From 17 to 28 August, over 250 experts from 50 countries joined 20 virtual meetings to continue preparations for the IPCC Working Group (WG) II contribution to the sixth assessment report (AR6), which includes a Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains. The virtual meetings were convened as a means to continue the report writing momentum despite COVID-19 restrictions, and bring the lead author team together to discuss and coordinate their contributions in the lead-up to the submission of the Second Order Draft (SOD) of the report, due 6 November 2020.

Over 250 scientists and experts in the fields of climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability met virtually from 17 to 28 August 2020 to advance work on the contribution of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).  The aim of the virtual meetings was to ensure coherence across the entire report and to facilitate such coordination across chapters so that all report objectives are met, despite the enormous challenges authors and scientists are facing in the current COVID-19 crisis, according to a press release issued by the IPCC in the lead up to these virtual meetings.

“It's been two hectic weeks of listening, learning, talking and debating about how we use the scientific assessment process to contribute to a safe, equitable and healthy planet for all,” said IPCC WG II Co-Chair Debra Roberts. Alongside her WGII Co-Chair, Hans-Otto Poertner, Roberts thanked all authors and experts who participated in the virtual meetings in August to advance this work, which focuses on important aspects of climate change impacts on ecosystems and humankind, and their adaptation responses. 

A Final Call for Papers on Our Changing Mountains

The IPCC Lead Author Team working on the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains was also actively present at these virtual meetings, and making progress to ensure mountains are addressed across all relevant sections and topics covered in the WGII report for AR6.  Given the revised timeline of the IPCC AR6, this was also an opportunity for the Lead Author team to revise possible gaps in the literature that still persist. 

With this in mind, there is still time for you to contribute to this collective effort and share your recently submitted and/or published papers with the Lead Author team, who rely on review and syntheses publications that address the cross-cutting thematic and sectoral aspects of climate change impacts and adaptation outlined for AR6. Please see this article for more information on the specific topics that need to be covered in the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains, as well as the reference timeframes and spatial scope of reviews sought. For the team to include peer-reviewed papers in the SOD, these need to be submitted to a journal by 1 November 2020. 

Next Steps for the WGII Contribution to AR6

The Second Order Draft of the WG II Report is due on 6 November 2020, and will be open for Government and Expert Review from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021, along with the first drafts of the Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary. A call for expert reviewers will be issued by the IPCC in November, inviting relevant experts and scientists to register for this final opportunity to review and assist the author team in shaping the final draft. Next month, the MRI Coordination Office will also launch registrations for free information webinars to be conducted in December that aim to inform participants about the IPCC reviewer role, including a panel with IPCC Technical Support Unit experts, IPCC WGII Vice Chairs, and IPCC lead authors. Stay tuned! 

The Fourth Lead Author Meeting to prepare the final draft is currently scheduled for March 2021. The agreed outline of the report can be found here. The list of authors of the report can be found here.

The intention is to release the reports of the three Working Groups and the Synthesis Report in time to inform the 2023 Global Stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, including the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

For more information contact:

IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit
Sina Löschke: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Komila Nabiyeva: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IPCC Press Office
Jonathan Lynn: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone +41 22 730 8066.

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 political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.

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.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group I, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.

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.

About the Sixth Assessment Cycle

Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.

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 IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.

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 was launched in October 2018.

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 was launched in August 2019, and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was released in September 2019.

In May 2019 the IPCC released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

The contributions of the three IPCC Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report are currently under preparation. The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.

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Cover image: Jacqueline Schmid

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