Contribution to the IPCC AR6 by ECRs

The YESS Community, along with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), the Past Global Changes Early-Career Network (PAGES-ECN) and the Permafrost Young Research Network (PYRN) successfully organized the group review of the Second Order Draft (SOD) of Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6) by early career scientists.

The IPCC expert review period took place from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021. The organizing team of this group review was composed of 50 team members, whose dedication and hard work made this group review possible despite the tight deadlines and the challenges of the pandemic. A total of 186 reviewers, including some of the organizers of the review, provided comments on sections of the report. As a result of this group effort, 2420 comments were submitted to the IPCC.

In total, 39 YESS members participated as reviewers, chairs or lead chairs of this project.

The comments pertained mainly to the chapters that were of most interest for the participants of the review: 

  • Chapter 2: Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their services
  • Chapter 3: Ocean and coastal ecosystems and their services
  • Chapter 4:  Water
  • Chapter 8:  Poverty, livelihoods and sustainable development
  • Chapter 16: Key risks across sectors and regions
  • Chapter 17: Decision-making options for managing risk 
  • Chapter 18: Climate resilient development pathways
  • Cross-chapter Paper: Mountains
  • Cross-chapter Paper: Polar regions

This group review is a continuation of previous reviews organized by APECS. In 2018 APECS successfully coordinated, with the support of IPCC staff members, two group reviews of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) published in September 2019. Then, in partnership with PAGES ECN, PYRN, YESS and MRI, APECS has organized group reviews of the First Order Drafts of the WGI and WGII contribution to the IPCC AR6, as well as of the Second Order Draft of the WGI contribution to the IPCC AR6.

The organization of these group reviews is beneficial for both the IPCC and the ECRs involved in them. In effect, these group efforts provide a comprehensive review of the IPCC reports using the diverse knowledge of early career scientists. At the same time, early career scientists have the opportunity to learn more about the IPCC process and how to review the IPCC reports. Moreover, for many early career researchers, these group reviews constitute a first opportunity to participate as reviewers of an IPCC report. Based on the analysis of the outcomes and the experience of the participants of the group review of the First Order Draft of the SROCC, Casado et al. (2020)  discussed the benefits of inviting early career scientists to take part in review processes, while Gremion et al. (2020) extended the study with the Second Order Draft, confirming the results with larger statistical ensembles.