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The need for a better understanding of the global climate system and its variability and change are addressed in the Convention, which calls on Parties to promote and cooperate in research and systematic observation of the climate system, including through exchange of information and supporting international programmes, networks and organizations (Articles 4.1(g,h) and Article 5). Parties are also called upon to cooperate in improving the capacities of developing countries so that they can participate in research and systematic observation activities.

Climate change research focuses on a wide range of topics such as earth sciences, climate processes and system, climate variability, climate modelling and prediction, including extreme events; climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, including adaptation, and climate change mitigation. It also covers a broad spectrum of sectors, society, economies and ecosystems, as well as cross-cutting and interdisciplinary research. more >>

Parties, through their National Communications, regularly report on their national and cooperative research activities and their contributions to climate science, as well as emerging research needs and priorities. The compilation and synthesis report of the sixth, and latest, Annex I national communications was presented to the SBI 41 (Lima, December 2014). This includes FCCC/SBI/2014/INF.20/Add.2 - Vulnerability and adaptation; research and systematic observation; and education, training and public awareness

Relevant Events

Forty-first Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-41) 24-27 February 2015, Nairobi, Kenya more>>

Outlook to SBSTA 42

See below


Resources on climate change research and systematic observation related information from external organizations, including IPCC and other relevant programmes
Calendar of upcoming worldwide climate change science and research related events from external organizations, including on issues of systematic observation

Outlook to SBSTA 42

Following the conclusions of SBSTA 40 (FCCC/SBSTA/2014/2, paragraphs 56 - 68): 

  • Parties and research programmes and organizations were invited to submit to the secretariat, by 25 March 2015, their views on lessons learned and good practices for knowledge and research capacity building, in particular in developing countries;
  • Parties were invited to submit views on possible topics for consideration as part of the research dialogue, taking into account the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5);
  • Information from both sets of submissions would be considered as topics for the next research dialogue. 
  • All submissions are available on the UNFCCC website: Partiesobserver organizations;
  • The SBSTA invited the secretariat to report on progress made in regards to the availability and visibility of scientific information relevant to the Convention (as contained in the report FCCC/SBSTA/2014/INF.5).

In regards to cooperation with the IPCC: Following the conclusions of SBSTA 41 (FCCC/SBSTA/2014/L.27/Add.1) in regards to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and relevant decision on this matter (Decision 12/CP.20, FCCC/SBSTA/2014/L.2):

  • The SBSTA recognized that the IPCC AR5 continue to be considered in depth by Parties to the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, so that all relevant agenda items are informed by the findings of the AR5;.
  • The SBSTA requested that the secretariat, under the guidance of the Chair of the SBSTA, be prepared to invite the IPCC, in response to any request made by Parties, to inform its consideration of relevant agenda items, in particular through focused briefings on relevant information from the AR5 and other IPCC reports; 
  • The SBSTA noted that the AR5 identified some information gaps, including in developing countries, especially in Africa, and on emerging issues, such as the links between climate change and desertification;
  • The SBSTA invited the IPCC and relevant international and regional research organizations to inform Parties about efforts undertaken to address the information gaps identified in the AR5, including as referred to in paragraph 4 above, for example at the meeting of the research dialogue at SBSTA 42 (June 2015).

The seventh SBSTA Research dialogue will be held during SBSTA 42, 1-11 June 2015, date and location tbd.

SBSTA 42 will also consider the need for a workshop in regards to the themes from the research dialogue.


SBSTA 43 will consider matters related to systematic observation.


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