National Oceanography Centre researchers have contributed to The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has just been published.
The report, entitled Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, presents a synthesis of current climate science research and an assessment of the extent to which the climate changes can be attributed to human activity. It builds on a series of earlier reports on this subject, the most recent of which was published in 2007. These reports are critical for informing the climate policies adopted by governments.
Based on the review and analysis of several thousand published scientific papers, the report has been written and edited by scientists, experts in their field, drawn from 39 countries. More than 10% of these authors are from the UK. Many of them are Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded and include NOC’s Professor Simon Josey (Lead Author for Chapter 3 Observations: Ocean) and Dr Svetlana Jevrejeva (Lead Author for Chapter 13 Sea Level). NOC’s Professor Phil Woodworth was a review editor (individual chapters were released online on Monday 30 September). Contributing authors at NOC included Dr Elizabeth Kent, Dr David Hydes and Dr Simon Holgate.
NERC funds research on the whole earth system that contributes to the evidence base from which IPCC draws its conclusions. Sea level data from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level databank (PSMSL, www.psmsl.org), hosted at NOC, are the primary source of information on long-term global ‘mean sea level’ change used by the IPCC.
The peer-reviewed papers of NERC-funded researchers in HEIs and in NERC’s research centres like NOC and the British Antarctic Survey have made a major contribution to the report in areas such as ocean circulation and ocean warming, climate history, loss of ice from ice sheets and glaciers, climate modelling, sea-ice cover and sea-level rise.
The IPCC report can be found at www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1.