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International / IPCC report - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presents report on climate change

Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka see the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as an unmistakable sign that climate change is advancing. "The IPCC shows the world community that ambitious climate protection is inevitable," emphasized Altmaier after the presentation of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Stockholm today. “Research is the key to understanding climate change. The IPCC report is the world's most important status report on climate research, ”emphasized Wanka. The report now presented is the first part of the fifth IPCC assessment report. Hundreds of scientists worked on it, including 40 researchers from Germany.

On behalf of the United Nations, the IPCC ascertains the current scientific status of climate change in its reports. The results of international climate research undoubtedly confirm that climate change is advancing. Diverse changes are taking place in the entire climate system: Not only is the temperature of the lower atmosphere rising, the oceans are also getting warmer, glaciers are thawing, permafrost soils are warming, ice sheets are losing mass, and sea levels are rising further. It is also confirmed with great certainty that man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed climate change. In order to limit global warming, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced significantly.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier called for more ambition in terms of climate protection: “With decisive action, we can still prevent warming by more than 2 degrees. This is an important message for the international climate protection negotiations. A new, ambitious agreement needs to be negotiated by 2015. The EU must take the lead here. That is why we urgently need to strengthen emissions trading, tighten the EU climate protection target and agree on an ambitious climate protection target for 2030. ”The IPCC results are also of direct importance for national climate policy. “With the energy concept, the federal government has set itself ambitious climate protection goals. The goal of reducing emissions in Germany by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 can be traced back to calculations by the IPCC. With the energy transition, we began the gradual and long-term restructuring of our energy supply systems. In addition to the nuclear phase-out, climate protection is a decisive driver for this conversion. "

Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka said in Berlin: "It is becoming clear that not all questions about climate change have been conclusively answered. We must therefore not let up in our commitment to climate research. Here I continue to see a clear priority in research funding." Since the last IPCC report, the BMBF has invested around 490 million euros in climate research. Wanka emphasized that the new report provides important clues as to where there are still research gaps. "We will now evaluate the report in detail and examine where targeted research funding can put science in a position to provide the answers that are still missing."

Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency, referred to key statements in the report: “The global mean temperature of the lower atmosphere has risen by an average of 0.85 degrees Celsius since the end of the 19th century. Each of the past three decades has been warmer than any previous one since 1850. Many extreme weather events are also showing changes, for example heat waves have occurred more frequently in some regions Period from 1901 to 2010 by about 19 centimeters. Its rise has even accelerated over the past 20 years. Six times as much Greenland ice has melted in the last decade than in the previous 10 years. “Compared to the last report from 2007, the statements in the World Climate Report have become even more reliable and well-founded. They show a great need for action. "

Prof. Dr. Peter Lemke from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, added: “Statements about possible future developments in the climate have become more reliable and reliable on the basis of expanded and improved models. Another unchecked emission of greenhouse gases would lead to significant changes in many parts of the climate system that have not occurred for hundreds to thousands of years. ”These include precipitation, ice and snow, some extreme weather events, rising sea levels and acidification of the oceans. All regions of the world would be affected. Many of the changes in the climate system persisted for centuries, even if no greenhouse gases were released.

The report finds that the global temperature rise in the surface air has been slower in the past 15 years than in the previous decades. However, one cannot conclude from this that global climate change is weakening. Because these are only short-term changes that are mainly due to natural fluctuations and overlay the long-term warming trend. In addition, the melting of the glaciers, the warming of the oceans, the melting of the Arctic sea ice and many other variables are evidence of the further warming of the climate.

The report is the first of 3 volumes of the 5th IPCC assessment report. The second volume deals with the consequences of climate change and questions of adaptation, the third with options for action to avoid further greenhouse gas emissions. Its publication is planned for the end of March and mid-April 2014.

Related Links:

Climate policy: www.bmu.de/themen/klima-energie/klimaschutz/kurzinfo/
Research on climate change: www.bmbf.de/de/8493.php
Climate protection: www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/klima-energie
German IPCC coordination office: www.de-ipcc.de