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"Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal"
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system

The Earth system is complex and long-term policy direction can only be based on long-term observations and comprehensive assessments of the best available science.

The Convention 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. 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 (Articles 4.1(g,h) and 5). Further background information >>

Parties regularly report on their national and cooperative research activities and their contributions to climate science, as well as emerging research needs and priorities through their National Communications.

Relevant Events

At SBI 41 (Lima, December 2014), the compilation and synthesis report of the sixth, and latest, Annex I national communications was presented and included information on research and systematic opbservation (FCCC/SBI/2014/INF.20/Add.2).

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

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

The seventh SBSTA Research dialogue will be held during SBSTA 42 1-11 June, 2015.
Tentative date and time: Thursday 4 June 2015, 15:00-18:00

Topics to be considered in the research dialogue include:

Those referred to in SBSTA 40 conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2014/2, paragraphs 56 - 68): 

  • Submissions from Parties and research programmes and organizations (to be submitted by 25 March 2015) on lessons learned and good practices for knowledge and research capacity building, in particular in developing countries;
  • Submissions from Parties on possible topics for onsideration 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);

AND those referred to in regards to cooperation with the IPCC, in the SBSTA 41 conclusions (FCCC/SBSTA/2014/5, paragraphs 26-32) and decision (Decision 12/CP.20,  FCCC/CP/2014/10/Add.2):

  • 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 (in developing countries, especially in Africa, and on emerging issues, such as the links between climate change and desertification), for example at the meeting of the research dialogue at SBSTA 42 (June 2015).

All submissions are available on the UNFCCC website: Partiesobserver organizations;

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

Furthermore, the SBSTA invited the secretariat to report at SBSTA 42 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 and referred to in the SBSTA 40 conclusions, FCCC/SBSTA/2014/2 paragraph 67).                            

SBSTA 43 will consider matters related to systematic observation.


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