Science Assessment
and Analysis

Climate science is highly complex and the policy implications are not always clear. We make the latest climate science easily accessible for stakeholders in the international climate change arena.

 ©Sarah Depper, CC BY 2.0
©Sarah Depper, CC BY 2.0

We synthesise and advance scientific knowledge in the area of climate change science, policy and impacts to make it easily accessible for stakeholders in the international climate change arena. This includes conducting our own research (for example, to evaluate the uncertainties in climate science associated with potential mitigation pathways, project sea-level rise or evaluate impacts and risks at different levels of warming) as well as bringing together and communicating the findings of the available scientific literature and providing the context needed to understand their implications. Projections of future climate change are subject to uncertainty, as they depend on a range of developments that cannot be foreseen (e.g. emission pathways). Also, there remain important limitations in the understanding and the modeling of some key processes of the climate system. Much of our work therefore focused on understanding these key process and the probabilities associated with climate impact projections.

Latest

A research group, including Climate Analytics' Dr Fahad Saeed and Dr Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, has simulated the scenarios of limiting global warming to 2°C versus 1.5°C with global hydrological models. An important result: High flows and flood hazards will increase significantly over an average of 21 percent of global land area if the temperature rises by 2°C. But if the rise in global warming is limited to 1.5°C only 11 percent of global land area would be affected.  
It's a given of climate change that greenhouse gases emitted today will shape the world for future generations. But new research underscores just how long those effects will last. A striking new study published yesterday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that sea-level rise—one of the biggest consequences of global warming—will still be happening 300 years from now, even if humans stop emitting greenhouse gases before the end of the current century.  
Peaking global CO2 emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2°C. A study now published in the journal Nature Communications analyses for the first time the sea level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement.  
The world is far off course from its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions — and research published Tuesday illustrates one of the most striking implications of this. Namely, it finds that for every five years in the present that we continue to put off strong action on climate change, the ocean could rise an additional eight inches by the year 2300 — a dramatic illustration of just how much decisions in the present will affect distant future generations.  
A report prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research and Climate Analytics says that in Bangladesh 40% of productive land will be lost in the southern region by the 2080s due to sea level rise. Bangladesh is already experiencing observable impacts of climate change.  

Publications

International climate policy uses global mean temperature rise limits as proxies for societally acceptable levels of climate change. These limits are informed by risk assessments which draw upon projections of climate impacts under various levels of warming. This article illustrates that indicators used to define limits of warming and those used to track the evolution of the Earth System under climate change are not directly comparable.  
Climate Analytics’ submission to the Talanoa Dialogue summarises the latest scientific findings relating to the 1.5°C limit. It outlines what climate impacts are being experienced around the globe at the current level of warming of around 1°C, such as extreme weather events, more intense tropical cyclones, impacts on oceans systems and health. It also discusses the benefits of the 1.5°C limit in terms of avoided impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities, and what is needed to limit warming to 1.5°C.  
The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has developed novel methods for Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of agriculture and food security in a changing world. The present study aims to perform a proof of concept of the CGRA to demonstrate advantages and challenges of the proposed framework. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'.  

Projects

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete projects.  
The ISIpedia project is an effort to bridge a gap between the modellers from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) studying the global and regional impacts of climate change on natural and human systems, and stakeholders who may need this knowledge to identify appropriate policies. By creating channels of cooperation between modellers and stakeholders, ISIpedia aims at facilitating the co-production and knowledge transfer of climate impact information. The end-product of ISIpedia will be a user-friendly, freely accessible online encyclopaedia for consistent impacts projections across sectors.  
The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
Science and policy to assist and support SIDSs and LDCs to negotiate a strong international climate regime, enabling low carbon development and supporting adaptation needs.  
This project aims to establish a scientifically robust and transparent link between the latest climate-economic science data and the Climate Bonds Initiative’s project universe. The Framework's goal is to ensure that project categories certified under the Climate Bond Standards represent mitigation actions that current climate science finds most relevant in order to keep global warming below 2° C. Project period: 2015 - 2016.  
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