IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report Release ValenciaNovember 17, 2007 at 5:05 pm | Posted in AR4, Climate change, Global warming, IPCC, Ki-moon, Pachauri, Reports, Spain, SPM, Synthesis, SYR, TR, UNEP, Valencia, WGI, WGII, WGIII, WMO | 6 Comments
Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched the final part of its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), namely the Synthesis Report (SYR).
Earlier this year the three Working Groups (WGI, WGII and WGIII) each produced a Technical Report (TR) and a Summary for Policymakers (SPM) on their specialist topics. Here’s the flow of documents as they were made available to the public:
SPMI + SPMII + SPMIII + [TRI + TRII + TRIII]+ [SYR + FAQs] = IPCC AR4
- WG1 contributed “The Physical Science Basis” report in February 2007, and its SPM was released as scheduled.
- WG2 contributed “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” report in April 2007, and its SPM was released as scheduled.
- WG3 contributed “Mitigation of Climate Change” report in May 2007, and its SPM was released as scheduled.
- All three Technical Reports were released in May 2007, as scheduled.
- Now the Synthesis Report and FAQs are released in November 2007, as scheduled.
All documents and supporting audio and video files are easily accessible from the IPCC’s Information for the Press page.
It is important to note that the Synthesis Report connects the contributions from all three Working Groups of scientists in the most objective, comprehensible and condensed form possible. It is far from being an exercise in ‘cutting-and-pasting’ from the three SPMs: rather, the synthesis highlights connections for policymakers (and citizens) to enable us to read, mark and learn the situation regarding climate change. It is clear that global co-ordinated action to combat this threat is urgently needed, and we all need to learn what we can do to be the change we want to see.
The media advisory explained the situation clearly to the press. Here’s an excerpt to draw your attention to the design purpose of the Synthesis Report and to emphasise the key role today’s report is expected to play immediately, and in the weeks, months and years ahead:
The science related to climate change is vast and complex, and the IPCC has worked with scientists around the world to collect, assess and process the body of solid and up-to-date scientific literature. All this information is contained in the first three volumes of “Climate Change 2007”. The Synthesis Report goes one step further: it is the decisive effort to integrate and compact this wealth of information into a readable and concise document explicitly targeted to the policymakers.
The Synthesis Report also brings in relevant parts some material contained in the full Working Group Reports over and above what is included in the Summary for Policymakers in these three Reports. It is designed to be a powerful, scientifically authoritative document of high policy relevance, which will be a major contribution to the discussions at the 13th Conference of the Parties in Bali during December 2007. In fact, this Conference was postponed to December to allow the IPCC Synthesis Report to come out first.
Like all the other IPCC reports, this text has undergone a multi-stage review process. The week in Valencia, where delegations from most countries of the world will attend the plenary, will approve the final report. The report will constitute the core source of factual information about climate change to base their political action upon in the coming years. The report will be launched during the press conference on 17 November 2007. The press conference will be webcasted.
We were out all day, so this evening I watched the one-hour press conference webcast and downloaded the Summary for Policymakers of the AR4 Synthesis Report. Like the other SPMs, the SYR SPM is only 23 pages long—just about the right length for any policymaker, including you and me, to study. More on this tomorrow 😉
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