Contribution to IPCC next report (second order draft) : call for discussion and participation!


Key links


Hey everybody,

I want to ask you through the forum here if anybody here is interested to join review process of the IPCC’s second order draft of their upcoming report (to be published by the end of this year). Or, if you already registered or are part of the authors, even better! We are planning to organise an online Google Hangouts seminar on this, next week Tuesday 20 February, to share insights and comments, exchange and strengthen arguments and get more useful submissions into the review process in an efficient manner. There is a week to read into the documents before the seminar, and after the seminar there are 5 days left before the deadline for submission on 25 February. You are of course welcome to contribute topics or comments as well inside the documents without joining the online seminar.

It is a unique opportunity to get voices and expertise heard from different scientific communities, and as this is the last academic review stage, there might be a good chance that they will be included. Even if it is a small contribution, that matters! Everybody working on climate change related issues can register as a reviewer, and the IPCC specifically asks for a diverse group of (young) scientists to contribute.

In case you’re interested and didn’t go there yet: it is possible to apply for the review process through After applying the IPCC sends you a copy of the chapter pdf’s and excel sheet to comment (some weeks ago it only took 1 day). I’ve created a copy of the contribution excel file through google sheets to share and possibly re-use relevant comments more easily (…/14cYDuWXCXJ8MyN3TObMWJWyGWO…/edit…). After being accepted for the review process, you can request access inside the document (or pm me) and you are welcome to invite other researchers. Also, if somebody knows about similar ongoing initiatives, I would be glad to know as well so we can exchange ideas and insights.

A preliminary agenda is accessible, where you are invited to propose or join (sub-)topics you are working on or interested in. The document is open for everybody to edit, and includes an overview of the IPCC report chapters for easy reference (in the second tab). Depending on the topics we want to discuss and the number of people interested, we could split it up in subgroups or spread it over the day to get more productive sub-sessions, preferably with separate chairs per chapter/topic. Quite a few of the chapters relate to energy systems and decarbonisation of the energy system, so I would assume there are many people here who have meaningful things to contribute… I have also shared this with the industrial ecology community on facebook.

Apart from the very important involvement of climate scientists, it seems useful as well to make sure that the latest research developments on (open) energy system models, input-output, LCA, MFA, stock-flow frameworks or research on the emission trading scheme, carbon leakage policy of the EU, sectoral interdependencies, technological progress and transfer, carbon pricing, etc… is included, to make the bridge from the climate science world to the ‘real world’ and make sure evidence and critical insights and comments are included in this report. In this regard, feel free to share, copy, and invite other people or distribute this in other research communities!

Best regards, hope to see / read you next week for a fruitful exchange!



PS2: Although also included in more detail in the second tab of the agenda sheet (feel free to update if you find missing parts), hereby an overview of the main structure of the report:

  • Chapter 1: Framing and Context (87 p)

    • 1.1: Building a knowledge base for a 1.5° world
    • 1.2: Understanding 1.5°C: reference levels, probability, transience, overshoot, stabilization.
    • 1.3 Multiple dimensions of impacts at 1.5° C and beyond (physical, spatial, temporal, probability, ecosystems, humans)
    • 1.4: 1.5°C in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, with consideration for ethics and equity (equity, poverty, governance, transformation, implementation & policies)
    • 1.5: Assessment frameworks and emerging methodologies that integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation with sustainable development (costs, knowledge, models, methodology , impacts)
    • 1.6: Consideration and communication of confidence, uncertainty and risk (confidence, likelihood)
    • 1.7: Storyline of report
  • Chapter 2: Mitigation pathways compatible with 1.5°C in the context of sustainable development (143 p)

    • 2.1: Introduction to Mitigation Pathways and the Sustainable Development Context (mitigation pathways, usage of scenarios , new scenarios in AR5)

    • 2.2: Geophysical relationships and constraints ( carbon budget computation , remaining carbon budget and uncetainties: methods, role of non-CO2 GHG, geophysical characteristics of mitigation pathways)

    • 2.3: Overview of 1.5° mitigation pathways ("Pathways keeping warming below 1.5° or temporarily overshooting it ", emission evolution, socio-economic drivers, policy assumption , energy system transformation , land transformation, portfolios of measures, vision of carbon neutral system , carbon dioxide removal and sustainability implications of these, implications of near term action)

    • 2.4: Disentangling the whole energy system (characteristics of 1.5° transition, energy supply and pace of change , energy end use: industry, efficiency, electrification, innovative technologies, buildings, transport , land use transitions and agriculture, national pathway literature )

    • 2.5: Challenges, opportunities and co-impacts of transformative mitigation pathways ( policy narratives , limitations of integrated assessment models in examining policy options)

      • 2.1 box: Economics of 1.5 ° pathways and the social cost of carbon ( carbon prices, investments )
    • 2.6: Assessment tools and knowledge gaps (integrated and sector-specific models , geophysical assessment tools, sociotechnical transitions literature , knowlege gaps)

  • Chapter 3: Impacts of 1.5°C global warming on natural and human systems (248 p)

    • 3.1: About the chapter

    • 3.2: How are changes in observed and projected changes in climate and weather at 1.5°C vs higher levels of warming assessed? (assessment, potential impacts)

    • 3.3: Global and regional climate changes and associated hazards (climate, regional temperature on land, regional precipiation, droughts, floods, snow and permafrost, cyclones, ocean circulation, sea ice, sea level)

      • Box 3.2: Sub Saharan Africa
      • Box 3.3: Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East droughts
      • Box 3.4: Paleolongical evidence for understanding 1.5 - 2 ° warmer worlds (ocean chemistry, atmosphere, land, ocean)
      • Box 3.5: Climate tipping points in the climate system
    • 3.4: Observed impacts and projected risks (freshwater, terrestrial, ocean, coastal, food security, human health, urban areas, key economic sectors and services: energy systems , tourism, transportation , water, livelihoods and poverty)

      • Box 3.6: Coral reefs in a 1.5° warmer world
      • Box 3.7: Small island developing states
      • Box 3.8: Cascading and interacting impacts
    • 3.5: Avoided impacts and reduced risks at 1.5 ° compared with 2 ° (aggregated avoided impacts, distribution of impacts, global economic impacts , biome shifts, greenland and west-antarctic ice sheets, thermohaline circulation, role of the southern ocean, regional economic benefit analysis 1.5 vs 2° , summary of benefits associate with paris agreement pledges, reducing hot spots of change for warming, avoiding regional tipping points

    • 3.6: Implications of different mitigation pathways ( gradual vs overshoot , likely patterns of extremes, implications of impacts, land use changes, biophysical feedbacks, solar radiation management, beyond the end of the century impacts )

    • 3.7: Chapter limitations and knowlegde gaps

  • Chapter 4: Strengthening and implementing the global response to the threat of climate change (190 p)

    • 4.1: Accelerating the global response to climate change
    • 4.2: Pathways compatible with 1.5 °: starting points for strenghthening implementation (challenges & opportunities, transitions and rate of change )
    • 4.3: Assessment of current and emerging adaptation and mitigation options ( feasibility of options , energy system transition , land and ecosystem transition, urban and infrastructure , industrial systems , overarching adaption options, short lived pollutants, carbon dioxide removal, solar radiation management)
    • 4.4: Implementing far-reaching and rapid change (enhancing mulit-level governance: institutions and their capacity , international governance , community and local, enhanding institutional capacities, financial institutions, strategies for lifestyle and adaptive behavior, enabling technological innovation , role of the government in technological innovation, technology development and transfer, climate finance )
    • 4.5: Integration and enabling transformation
  • Chapter 5: Sustainable development, poverty eradication, and reducing inequalities (132 p)

    • 5.1: Scope and delineation

    • 5.2: Poverty, Equality and Equity implications of a 1.5° warmer world

    • 5.3: Climate adaptation and sustainable development

    • 5.4: Mitigation and sustainable development (efficiency, behavior, energy and fuel switch , cross-sector response , land based agriculture, temporal and spatial trade-offs , air pollution, food security, lack of energy / energy poverty, water, biodiversity)

    • 5.5: Integrating adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development: challenges and enabling conditions (coheren and integrated institutional governance, participartory process to adress issue of power and injustice, accouting for local circumstances, towards systemic and dynamic approach )

    • 5.6: Sustainable Development Pathways to 1.5 ° (climate resilient pathways, well-being, equity, emerging country and community experiences, green states, low-carbon economies, national planning and partnerships, cities and urban transformation )

      • Box 5.2: low-carbon pathways in oil producing countries
      • Box 5.3: Repulic of Vanuatu National Planning
      • Box 5.4: Alternative Development Pathways and Transnational Movements
      • Box 5.5: Cases of ecosystem- and community-based practices in drylands
      • Cross-chapter box 5.1: Cities and urban transformation
    • 5.7: Synthesis and research gaps

  • Summary for Policy Makers (31 p)

      1. Introduction
      • 1.1: context
      • 1.2: high level statements from this report
      • 1.3: background
      1. Impacts of 1.5° global warming and associated risks (list of statements with associated probabilities)
      1. Emission pathways and policy responses compatible with 1.5° global warming (list of statements)
      1. Strengthening the global response in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty (list of statements, energy system , …)
      • Box SPM 2: Cities and global warming of 1.5° C

        • Box SPM 2.1: Rapid, systemic, transitions in urban areas will be a critical element of an accelerated transition in a 1.5 ° C world
        • Box SPM 2.2: Each additional level of global warming increases risks to urban areas, and future impacts will depend on vulnerabilities (location, infrastructure and levels of poverty) and adaptation capacities
        • Box SPM 2.3: Combining adaptation and mitigation options can increase cost effectiveness, but the potential to scale up remains a challenge


Some guidelines for public online discussion

Florian (@floriand) and I suggest the following guidelines when discussing the contents of the IPCC draft on public online forums (such as this one and the openmod mailing list):

  • content from the draft should not be copied verbatim into postings
  • specific positions or recommendations should not be attributed to the draft


  • generic discussions on specific issues are fine, particularly in relation to the published literature, including that cited in the draft


Press coverage

Not suprisingly, copies of the draft report have found their way to journalists. Here is some of the coverage:

Doyle, Alister (11 January 2018). “Warming set to breach Paris accord’s toughest limit by mid century: draft”. Reuters.

Metz, Bert (18 January 2018). IPCC 1.5°C report: a clarion call for EU action on climate. Brussels, Belgium.