What is the IPCC ?

The news, recently, has been filled with articles about the latest report from the IPCC.  But what, you may ask, is the IPCC?

Formed by the United Nations in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assesses our planet’s changing climate and its impacts on society.  It consists of three working groups that publish massive in-depth reports every six to seven years.  Working Group I examines the physical science of climate change. Working Group II considers the impacts to and vulnerability of human and natural systems facing climate change.  It also assesses the potential for adaptation. Working Group III deals with mitigation. When put together, they form the scientific basis for all U.N. negotiations on global climate treaties.

Authored by hundreds of scientists from around the world, the IPCC reports summarize the latest peer-reviewed science on climate change. Before they are published, the wording of the reports must be approved by delegations from participating national governments – usually well over one hundred.

The IPCC is considered the global authority on the subject of climate change. In 2007, along with former US Vice-President, Al Gore, the group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for calling attention to the climate crisis.