Navigating the IPCC Report

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.  Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program, the IPCC releases a comprehensive report on the state of the climate every 6-7 years.  This consensus report, known as the Assessment Report 5 (AR5), is based on a global review of scientific articles that were published or accepted before April 2013 by a team of more than 830 climate scientists from around the world.

Click here for the report (summary for policymakers)

The IPCC report will be released in three different stages:

Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis – Sept. 27, 2013

Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability – March 2014

Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change – April 2014

Quick Links:

Full Report Report Summary Webinars Science Orgs that Address Climate Change
Graphics Interactive Video & B-Roll IPCC Sample Script




Report Summary

The main findings from this 5th IPCC report are:

  • Scientists are more certain than ever (now up to 95 percent) that climate change is human caused.
  • The average global temperature has risen 1.6 degrees since 1901. 
  • Sea level has risen 7.5” since 1901, and the rate of rise is accelerating.
  • The rates of change attributed to several impacts have accelerated since the last working report (AR4). For example, sea level rise, and the melting of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets has accelerated.  
  • The melt rate of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets was several times faster in the past decade than in the 1990s. The melt rate of glaciers was faster in the past 20 years than it was prior to 1993. This year’s IPCC report (AR5) will likely note these rapidly increasing melt rates.
  • The oceans are absorbing a large amount of the atmosphere’s CO2, interacting with ocean water to create carbonic acid. This has lowered the ocean’s pH level by .1, making the ocean 26 percent more acidic.
  • A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, so heavy precipitation events will continue to increase, while also increasing the contrast between dry and wet regions.
  • If we don’t do anything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures will continue to rise, bringing more extreme weather more often.

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New Releases

Bonus: An animated version
from Skeptical Science

Previous Releases - National

Previous Releases - Local 

To see if the graphic is available in your market, simply click the link below the preview for a full market list. 

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Interactive version here








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Climate Central's New Video Library:

We've identified video clips from our library that you may find useful for covering the IPCC. All material is either in the public domain or from Climate Central. It is free for you to use. 

Sound from IPCC lead author Dr. Claudia Tebaldi is also available. Search for IPCC-Tebaldi1 and IPCC-Tebaldi2
password: climatecentral

  • Animation – Melting Glaciers (NOAA)
  • Beauty – Lens Flare (for heat)
  • Beauty – Waves (for SLR)
  • GA – Coal Pit 2
  • GA – Cooling Tower
  • GA – Downtown Atlanta (traffic and skyline)
  • GA – Power Wires
  • Greenland – Glacial River
  • Greenland – Hills and Ice Sheet
  • Miami – Beach (for SLR, good nat of crashing waves)
  • MT – Mountains (snowpack)
  • Severe Weather – Drought 3
  • Severe Weather – Flood (NOAA)
  • Severe Weather – Tornado 2 (NOAA
  • Severe Weather – Tornado 3 (NOAA)
  • Severe Weather – Wind and Rain
  • WA – Burnt Trees
  • Weather – Rain 2 (extreme precip)
  • Weather – Snow (NOAA)

Extreme Weather: 101 Series

Certain weather events, like heat waves, drought and rainstorms, are becoming more extreme and happening more often. In the series Extreme Weather:101, we hear from a meteorologist and a scientist on how a changing climate may provide conditions ripe for wild and often dangerous weather.














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IPCC Sample Script

You'll find a sample script here. It includes sound from Dr. Claudia Tebaldi.

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The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release their Working Group I report on Friday, September 27. In preparation, this week's Climate Matters - “Navigating the IPCC” - will be coming your way Monday, September 23 instead of the regular Wednesday release.

However, there are a few IPCC offerings that need your RSVP. (

1) Climate Central Webinar

Monday, September 23

An interactive webinar covering the history, findings, and predictions of the IPCC report, with plenty of time for questions.

Watch the webinar: 

2) U.N. Foundation IPCC Briefing

Friday, September 27 9:00-9:30 AM EST 

LIVE online briefing featuring IPCC scientists via satellite from Stockholm

3) Teleconference to discuss IPCC assessment (for media only)

Friday, September 27 at 12:00 PM EST

Four U.S. scientists who helped write and edit the assessment will take part in a teleconference presented by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).


—Linda Mearns, NCAR, Chapter 1 review editor (Introduction)

—Brian Soden, University of Miami, Chapter 2 lead author (Observations: Atmosphere and Surface)

—Gerald Meehl, NCAR, Chapter 11 lead author (Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability)

—Tad Pfeffer, University of Colorado, Chapter 13 lead author (Sea Level Change)

Dial-in Numbers:

Reporters in the U.S. and Canada: 800-916-9049

Reporters outside the United States: 212-231-2932


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Scientific Organizations that Address Climate Change

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