On Aug. 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its most comprehensive report on the science of climate change since 2013. It will be the first of four reports released under the IPCC’s latest assessment cycle, with subsequent reports coming in 2022.
Over the past eight years, climate scientists have improved the methods they use to measure different aspects of climate and to model (or project) what might happen in the future. They’ve also been monitoring the changes that have developed right before our eyes.
This updated assessment comes three months before world leaders gather in Glasgow, Scotland, to find ways to avoid the worst effects of climate change and renew their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. It also comes amid another year of severe heat waves, droughts, wildfires, flooding and storms.
The report will provide policy-makers with the best possible information regarding the physical science of climate change, which is essential for long-term planning in many sectors, from infrastructure to energy to social welfare. Here are five things to look for in the new report: