Our Researchers Help Make Sense of New IPCC Report

SEI resources aim to make the new IPCC report more accessible

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the second component of its 5th Assessment Report on the 31st of March 2014. It has been described as ‘the most explicit warning yet on climate change’, finding that the world might be ‘irreversibly changed’. Involving 309 authors, 70 countries and 50492 review comments, it is a landmark document which makes a significant contribution to advancing our understanding of the impacts of climate change and our capacity to adapt.

The Report details that human interference with the climate system is occurring and that climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. Put bluntly, the far reaching implications of climate change will impact our daily lives. Yet for many of us, at 30 chapters long, the report may seem dense and inaccessible. One of the aims of SEI is to engage with the community and society, and this involves making vital texts such as the IPCC report more accessible. Below are a variety of our resources that aim to do just that.


  • Dr. Bill Pritchard is an Associate Professor in Human Geography specialising in agriculture, food and rural places. He is also an executive member of SEI heading up the Food, People and the Planet node. He has used his expertise to unpack the IPCC’s chapter on food security. You can read his blog here.
  • PhD student Luke Craven focuses on migration, food systems, sustainability, and the connections between them. The IPCC report indicates a considerable increase in future migration patterns and Luke considers what happens to those who are left behind when others migrate. You can read his blog here.
  • Steve Doo is a PhD candidate in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney. He focuses on Marine Biology and works on One Tree Island research station in the Great Barrier Reef. The latest IPCC report warns of a dire future for the reef, and Steve considers the impacts of C02 and the role that native sand stars play in combating climate change. You can read his blog here.

Event and Video

SEI and the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL) collaborated on April 1st to present a landmark Sydney Ideas event that brought together the nation’s leading experts to discuss the implications of this publication. Our panel consisted of four speakers, including Professor Lesley Hughes of Australia’s newly formed Climate Council who was a lead author for the UN’s IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports.

Watch the video of our event below.