IPCC authors meet to develop ocean and cryosphere report

Around 100 experts from more than 30 countries are meeting in Ecuador to advance the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. The report on the ocean and cryosphere is one of three special reports that the IPCC, the leading body for assessing the science related to climate change, is releasing over the next two years. The cryosphere refers to the areas of the Earth where water is found in its solid state. This includes ice sheets, frozen lakes and rivers, regions covered by snow, glaciers, and frozen soil. IPCC authors are assessing scientific literature about changes in the ocean and the frozen parts of our planet, their effects on ecosystems and humankind and options for adapting to them.

IPCC Vice-Chair Ko Barrett said the report will help policymakers to better understand the changes and the risks to lives and livelihoods that may occur with future climate change. The meeting in Quito, the second of four lead author meetings for the report, will lead to the preparation of the First Order Draft which will be circulated for expert review in May 2018. The report will be finalized in September 2019. Hans-Otto Poertner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II said that glaciers are already retreating in the Andes, with impacts on water supplies for large cities such as Quito.

"Furthermore, the region hosts unique ecosystems with high biodiversity which are now challenged by human-induced climate change on top of other human influences." The report is being prepared by IPCC Working Group I, which assesses the physical science basis of climate change, and Working Group II, which deals with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.

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