Two scientists from CIAT’s research program on Soils and Landscapes for Sustainability have been selected to contribute to upcoming reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Louis Verchot, director of the program, joins experts from 52 countries as a lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. The publication is one of three special reports being produced by the IPCC ahead of the release of its landmark Sixth Assessment Report that will appear in 2022.

CIAT soil specialist, Dr. Ngonidzashe Chirinda, is also serving as a lead author with a team of scientists working on a new methodology report that will refine the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The refined guidelines aim to help countries meet their pledge to the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The IPCC is the organization within the United Nations that is responsible for assessing the science related to climate change.

The assessment reports are widely regarded as the most authoritative summary of the state of knowledge about climate change, its current and potential future impacts, and the possibilities for adapting to change and reducing emissions.

“We have made a lot of progress over the past few years in our understanding of how human activities on land affect climate change and how climate change affects land use,” said Verchot. “This is a good time to take stock of these advances and summarize them so that policymakers can make informed decisions about improving national implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

Chirinda said: “It is an honor to be working with some of the most brilliant scientists from around the world to make sure that country inventories are informed by the latest science. I am already approaching other CGIAR scientists to ensure that our relevant research is considered in refining the guidelines.”

Since 1988, five assessment reports have been published; the last comprised several reports that were released over several months in late 2013 and early 2014. IPCC also produces methodology reports that provide guidance for countries on the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories, which are part of the reporting requirements for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Scientists are now working on the sixth IPCC assessment cycle, during which they will produce three special reports, a methodology report and the Sixth Assessment Report. These will summarize the knowledge on the physical processes of climate change, options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the understanding of climate change impacts and what can be done about them. The cycle began in February 2016 and will be completed by April 2022.

Both the IPCC special report and the updated guidelines on national GHG inventories are due out in 2019.  These reports will provide essential inputs to the assessment reports that will be published at the end of the cycle.

At CIAT, soil scientists have been working on understanding how agricultural best practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how agricultural intensification can support reducing deforestation. Learn more about our “climate-smart soils” and other innovative soil programs here:

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