Understanding the 5th U.N. Climate Change Report

Under a white tent, scientist in suit stands in front of television camera, with onlookers.

Visitors put their questions to Climate scientists in the Met Office TV Studio, Manchester British Energy Challenge Exhibition, September 2013. Photos by Jason Broadhurst at JPB Studios Ltd.

Just one month ago, another alarming report emerged from the climate change scientists at the United Nations. It’s the fifth such report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and they only come out once every six years. In fact, the report is so large that we have only received the first of three sections. Working Group 1 released its report first, verifying the scientific basis of climate change.

This topic alone is so deep that it took the group more than three years of work, involving more than 800 authors, and incorporating over 9200 scientific publications. It’s work well worth the effort, as the IPCC is tasked with providing the proof that governments need to justify taking action on climate change.

Despite—or perhaps because of the report’s importance—its emergence has caused a furour in the media. All of which leaves those of us who simply want to understand what the IPCC is saying feeling lost. So this week, Terra Informa decided to devote the whole show to understanding the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (WG1 AR5).

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Today’s Guests

Jessica Kozlowski and Dimitri Kits are microbial physiologists at the University of Alberta. For their doctoral research, they are studying how microbial metabolisms affect the flux of greenhouse gas emissions—specifically organisms that consume methane and produce nitrous oxide. They’ll be guiding us through the report and answering questions you might have about climate science.

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