The IPCC might be the most used acronym in climate science. The scientists behind the influential IPCC report discuss what it is and why it matters.

By Caitlin Looby, Outrider

When you click on a climate news story, it likely mentions the latest IPCC report. And the synthesis report for the IPCC’s sixth assessment was released on March 20th.

listen to science IPCC report sign at climate rally

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, has been around since 1988 and is composed of 195 member governments.

The goal of the IPCC is to spell out the latest climate science to governments around the world to help them develop climate policies. The IPCC doesn’t do its own research. The authors of the reports instead summarize studies previously published by scientists, providing a very dense “book report” on the latest climate science.

“It’s very powerful to use IPCC findings when communicating about climate change,” said Rachel Licker, a climate scientist with the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and explains that the IPCC provides “the most authoritative report on the state of climate science around the world.”

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