Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


By Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida, FL


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an international or intergovernmental comprised of member states of the United Nations established in 1988 (IPCC Link) that produces reports on climate change and its effects. The IPCC produces studies and reports required under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC; UNFCC ), which is an international climate change treaty. These reports include section on policies that should be implemented to curtail climate change. In supporting the UNFCCC, the IPCC produces scientific reports that are essential for understanding the effects of human-influence and induced climate change.

The task of the IPCC is not to produce original research on climate change, but rather to assess scientific knowledge on climate change and its effects from published scientific literature. IPCC documents are subject to review by UN member states and are edited on a line-by-line basis by delegates assigned that task by member nations.

Since its inception in 1988, the IPCC has produced five major comprehensive climate change reports in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007 and 2014. Each assessment report (AR) is numbered (e.g., AR1, AR 2, etc.,). All IPCC reports are available here: IPCC Reports. Each report has added to the conclusion that current trends in climate change are significantly driven by human behavior. For additional information related to this conclusion see the Climate Change Consensus entry in this dictionary.

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