The speed and extent of climate change that the world is now experiencing highlights the need for urgent climate action in this critical decade.
Decisions need to be based on trusted, reliable and timely information, but when it comes to the key climate system indicators set out in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, there is an information gap between one IPCC assessment cycle and the next.
The Indicators of Global Climate Change (IGCC) initiative, an international science community effort established in 2023, is addressing this information gap by providing annual updates of key climate indicators featured in the most recent IPCC report cycle (the Sixth Assessment or AR6).
The effort was self organised by a group of 50 international scientists from 40 different universities and government laboratories. The group includes many authors from the IPCC sixth assessment cycle (AR6) and earlier reports. It also includes the AR6 Working Group I co-chairs Valerie Masson-Delmotte and Panmao Zhai as well as Anna Pirani - head of the IPCC Working Group I technical support unit.
Alongside greenhouse gas emissions, human-induced warming and the remaining global carbon budget, IGCC also provides updated estimates of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, radiative forcing, changes in surface temperature, and the Earth's energy imbalance, and global temperature extremes. All of these are important indicators of climate change in their own right.
Updating these climate indicators annually will support wider understanding of the climate system and human influence upon it, and the overall direction of travel, whilst the next IPCC assessment is being prepared.
As IGCC's approach is rooted in the methods used in IPCC AR6, the annual publications will also allow for greater transparency as the science advances and methodologies are updated between IPCC reports.