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

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.  
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.  
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C sent a message of urgency. The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate re-emphasises it and adds the dimensions of legacy of our actions. It shows how changes in ocean and cryosphere will continue for centuries and millennia even after emissions have seized.  
The impacts of climate change are affecting human societies today. In parallel, socio-economic development has increased the capacity of countries around the global to adapt to those impacts although substantial challenges remain. Countries' effectiveness in fostering climate resilience will depend on the pace of both developments under different socio-economic and emission pathways. In this study we assess trajectories of adaptation readiness in comparison with the continued emergence of hot days as a proxy for climate change hazards for different emission and socio-economic pathways over the 21st century.  
This report presents domestic emissions pathways required to keep to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit for five countries: Viet Nam, Philippines, India, Indonesia and Japan and assesses if current 2030 climate targets are in line with these pathways. Pathways are derived from the pathways assessed in the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C. Key decarbonisation benchmarks for the power sector consistent with 1.5°C emissions pathways are also provided.  

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.  
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.  
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.