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Bristol scientists contribute to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

Press release issued: 27 September 2013

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I, which assesses the physical scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change, has presented its contribution to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report in Stockholm today.

A number of researchers from the University of Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences have been directly involved in the Working Group 1 report.

Professor Tony Payne is a lead author of the chapter on sea level change, Professor Jonathan Bamber is a review editor for the chapter on the cryosphere (the portions of the Earth’s surface where water is in solid form) and Visiting Fellow Professor Pierre Friedlingstein is a lead author of the chapter entitled Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility.

Professor Andy Ridgwell acted as a coordinating author of the chapter on carbon cycling (including how soils and oceans absorb and emit CO2) and Dr Dan Lunt is a coordinating author of the chapter on past climate change.

Professor Rich Pancost, Director of the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute which carries out research on risks and uncertainty in a changing environment, said: "This latest IPCC report makes important new advances in our understanding of climate: it confirms most findings of the previous report but with much more confidence.  The report focusses on the 'big picture' rather than drilling down to specific, local detail but the clear message is that the world's governments need to work to reduce CO2 emissions."

The accepted Final Draft of the full Working Group I report, comprising the Technical Summary, 14 Chapters and three Annexes, will be released online in unedited form, together with the approved Summary for Policymakers on Monday 30 September.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to hear from some of the University of Bristol scientists involved in the report at an event Reducing scientific uncertainty about climate change to be hosted by the Cabot Institute on Monday 21 October at Watershed.  [Event sold out but you can add your name to the waiting list for returns here]

Professor Tony Payne and Dr Dan Lunt, one of the contributing authors on past climate, will talk about what it's like to work on such an extraordinary document and how the report should be used.  There will be an opportunity to submit questions prior to the event.  

The Cabot Institute

The Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment.  Its interests include natural hazards, food and energy security, resilience and governance, and human impacts on the environment.  Its research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of interconnected social, environmental and engineered systems – past, present and future.  It seeks to engage wider society – listening to, exploring with, and challenging our stakeholders to develop a shared response to twenty-first century challenges.

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