Assessment Reports


In accordance with its mandate and as reaffirmed in various decisions by the Panel, the IPCC prepares at regular intervals comprehensive Assessment Reports of scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, potential impacts of climate change and options for mitigation and adaptation. Four Assessment Reports have been completed in 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007. The Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007" is composed of 4 volumes available on the website.


Assessment Reports are normally published in several volumes, one for each of the Working Groups of the IPCC and, subject to the decision by the Panel, a Synthesis Report. Each of the Working Group volumes is composed of individual chapters, an optional Technical Summary and a Summary for Policymakers.  Synthesis Reports synthesize materials contained within the Assessment Reports, eventually integrating them with information coming from the Special Reports as well. They are written in a non-technical style suitable for policymakers. They are composed of a longer report and a Summary for Policymakers.

Special Reports


Special Reports have been prepared on topics such as aviation, regional impacts of climate change, technology transfer, emissions scenarios, land use, land use change and forestry, carbon dioxide capture and storage and on the relationship between safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system. They are subject to the same writing, review and approval process as Assessment Reports.


Technical Papers


Technical Papers are prepared on topics for which an objective international scientific/technical perspective is essential. They are based on material already in the IPCC Assessment Reports and Special Reports and their preparation follows accelerated procedures. The latest Technical Paper is about "Climate Change and Water" and was released in 2008.


Supporting Material


Workshops and Expert Meetings may be held to support the IPCC assessment process, to scope an IPCC Report or to advise the Panel e.g. on whether to prepare a Special Report. The IPCC may also co-sponsor workshops if its activity will be useful to the work of the IPCC.


Proceedings of IPCC workshops and expert meetings are normally published as IPCC supporting material. Supporting material is not subject to formal IPCC review processes. For some IPCC expert meetings or scoping meetings only summary reports are prepared, which can be found under meetings and documentation.