Today, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its latest report on climate science. The report says it is unequivocal that climate change is occurring and confirms there is at least 95% certainty that human activities are the principal cause.
The JRC has actively contributed to the IPCC Working Group I 5th Assessment Report through its research activities and its participation in projects dealing with climate change assessment and projections.
JRC's Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), a global dataset of past and present greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, has been used for common model analyses of past and future climate change drivers in several chapters of the assessment.
EDGAR uses the latest scientific information and data from international statistics on energy production and consumption, industrial manufacturing, agricultural production, waste treatment/disposal and the burning of biomass, in order to model emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants for all countries of the world in a comparable and consistent manner. EDGAR is unique for the fact that it provides emissions data dating back as far as 1970, 20 years prior to the reference year for the Kyoto protocol, 1990. The trends in global CO2 emissions are published annually and global past and present day anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by country are publicly available through the EDGAR website.
Besides keeping track of worldwide CO2 emissions, the JRC also studies climate change impacts on extreme weather events and economic impacts.
The JRC develops and runs systems to create awareness about extreme weather events and their impacts, and helps the Commission and Member State services to be better prepared for such events by forecasting and monitoring their development. The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) provides flood forecasts to more than 30 national and regional hydrological forecasting centres in Europe as well as to the European Commission’s services dealing with civil protection. The JRC warning systems are expanding to other world regions and will support systems such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) that the JRC runs on behalf of the European Commission and the United Nations.
The JRC also studies expected changes in temperature and precipitation and their consequences on weather events occurrence, based on climate change scenarios and vulnerability study for a range of sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, tourism and health.
PESETA and PESETA II (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on bottom-up Analysis) provided consistent multi-sectorial assessments of climate impacts in Europe based largely on FP6 and FP7 projects, particularly high-resolution climate scenarios for Europe (the FP6 ENSEMBLES project) and biophysical impact modelling capabilities (e.g. the FP7 ClimateCost project), as well as on JRC large biophysical models. The PESETA projects have provided first insights regarding how climate change can impact Europe (both geographically and by sector) and the role adaptation policies can play in reducing impacts.