Savusavu marina and Nawi islet, Vanua Levu island, Fiji, South Pacific

IPCC Reports on Climate Change


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world’s top authority on climate science. Here’s what its reports are telling us — and what we can do about it.


What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global body of the United Nations, analyzes the science related to climate change and provides guidance to world leaders as they develop and refine climate policies.

Since issuing its first report in 1990, the IPCC has played a critical role in building scientific consensus on climate change. In 2007, the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize for communicating the dangers of climate change and how to counteract them.


 What is in the IPCC’s reports?

The IPCC issues comprehensive assessment reports every six to seven years to synthesize the latest research on what’s driving climate change, analyze its socio-economic impacts and provide guidance on mitigation strategies. The IPCC does not produce new research, but rather aggregates and summarizes information from thousands of scientific journals.

Hundreds of top scientists from 195 countries contribute to IPCC reports, which are then reviewed by thousands of other experts. The IPCC also distributes technical papers that drill into specific issues related to climate change.


Recent reports

The IPCC is now in its sixth assessment cycle. Reports in this cycle have focused on three main questions: How the climate is changing, what is humanity’s capacity to adapt, and how to avoid the worst consequences. This cycle concluded with a final synthesis report issued in March 2023.

The sixth assessment cycle includes the following reports:


© Flavio Forner

2023: Synthesis Report

March 2023

The final installment in the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle summarizes key findings from the world’s leading climate scientists. It finds that the world is on track to exceed 1.5°C (2.7°F) of planetary warming by the early 2030s. But the report also offers hope in the form of actions that could avert the worst impacts of climate change.

Read our take:


© Justin Kern/Flickr Creative Commons

2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

April 2022

In its latest report, the IPCC provides the most conclusive endorsement yet of nature as a climate solution. It reveals that reducing the destruction of ecosystems, restoring them, and improving the management of working lands, like farms, are among the most effective options for mitigating carbon emissions.

Read our take:


© Giedrius Dagys

2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

February 2022

The IPCC finds that the catastrophic impacts of climate breakdown are mounting quickly and may soon outpace humanity’s ability to adapt. In more than 2,000 pages, this report lays bare the inequities inherent in the climate crisis, stressing that the communities most vulnerable to climate impacts are also the least to blame.

Read our take:


© Heng Wang

2021: The Physical Science Basis

August 2021

Scientists sound a grim alarm on the intensifying effects of climate change, warning that “human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land,” and that even if nations started cutting emissions immediately, global temperatures will almost surely rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — the limit at which runaway climate change will begin to upend life as we know it.

Read our take:


Rough, stormy ocean surface.
© Paul Fleet

2019: The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

September 2019

This report outlines the grave impacts climate change will have on the world’s oceans — and what governments need to do to prevent the collapse of marine ecosystems.

Read our take:


© Robin Moore/iLCP

2019: Climate Change and Land

August 2019

This report warns that the world’s land and water resources are being exploited, putting extreme pressure on the global food system. In stark terms, it that lays out the disastrous environmental impacts of unsustainable agriculture and its potential to exacerbate the effects of climate change.

Read our take:


More analysis