IPCC Involvement

IPCC chapter authors
Michael Oppenheimer (second from right) with the chapter team at the approval session for the IPCC Special Reports on Oceans, Cryosphere, and Climate Change in Monaco.
Michael Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body operating under the United Nations auspices that provides scientific assessments on the risk of human-induced climate change, its environmental, social, and economic impacts and risks, and possible responses. Oppenheimer was part of the group of IPCC experts whose accomplishments were recognized by award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 alongside Al Gore. Recently he served as a Coordinating Lead Author of chapter 4 of the Special Report on Oceans and Cryopshere in a Changing Climate (2017-2019). Oppenheimer is currently serving as a Review Editor for a forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC (2018-2021). 


In addition to participating in IPCC assessments, Oppenheimer also studies the process of scientific learning and scientific assessments and their role in understanding problems of global change. He has written numerous scholarly articles about the IPCC's approach to scientific assessment, consensus, communication of risk, and its institutional framework. In 2019, he co-authored Discerning Experts: The Practice of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy, which reports the results of the first phase of an ongoing ethnographic study of many assessments, including direct observation of parts of IPCC author meetings.


Selection of IPCC Report Contributions

Reports available from the IPCC archive.

 

  • 1990 Climate Change: the IPCC Scientific Assessment. First Assessment Report, Working Group II, Chapter 5 [Contributing Author]
  • 1996 Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chapter 8, “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes" and Technical Summary [Contributing Author]
  • Climate Change 2001: The Science of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Technical Summary [Lead Author] and Summary for Policymakers [Drafting Team]
  • Technical Summary. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Lead Author]
  • 2012: Climate change: new dimensions in disaster risk, exposure, vulnerability, and resilience. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [Coordinating Lead Author]
  • 2014: Emergent risks and key vulnerabilities. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [Coordinating Lead Author]
  • 2019: Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. [Coordinating Lead Author]

 

Media Coverage of the Special Report of Oceans, Cryosphere and Climate Change (September 2019)

The oceans are taking a beating under climate change, U.N. report warns
Los Angeles Times, September 25th, 2019
Michael Oppenheimer comments

New U.N. climate report: Massive change already here for the world's oceans and frozen regions
The Washington Post, September 25, 2019
Michael Oppenheimer comments

The World's Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns
The New York Times, September 25, 2019
Michael Oppenheimer comments

New climate report: Oceans rising faster, ice melting more
ABC News 57 September 25th 2019
Michael Oppenheimer comments

Venice is Drowning
60 Minutes, January 12, 2020
Interview with Michael Oppenheimer (segment from 2:00 to 14:20)

 

IPCC podium as authors discuss report approval