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IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report Released

On Sunday, November 2nd, the IPCC released the Synthesis Report that brings together the findings of the three working groups contributing to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). This Synthesis Report repeats with greater certainty findings that have figured prominently in earlier IPCC assessments, that the Earth's climate is warming "unequivocally," that the human influence in this process is "clear" and that the changing climate is very likely to bring impacts: "[w]ithout additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally."

As with previous reports, it covers a large number of topics, discussing how the Earth's climate has changed in the past and is changing in the present, the attribution of changes to various parts of the climate system to human and natural influences, what projected changes in climate might look like, the impacts of these changes, and some of the avenues of response that we have. To cover this vast amount of ground, it discusses, at a high level, subjects ranging from observations of various parts of the climate system and climate modelling to the limits of economic assessments, the different pathways of greenhouse gas emissions considered, adaptation response strategies and methods of mitigation that include everything from from taxing greenhouse gas emissions to removing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere. Some topics, such as geoengineering, are treated for the first time.

Read the Synthesis Report on the IPCC's website.