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

Crikey refers to our analysis of the Morrison government's plan for climate action, which could lead to 3 degrees or more of warming, along with the plans from the other major parties before the Australian elections.  

Publications

This study extends the framework of an existing spatially resolved, annual-scale Earth system model (ESM) emulator (MESMER) by a monthly downscaling module (MESMER-M), thus providing local monthly temperatures from local yearly temperatures. MESMER-M is able to statistically generate ESM-like, large initial-condition ensembles of spatially explicit monthly temperature fields, providing monthly temperature probability distributions which are of critical value to impact assessments.  
This study ascribes the observations in increased Atlantic tropical cyclone activity to variations in atmospheric circulation as well as sea surface temperature (SST) increase. Using a novel weather-pattern-based statistical model, the authors find that the warming trend in the Atlantic has doubled the probability of extremely active tropical cyclone seasons.  
The contributions of single greenhouse gas emitters to country-level climate change are generally not disentangled, despite their relevance for climate policy and litigation. Here, we quantify the contributions of the five largest emitters (China, US, EU-27, India, and Russia) to projected 2030 country-level warming and extreme hot years with respect to pre-industrial climate using an innovative suite of Earth System Model emulators.  
The annual ZERO IN reports by the CONSTRAIN project provide information on scientific topics that are fundamental to the Paris Agreement, as well as background and context on new developments at the science-policy interface. This includes new insights into the complex processes represented in climate models and what they mean for temperature change and other climate impacts over the coming decades. This third report provides additional context and background on the latest IPCC report on the physical science basis of climate change (IPCC AR6 WGI), and addresses important questions around how likely we are to reach 1.5°C of global temperature increase.  
53 countries have signed up to the Global Methane Pledge, committing to cut methane emissions by 30% in 2030 from 2020 levels. In 2019, these countries made up 30% of global methane emissions and around 34% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This analysis quantifies the potential impacts of the pledge if all countries were to adopt it.  

Projects

The Paris Agreement commits all countries to take ambitious steps to guarantee a low carbon future. This requires individual national governments to submit more ambitious emission reduction targets. In support of this urgent need to translate global trajectories to be in line with the Paris Agreement, this project, founded by the IKEA Foundation, shows how a group of countries, across all regions and development spectrum can update their NDCs to be in line with the Paris climate goals.  
The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
The EU-funded project “Constraining uncertainty of multi-decadal climate projections” (CONSTRAIN) will address crucial knowledge gaps in climate science to significantly improve our understanding of how natural and human factors affect multi-decadal regional climate change. The project will deliver improved climate projections of policy relevance for the next 20 to 50 years, contributing to European research on fundamental climate system processes and climate variability.  
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.  
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.