Scientists add to global climate study

University scientists have contributed to a global study that shows human activity is a major cause of climate change.

Their findings were revealed in a summary report for policymakers issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Gabi Hegerl from the School of GeoSciences took part in final negotiations on the report content, in her capacity as a lead author.

Prof Hegerl also gave a presentation as part of a discussion on climate system properties, including climate sensitivity.

Climate predictions

Negotiations among the scientists went on late into the night, and are the culmination of years of hard work.

Professor Gabi HegerlSchool of GeoSciences

Professor Simon Tett was a review editor for chapter 12 of the report.

This role involved reporting on how review comments on the chapter were dealt with and assisting the team of authors by identifying major issues raised by the reviewers of the draft chapters.

Professor Tett and his fellow review editors found that the author team answered well and comprehensively a total of 2359 review comments received.

According to the IPCC, their assessment draws on millions of measurements which permit an unprecedented and unbiased view of the state of the Earth’s system.

Besides assessing the influence of human activity on the climate system, the report looks at projections of future climate change in the near and long term.

Experts from around the world have contributed to the document, which is a comprehensive assessment of the evidence for climate change and its causes.

Further findings

This first part of the report, produced by the IPCC’s Working Group I, deals with the physical science basis of climate change.

Further contributions by IPCC Working Group II dealing with the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability relating to climate change will be finalised in March.

This will be followed by Working Group III’s assessment of the mitigation of climate change, due in April 2014.

The Fifth Assessment Report will be completed by a Synthesis Report in October 2014.

The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction, despite the fact that there remain knowledge gaps and uncertainties in some areas of climate science.

Qin DaheCo-Chair of IPCC Working Group I