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October 2013

PNNL Scientists Contribute to International Climate Change Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from Working Group I  called "Climate Change 2013: The physical science basis." At over 2000 pages and five years in the making, the report represents the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment ever produced on the causes and physical consequences of climate change. Two additional working groups, which focus on climate change impacts and responses, will release their reports early next year, followed by a synthesis volume.

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have contributed to every major IPCC assessment since the organization was established in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, and scientists from PNNL's Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division are currently contributing to all three working groups of the AR5. Phil Rasch, Jae Edmonds, and Steven Smith are serving as lead authors and Leon Clarke as a coordinating lead author; Richard Moss as review editor; and Kate Calvin, James Dooley, Steve Ghan, Ben Kravitz, Ruby Leung, and Yun Qian as contributing authors. Scientists Kathy HibbardChuck Long and Jim Mather contributed to other supporting efforts and reviews for the IPCC reports. In 2007, more than 20 PNNL researchers contributed to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, which shared the Nobel Peace prize with Al Gore.

Participation in regional, national and international assessment activities is essential for ensuring that the scientific insights being developed at PNNL and other institutions are made accessible to policymakers at all levels of government. In addition to the IPCC, for example, PNNL staff are contributing in multiple ways to the U.S. National Climate Assessment, which is also expected to be released early next year, and have participated in a number of climate-related reports from the U.S. National Academies. The breadth and depth of PNNL involvement in these and other assessment activities is also a reflection of the overall quality, diversity, and impact of the laboratory's research programs.

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