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.

Publications

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) models are used to evaluate the technological and economic feasibility of climate goals such as the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal to hold global warming well below 2˚C and pursue efforts to limit this warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial. The results of these models are assessed in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, and play a central role in the IPCC Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C” (SR1.5). This briefing sets out some of the important context and caveats in relation to understanding IAMs and their results, particularly in relation to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.  
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.  
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

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.  
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.