The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report - Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - on September 27th, 2013. Many scientists from Arctic Council members contributed to this IPCC report, and the findings have informed the Council’s climate change related work, notably in guiding further scientific efforts and in adaptation actions important to Northern communities.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, was released on September 27th, 2013, pointing to “unprecedented” changes in the global environment. The IPCC report notes that multiple lines of evidence support very substantial Arctic warming since the mid-20th century, which is consistent with Arctic Council assessment work. This includes the findings of the Arctic Council’s 2011 Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) report and the 2013 Arctic Ocean Acidification report, both from the Working Group AMAP. The Arctic Council has also been deeply engaged in work on resilience in Arctic ecosystems, while the CAFF Working Group has recommended active support of international efforts to address climate change as a step towards conservation of Arctic biodiversity.  Furthermore the Council’s work on climate change adaptation will benefit from this scientific work.


ARCTIC COUNCIL RESEARCH ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Download the policy-makers’ summary of the 2013 Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment here.

Download the executive summary of “Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic” (2011) here.

Read the policy-makers’ summary of the Arctic Resilience Interim Report here.

Explore the 2013 Arctic Biodiversity Assessment here.


The IPCC Working Group I report was prepared by more than 250 world-leading experts, and scientists from Arctic Council members contributed substantially to this comprehensive assessment. The summary for policymakers reports a number of key findings, including:

- Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

- It is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

- Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent.

- It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and thin and that Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover will decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperatures rise. Global glacier volume will further decrease.

 

Photo: Kristin Nymark Heggland. "Ice Floating".