IPCC report on climate change

17 August 2021

Article: 55/3306

The United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published the first part of its sixth assessment report (AR6), summarising the physical science basis for climate change, and bringing together the findings from more than 14,000 peer-reviewed studies.

In key findings from the report: 

  • Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. 
  • The global surface temperature was 1.09C higher between 2011 and 2020 than between 1850 and 1900, with larger increases over land than over oceans. 
  • The past five-years have been the hottest on record since 1850. 
  • The global mean sea level increased by 0.2m between 1901 and 2018. 
  • Human influence is very likely the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s. 
  • It is virtually certain that hot extremes, including heatwaves, have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe.

The report also details possible climate futures, climate information for risk assessment and regional adaptation, and a discussion around limiting future climate change.