IPCC reasons for concern regarding climate change risks

Brian C. O'Neill, Michael Oppenheimer, Rachel Warren, Stephane Hallegatte, Robert E. Kopp, Hans O. Pörtner, Robert Scholes, Joern Birkmann, Wendy Foden, Rachel Licker, Katharine J. MacH, Phillippe Marbaix, Michael D. Mastrandrea, Jeff Price, Kiyoshi Takahashi, Jean Pascal Van Ypersele, Gary Yohe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reasons for concern framework communicates scientific understanding about risks in relation to varying levels of climate change. The framework, now a cornerstone of the IPCC assessments, aggregates global risks into five categories as a function of global mean temperature change. We review the framework's conceptual basis and the risk judgments made in the most recent IPCC report, confirming those judgments in most cases in the light of more recent literature and identifying their limitations. We point to extensions of the framework that offer complementary climate change metrics to global mean temperature change and better account for possible changes in social and ecological system vulnerability. Further research should systematically evaluate risks under alternative scenarios of future climatic and societal conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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    O'Neill, B. C., Oppenheimer, M., Warren, R., Hallegatte, S., Kopp, R. E., Pörtner, H. O., Scholes, R., Birkmann, J., Foden, W., Licker, R., MacH, K. J., Marbaix, P., Mastrandrea, M. D., Price, J., Takahashi, K., Van Ypersele, J. P., & Yohe, G. (2017). IPCC reasons for concern regarding climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 7(1), 28-37. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3179