IPCC to Prepare Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters

23 April 2009: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will prepare a Special Report on managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation, to be released during the second half of 2011. This decision was taken by the IPCC at its recent 30th session, which convened from 21-23 April 2009, in Antalya, Turkey.

In the words of IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri, “In its Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC had found that climate change was being manifested in the nature of changed frequency, intensity and length of many extreme events, such as floods, droughts, storms and extreme temperatures. This Special Report will generate knowledge on these extreme events and their characteristics, whereby the global community can prepare more effectively for adapting to future risks posed by the hazards that these occurrences will present. Communities at the local level and national governments can deal with such extreme events by adopting a range of disaster risk reduction strategies, and prevent some of the worst humanitarian consequences that they are projected to give rise to.”

The Special Report was proposed at IPCC29 by the Government of Norway, with the involvement of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). A meeting of more than 100 experts from 51 countries took place in March 2009 to advise the Panel on whether to develop a Special Report. The expert meeting provided an outline that was adopted by IPCC30. Key main topics to be assessed will be the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme events, vulnerability, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. [IPCC press release] [Scoping paper for the special report]