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Bristol has lead author in latest IPCC report on 1.5 degrees of warming

Image on the front of the latest IPCC report Edited from

Press release issued: 9 October 2018

To produce its reports, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mobilizes hundreds of scientists and University of Bristol Professor Tony Payne has been a lead author on the Impacts chapter in the latest report published on Monday 8 October.

This Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC , known as SR15, has been prepared in response to an invitation from the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, when they reached the Paris Agreement, and will inform the Talanoa Dialogue at the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24). The Talanoa Dialogue will take stock of the collective efforts of Parties in relation to progress towards the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement, and will inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions.

Cabot Institute member Professor Tony Payne (Geographical Sciences) whose work primarily focusses on the impacts of 1.5C global warming on natural and human systems, is a member of the University’s Cabot Institute for the Environment. He will be joining other Institute colleagues on Monday 15 October to talk about the latest report at the Institute’s prestigious Annual Lecture, this year supported by the government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of Green Great Britain Week.

As a Lead Author of the report Tony was in Korea defending the science. The Summary for Policy Makers of the Special Report on 1.5 degrees is gone through line by line with representatives from all governments to get final “adoption" of the summary, and “approval" of the report as a whole.  The report looked at the different impacts of climate change at 1.5 degrees compared to 2 degrees,  how that might be achieved through climate mitigation, and what the implications are for sustainable development.  The report assessed over 6000 science publications, some of which were authored by Bristol University staff including many from Geography.

This was probably one of the most high profile and controversial reports, and several countries fought hard in Korea to water down the messages, while many small island states pushed for their voice to be heard. With many late nights and a final 30 hours non-stop session, in the end the science won out.

IPCC interview on the BBC

Watch a BBC interview with Dr Jo House, Cabot Institute co-lead for the Environmental Change research theme about the IPCC report.  Jo is also an IPCC lead author on three ongoing IPCC reports including the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, and the 6th Assessment Report.  Jo will be speaking with Tony Payne at the Cabot Institute's Annual Lecture.

Watch the BBC interview.

Further information

The full title of the IPCC report is Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.  Read the report.

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