The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will report in 2018 on the impacts of average global warming limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
The UN body will also produce special reports on climate change and oceans, and on desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and “greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems”.
“These issues are not only highly relevant to policy-makers and our broader audiences,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “They are areas where the IPCC can bring clarity to the growing volumes of scientific research through its assessments.”
Lee cited coral bleaching and sea level rise as examples of the “serious risks” associated with even small temperatures increases beyond today’s levels. But he noted that “there was not much scientific research” on the 1.5° target when the IPCC published its last major assessment in 2014.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum expressed strong support for the IPCC study and offered to “play an active role” in its development.
“The 1.5° limit was the top priority of the 43 nations and one billion climate vulnerable people represented by the CVF for the COP21,” the CVF stated. “However, the science on 1.5° is less robust…A 2018 special report on the topic would draw on substantial new literature and provide a very timely opportunity to assess these highly policy relevant matters.”