IPCC opens meeting to consider ocean and cryosphere report

MONACO, Sept 20 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a meeting on Friday to consider a special report on the ocean and cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet – its third report this year.

Hosted by the Government of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the IPCC session will consider the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which assesses the impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems, consequences for human communities that depend on them, and options for adaptation and climate resilient development. The IPCC is meeting in Monaco from 20 to 23 September 2019.

Last month the IPCC – the world body for assessing the science related to climate change — released another Special Report, Climate Change and Land, and in May it finalized a methodology report – the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is the third product this year.

“This week’s deliberations on the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate marks another major milestone for the IPCC,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.

“The two special reports this year complement last October’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC. Together they constitute the most up-to-date science on climate change as we prepare for the full Sixth Assessment Report,” he said.

The IPCC special reports have transformed public discussions about climate change. The IPCC is considering the new ocean and cryosphere assessment as leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit on 20 September.

The new report, which will be released on 25 September, subject to approval, will provide important scientific inputs into the Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP25) later this year.


For more information contact :

IPCC Press Office, Email : ipcc-media@wmo.int

Jonathan Lynn, +41 22 730 8066 or Werani Zabula, +41 22 730 8120

IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit tsu@ipcc-wg2.awi.de

Maike Nicolai maike.nicolai@ipcc-wg2.awi.de


Notes for Editors

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)

The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) is the third in a series of Special Reports produced in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Cycle. The report was prepared under the joint scientific leadership of the IPCC Working Groups I and II, with support from the Working Group II Technical Support Unit.

The word “cryosphere” – from the Greek kryos, meaning cold or ice – describes the frozen components of the Earth system, including snow, glaciers, ice sheets and ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice, ice on lakes and rivers as well as permafrost and seasonally frozen ground.

The Summary for Policymakers presents the key findings of the Special Report, based on the assessment of the available scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate as well as additional information are available at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srocc .

The report will be released at a live-streamed press conference in Monaco at 11 :00 local time (CEST) on Wednesday 25 September, subject to approval. Details can be found here :



SROCC in numbers

The report was prepared by 104 authors and review editors from 36 countries, 19 of which are developing countries or economies in transition.

31 were women and 73 were men.

6981 publications were referenced in the whole report (Final Draft).

The drafts of the report received 31,176 comments from 80 countries and the EU.


About 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 policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. It has 195 member states. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC assessments are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency.

The IPCC assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to inform policymakers about the state of knowledge on climate change. The IPCC identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences and where further research is needed. It does not conduct its own research.

To produce its reports, the IPCC mobilizes hundreds of scientists. These scientists and officials are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Only a dozen permanent staff work in the IPCC’s Secretariat.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I (the physical science basis of climate change); Working Group II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability); and Working Group III (mitigation of climate change). It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for estimating emissions and removals. All of these are supported by Technical Support Units guiding the production of IPCC assessment reports and other products.

IPCC Assessment Reports consist of contributions from each of the three working groups and a Synthesis Report. Special Reports undertake a shorter assessment of specific cross-disciplinary issues that usually span more than one working group.

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.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was released in October 2018. The Methodology Report 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories was released in May 2019. The Special Report on Climate Change and Land was released on 8 August 2019.

The three Working Group contributions to the AR6 will be finalized in 2021 and the AR6 Synthesis Report will be completed in the first half of 2022.

For more information go to www.ipcc.ch