Besides fighting fire about the leaked emails from the UK’s East Anglia University, IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri and other stalwarts revealed progress on the next IPCC report, the Fifth Assessment Report. Work on the new report started in 2008 and it is scheduled to be out in 2014.
There will be several new features, says Thomas Stocker, co-chair of one of the working groups.
There will be a chapter on clouds and aerosols, because there is now sufficient technology available for more accurate measurements of their effects on climate change.
IPCC is also working on a chapter on geoengineering — deliberately altering the earth’s climate system to contain warming. Stocker says it is worth looking at closely. “[These processes] may have side effects. We need to understand them very well.”
The third new chapter will look more closely at melting ice caps and rising sea levels, taking into consideration issues such as release of vast amounts of methane trapped under the northern ice caps, which may be released once the ice melts.
The fifth report will also address the concerns of policymakers in developing countries who are demanding more region-specific information to outline better adaptation strategies for climate change.
Laura García Oviedo, Latin America contributor, SciDev.Net