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

Germany will have to boost its national targets and implement appropriate measures, including in the transport sector, if it is to do its part to help keep global warming within 1.5°C, according to a new Climate Analytics study commissioned by the Agora Verkehrswende initiative. It will also have to support the EU in raising its climate ambition.  
“We can clearly see that there’s a massive sea level rise contribution coming from emissions over such a short time frame, just over the Paris period,” says Alexander Nauels, the lead author of the report and a sea level rise expert at Climate Analytics. “But this is risk we can reduce, by all means, if we can, and it seems like we can.”  
Just as an oil tanker steaming ahead at full speed cannot stop immediately, so the dramatic rise in sea levels will continue even if the world manages to slash greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030, experts warned in a study published Monday. Emissions between 2015, when the Paris climate change accord was thrashed out, and 2030 would be enough to raise levels by eight centimeters (3.1 inches) by 2100, according to research by experts based in Germany.  
Europe, North America and parts of Asia can expect not just more intense but also longer lasting periods of heat, drought and rain during summer as the planet warms, worsening impacts on health and agriculture, according to a study led by researchers from Climate Analytics and Humboldt University of Berlin.  
Summer extremes of heat and rain are likely to last longer in Europe, North America and Asia if the world warms by more than 2°C, with serious effects for agriculture and human health. Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense extreme weather events. But how persistent those episodes will be, such as the European summer heatwave in 2018, is not so well understood.  

Publications

Ocean systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change and are already heavily impacted today. This briefing provides an overview of the latest science including from the latest IPCC special reports on key risks for ocean systems including from sea-level rise, ocean acidification and impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems. The analysis underscores the need to limit warming below 1.5°C to limit impacts on ocean systems. It is clearer than ever that exceeding that warming level will fundamentally affect ocean systems and undermine any other attempts to protect them. Limiting warming to 1.5°C remains of paramount importance to safeguard the oceans.  
The commonly agreed metric to aggregate emissions and removals of greenhouse gases under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement is the Global Warming Potential with a 100-year time-horizon (GWP100). Since the Agreement was adopted, new scientific concepts emerged, such as GWP*. This briefing looks at the pitfalls of applying this new metric.  

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 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.  
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.