UW News

April 25, 2018

UW faculty selected as authors, editors of international report on climate change

UW News

Mug shots of Kyle Armour, Richard Feely, Kristie Ebi and Jeremy Hess

Kyle Armour, Richard Feely, Kristie Ebi and Jeremy Hess were selected to contribute to the upcoming IPCC assessment report.

About twice each decade, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, looks at what is known about the science of climate change, the extent to which human activities are changing the Earth’s climate, and what risks these changes pose to human and natural systems. Organized into three working groups, each assessment is a years-long international effort that lays out the current understanding, projections for change over this century and options to manage the challenges ahead.

The most recent IPCC report, released in 2013, included contributions from several University of Washington faculty members. Several UW faculty members also contributed to the fourth IPCC report, which in 2007 shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now four members of the UW community will be among the sixth assessment’s expert authors and review editors, announced in April by the Geneva-based organization. The document is expected to be completed in three years, and a synthesized version will be available in early 2022.

Kyle Armour, assistant professor of Oceanography and of Atmospheric Sciences, is a lead author for Working Group 1, which assesses the physical science basis for a changing climate. He will work on the chapter for “Earth’s energy budget, climate feedbacks, and climate sensitivity.”

Richard Feely, a scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and an affiliate faculty member in Oceanography, is also a review editor for Working Group 1, contributing to the chapter focused on carbon and other biogeochemical cycles.

Kristie Ebi, a professor of Global Health and of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, is a review editor for Working Group II, which focuses on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Ebi will review the chapter on the “point of departure and key concepts” for the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Jeremy Hess, an associate professor of Emergency Medicine, of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and of Global Health, is a lead author in that same working group. He will be a lead author for chapter 7, looking at “health, wellbeing and the changing structure of communities.”

More than 720 experts from 90 countries were selected as either coordinating lead authors, lead authors or review editors. They were chosen from 2,858 experts representing 105 countries.

“The Sixth Assessment Report will update our knowledge on climate change, its impacts and risks, and possible response options,” IPCC chair Hoesung Lee said in a statement. “These author teams, drawn from the hundreds of excellent nominations the IPCC was fortunate to receive, provide us with the necessary expertise across a range of disciplines to conduct the assessment.”