IPCC AR5 WG1 SPM - Introduction

The Working Group I contribution to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) considers new evidence of climate change based on many independent scientific analyses from observations of the climate system, paleoclimate archives, theoretical studies of climate processes and simulations using climate models. It builds upon the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment  Report  (AR4),  and  incorporates  subsequent  new  findings  of  research.  As  a component of the fifth assessment cycle, the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) is an important basis for information on changing weather and climate extremes.

 

This Summary for Policymakers (SPM) follows the structure of the Working Group I report. The narrative is supported by a series of overarching highlighted conclusions which, taken together, provide a concise summary. Main sections are introduced with a brief paragraph in italics which outlines the methodological basis of the assessment.

 

The  degree  of  certainty  in  key  findings  in  this  assessment is  based  on  the  author  teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence (from very low to very high) and, when possible, probabilistically with a quantified likelihood (from exceptionally unlikely to virtually certain). Confidence in the validity of a finding is based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., data, mechanistic understanding, theory, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement1. Probabilistic estimates of quantified measures of uncertainty in a finding are based on statistical analysis of observations or model results, or both, and expert judgment2. Where appropriate, findings are also formulated as statements of fact without using uncertainty qualifiers. (See Chapter 1 and Box TS.1 for more details about the specific language the IPCC uses to communicate uncertainty)

 

The basis for substantive paragraphs in this Summary for Policymakers can be found in the chapter sections of the underlying report and in the Technical Summary. These references are given in curly brackets.

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