Following two weeks of intense negotiations, the third report in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report has been published on Monday 4 April, 2022.

Stock photo

Known as the Working Group III report, the document provides an up-to-date assessment of the scientific knowledge on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Professor Jason Lowe OBE is the Head of Climate Services at the Met Office Hadley Centre. He has also been a reviewing editor on the Working Group III report.

Commenting on its publication today, Prof Lowe said: “The IPCC publishes these series of assessment reports about every six years, with the last in 2013/2014.

“If we are to maximize the chances of limiting warming to 1.5C then it is clear from today’s report that the world needs to reach peak greenhouse gas emissions within the next handful of years. If meaningful action to curb emissions is delayed until the next reporting cycle towards the end of the decade, we may have missed the opportunity to avert some of the most serious climate impacts.”

Dr Andy Wiltshire, Head of Earth System and Mitigation Science, added: “Climate change remains one of the major threats to human wellbeing and security. Rapid reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases remains the only way to reduce this risk.

“The recent set of IPCC reports bring a message of hope, that through climate resilience development combined with protection and regeneration of our environment we can simultaneously mitigate the worst risks, adapt to the inescapable impacts of climate change whilst improving human wellbeing and sustainability. To realise this potential requires urgent action to mitigate emissions and set us on a sustainable path of development.”

Since the publication of the first IPCC report in 1990 – the year the Met Office Hadley Centre opened – Met Office science has been a feature central to the development of the reports.

Professor Jason Lowe concluded: “Met Office science increasingly focuses on making a resilient net zero future a reality. Our expertise can improve the deployment and operation of renewable energy generation. Our ability to simulate the earth system provides tools that can help us better work with the natural system to take up carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases. Our observational datasets can help us monitor progress towards a net zero future, with our inversion-monitoring approach helping to identify emission sources.”