Experts nominated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Russia 4-8 March 2019 to further develop the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). As a lead author of the High Mountains chapter, MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler was among their number.

The  (SROCC) is one of three special reports that the IPCC, the leading body for assessing the science related to climate change, will be releasing over the next year. The report will contain a careful assessment of how the ocean and cryosphere – the areas of the planet in which water is found in its solid state as ice or snow – will be affected by climate change. It will assess what these changes might mean for people around the world and how these changes may challenge a sustainable and equitable future.

MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler, a lead author of the High Mountains chapter of the report, joined the 130 scientists from 37 countries that came together in the city of Kazan this month to work on their respective chapters and the Summary for Policymakers. 

“This report is an important acknowledgement of key Earth systems for ecosystems and humanity, the oceans and the cryosphere, and how these are being affected by processes of climatic change,” said Adler. “For instance, we are already seeing significant changes in mountain regions as a result of our changing climate. These could have serious implications for water and food security, biodiversity, and economic growth going forward.”

“I hope that the work we are doing as part of this IPCC report will contribute towards a better understanding of mountains as unique socio-ecological systems, and support the development of appropriate policies for adaptation and sustainable development,” Adler added.

During the meeting, author teams carefully considered each review comment on the Second Order Draft of the report, which is due to be finalized in September this year. In total, the IPCC received 16,142 comments from 34 governments and 473 experts during the review phase, which finished in January 2019. The Final Draft will be reviewed in the Final Government Distribution phase from 14 June to 9 August 2019. IPCC member governments will then consider the Summary for Policymakers of the SROCC at the 51st Session of the IPCC on 20–23 September, in Monaco. Subject to approval, the report will be launched on 25 September.

“The broad range of expertise among reviewers ensures that the latest knowledge from all relevant scientific disciplines is included in the assessments and key questions of governments are addressed”, said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “We are therefore very grateful for the feedback we received. IPCC member governments from all parts of the world are encouraged to contribute to the final review this summer and support the authors in finalizing the draft report for approval.”

Working Group II Co-Chair Debra Roberts said the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C that became available in October 2018 highlighted how people and natural ecosystems would benefit from limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate takes this story one step further by evaluating how human and natural communities with be affected by the impacts of climate change on two earth systems that touch all of our lives directly or indirectly, the ocean and the frozen areas of the world,” she said. “It also assesses how we can set the course for a more sustainable and equitable future by reducing or better managing this impact.”

For more information, please visit the IPCC website. 


Newsletter subscription