Victoria researcher selected for IPCC Special Report

Andrew Mackintosh 2017

ARC's Director, Associate Professor Andrew Mackintosh is one of two New Zealanders to be selected as an author for a Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC was established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program in 1988 to provide regular assessments for policymakers of the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects relating to climate change.

This year, the IPCC selected 101 experts - including Andrew - from 569 nominations to begin work on a Special Report that will focus on impacts to the ocean and cryosphere (frozen parts of the Earth) in a changing climate.

The Special Report is unique in the body’s history, says Andrew.

“It reflects the increasing awareness of how ocean-cryosphere-atmosphere interactions will shape sea-level rise as a major challenge to human civilisation.

“A lot of interesting new science has been published about ice sheets and sea level change, and this report will provide a more up-to-date estimate of what we think the contributions from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and mountain glaciers will be to sea level rise over the coming century or more. This is a field of research where we have recently made great progress in the Antarctic Research Centre.”

Andrew has been selected as a lead author on a chapter about polar regions. He was nominated for the role by the New Zealand government and the International Council of Science.

The first authors meeting is in Fiji next month. The report is scheduled to be published in September 2019.

“The report will have a chapter dedicated to high mountain regions, which is a new area of focus for IPCC,” says Andrew, who currently leads a project within the Deep South National Science Challenge focused on understanding how climate change will affect snow and ice resources in New Zealand’s mountain regions.

“What also makes this report unique is the strong link and integration between the physical and social sciences. I think it’s a really key aspect to what will make the report successful, and it is great to know that our own research efforts within the Deep South Challenge will be relevant to this Special Report.”