCC in Paris in March 2018 to establish a Task Group to improve gender balance and address gender-related issues within the IPCC.

 About the Sixth Assessment Cycle

At its 41st Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). At its 42nd Session in October 2015 it elected a new Bureau that would oversee the work on this report and Special Reports to be produced in the assessment cycle. At its 43rd Session in April 2016, it decided to produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report and AR6.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC was released on 8 October 2018.

The Methodology Report to refine the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories will be delivered in May 2019. Besides the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), the IPCC will finalize a further special report in 2019: Climate Change and Land (SRCCL). The three Working Groups’ contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report will be finalized in 2021. A Synthesis Report will complete the AR6 cycle in early 2022, integrating all the Working Group contributions and the findings of the three special reports.

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