Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Co-Chairing the IPCC Science Process

Valérie Masson-Delmotte (CCYP)

Photo by: Chris Chang-Yen Phillips

This week on Terra Informa, Chris Chang-yen Phillips brings you an interview with Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who is the Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Working Group I. This Working Group is one of three that inform the United Nations and its member countries and deals with the physical science basis of climate change.

We also have some headlines for you about bike-sharing [Link] and some urban agriculture projects in Edmonton [Link 1][Link 2]!

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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.

Independent Media and the Implications of Climate Change to Global Health

Terra Informa brings you an exciting lineup beginning with an interview with renowned journalist Amy Goodman on the role of independent media in environmental reporting. Next up we talk to Dr. Graham McAll in the United Kingdom on why climate change is the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century. Tune in to find out more!

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Amy Goodman, award winning journalist and host of Democracy Now!, addresses the 2010 Chicago Green Festival. ChrisEaves via

Amy Goodman: Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist and investigative reporter. She also co-hosts the independent global news program on community media called Democracy Now! with Juan Gonzalez which is based in New York and played on over 900 radio and television stations internationally. She has also written four books. A common theme in Goodman’s writing is the importance of what she calls the ‘independent media’. By way of demonstration, her program refuses all government funding and commercial advertising. Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry caught up with Goodman to find out just what such media independence means for environmental reporting.

Climate Change and Global Health: In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published work on likely threats to health from climate change, and in 2009 one of the United Kingdom’s leading medical journals, The Lancet, published a detailed report which described climate change as the greatest threat to human health of the 21st century. Dr. Graham McAll, a retired inner city General Practitioner and Surgeon in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, speaks to the often overlooked significant consequences of climate change to global health. Dr. McAll took a one year sabbatical to spend some time with A Rocha, the organization of Christians in Conservation, in both Malaysia and Singapore. His aim was to help develop awareness of climate and health issues amongst medics as well as getting signatories for the Climate and Health petition prior to the Copenhagen summit in 2009.

If you are in the health field, Dr. McAll also recently published a book called “At a Given Moment” (2011) which demonstrates the importance of understanding a patient’s worldview and spiritual background.


Polar bears under SARA: Canada is home to 15,000 polar bears, about two thirds of the world’s population, and now this vulnerable species will be protected under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. On November 9th, the iconic bear was officially listed as a species of special concern, a rank two levels below endangered. This listing comes hot on the heels of reports that shrinking sea ice is the main threat to polar bear survival.

More on this story: Gazette, Newswire, CBC (1), CBC (2)

Nature Conservancy of Canada gains land for conservation: The Nature Conservancy of Canada has acquired some important new properties along a land bridge connecting Nova Scotia to New Brunswick. This corridor represents the only route for terrestrial wildlife moving in or out of Nova Scotia and protecting it is critical to preserving the natural dispersal of plants and wildlife.

More on this story: Newswire, Environment Canada, Nature Conservancy

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency reviews Prosperity Mine: Last week, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency agreed to carry out a second review of the proposed Prosperity Mine, a massive gold and copper mine southwest of William’s Lake in British Columbia. The region is home to one of the largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits in Canada. This represents the first time that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has agreed to review a proposal that was previously rejected by a federal review panel, even with modification prior to resubmission.

More on this story: CTV, UBC, The Globe and Mail, BC Local News

Keystone XL pipeline delayed: The White House has announced the US State Department will delay giving a permit to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline until at least 2013. The pipeline is proposed to carry oil south from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in Texas. President Barack Obama said further review is needed to consider the environmental impacts of the pipeline’s planned corridor.

More on this story: CBC, The Guardian, PBS News Hour

CFIA says BC salmon are safe: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says new tests on BC sockeye salmon showed no signs of a deadly virus detected by researchers in October. Scientists with BC’s Simon Fraser University had announced they’d found infectious salmon enemia – or ISA – in tests on wild Pacific salmon samples. But Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinaian with the CFIA, said government researchers’ analysis of those samples showed no signs of the virus.

More on this story: Seattle Times, The Vancouver Sun