IPCC by the Numbers

Climate Watch intern Chris Penalosa contributed reporting on this blog post.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment will evaluate regions hit hardest by climate change to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies. Photo: Aerial View of the Arctic Ocean, Photo.com.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has announced the contributors for its next Assessment Report. All 831 of them. Of those authors, proportionally more are women, more are from developing nations, and a pretty good number are from California.

The Fifth Assessment Report by the numbers:

  • 1990 was the year the first IPCC Assessment Report was published. Since then, they’ve come out every five to seven years.
  • The report is divided into three Working Groups. Working Group I sums up the physical science, WGII is on impacts and adaptation, and WGIII gets into mitigation strategies.
  • 831 scientists are contributing to the report. They were selected out of about 3,000 applicants.
  • 30% of those scientists are from developing countries; 25% are women; and for 60%, this is their first time contributing to an IPCC report.
  • 39 of those scientists are based in California at universities, NGOs, and government agencies. That’s out of 169 American contributors.

And an introduction to some of those Californians:

Stanford biology and environmental science professor Chris Field heads up Working Group II, as he did on the previous Assessment Report. In an email he said in this 5th edition, “there will be new chapters on parts of the world that were not considered before (especially the oceans) and on key processes (e.g. human security).”

Rebecca Shaw, the Nature Conservancy’s associate director of conservation and climate change programs in California, is a first-time contributor to the IPCC. She’s also on the Governor’s Task Force for Climate Change, and is leading a vulnerability assessment on the Golden State.

Peter Brewer is the Senior Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) where he researches ocean chemistry. No stranger to the ocean, Brewer has gone on numerous deep sea expeditions and taken part in over 90 remotely operated dives for MBARI research. Brewer’s expertise was featured in previous IPPC reports where he was a lead author on carbon capture and storage. He will be the lead author on an open oceans chapter in this report.

Robert Cervero is a transportation and land-use policy professor at UC Berkeley. In addition to teaching at transit development, Cervero has authored numerous academic journal articles on the Bay Area’s transit systems. He’ll be the review editor for the IPCC’s chapter on human settlements, infrastructure and spatial planning.

Climate Watch intern Chris Penalosa mapped where California’s IPCC contributors are based. Click on the icons to find out more about them.
View IPCC AR5 Authors from California in a larger map

Update 7/8/10
Here’s a complete list of the California participants:

Alex Hall


Ken Caldeira
Chris Field
Stephen Schneider
Noah Diffenbaugh

David Lobell
Terry Root
John Weyant


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Michael Wehner
Jayant Sathaye
Ryan Wiser

Mark Levine
Lynn Price
James McMahon


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Karl Taylor
Peter Gleckler


Michael Prather
Eric Rignot


Ronald Kwok


Lynne Talley
Dean Roemmich


UC Berkeley
Maximilian Auffhammer
Kirk Robert Smith
William Michael Hanemann
Richard Norgaard
Lee Schipper
Robert Cervero



Climate Central
Philip Duffy


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Peter Brewer


CSU San Marcos
Victoria Fabry


RAND Corporation
Robert Lempert


Electric Power Research Institute
Richard Richels
Geoffrey Blanford
Steven Rose


Nature Conservancy of California
Mary Rebecca Shaw

IPCC by the Numbers 2 February,2018Molly Samuel

4 thoughts on “IPCC by the Numbers”

  1. Once again, praise to KQED and its Climate Watch. The links to the web sites of the individual scientists is particularly useful in learning the intellectual resources California brings to bear on climate change.

    I’m so far resisting sending the URL for this page to friends and colleagues in the Bay Area under the subject line “Stanford Beats Cal, 7-6!”

  2. Human population….. by the numbers.

    There a precious few scientists like Professor Emeritus Gary Peters who have chosen not to remain silent but instead to accept their responsibility to science by rigorously examining extant evidence of human population dynamics. Please consider now the perspective of Dr. Peters on the research of Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel, which is found in the journal, The California Geographer, 2009. The title of his article is, Population, Resources and Enviroment: “Beyond the Exponentials” Revisited.


    “The world’s population in 2009 was close to 6.8 billion. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, we can expect about 55.7 million people to die this year, so in purely demographic terms 300,000 deaths amount to just over half of one percent of all deaths. Furthermore, there are about 15,465 births per hour worldwide, so again in a purely demographic sense those 300,000 deaths can be replaced in less than 20 hours.

    Paradoxically, the very fossil fuels that have allowed us to feed the vast increase in world population over the last century or two may 113 The California Geographer n Volume 49, 2009 also be starting to increase mortality rates, even if only slightly so far. Currently we add about 80 million people to the planet each year, and we know that population growth exacerbates most environmental problems, including global warming (Speth 2008, Diamond 2005, and Friedman 2008).

    Pimentel (2001), Hopfenberg (2003), and others have established in a series of articles that human population growth is a function of food supply, yet we continue to expand food supplies to accommodate future growth—even if that growth threatens the planet’s socioeconomic systems, ecosystems, biodiversity, oceans,
    and atmosphere. Continued expansion of food supplies has come at considerable cost both to people and to Earth. As Pollan (2008, 121) commented, “Clearly the achievements of industrial agriculture have come at a cost: It can produce a great many more calories per acre, but each of those calories may supply less nutrition than
    it formerly did…. A diet based on quantity rather than quality has ushered a new creature onto the world stage: the human being who manages to be both overfed and undernourished, two characteristics seldom found in the same body in the long natural history of our species.” According to Heller and Keoleian (2000), it takes seven to ten calories of input, mainly from fossil fuels, to produce one calorie of edible food in the United States. Looking at the American landscape, Babbitt (2005, 100) observed that “[I]ndustrial agriculture has been extended too far, and the price has been too high for the land and waters to bear.” In many places, agricultural landscapes are no longer what Tuan (1993, 143) had in mind when he wrote that “In common with the vast majority of humankind, Americans
    love the small intimate world that is their home, and, immediately beyond it, a rich agricultural land.”

    According to Pimentel (2001), humans already use more than half the planet’s entire biomass, leaving less and less for other species. From there, as Hopfenberg (2009, 2) noted, “It is not a far logical leap to determine that, if human population and resource use continues to grow and we continue to kill off our neighbors in the biological community, one of the many species facing extinction will be the human. Thus, the impact of civilized humanity on the rest of the
    biological community can be seen as lethal to the point of destroying our own ecological support”. It is a reminder that, as Bush (2000, 28) noted, “If there is one lesson that the geological record offers, it is that all species will ultimately go extinct, some just do it sooner than others.” With the expansion of human numbers has come a steady increase in the background rate of extinction.

    But even among environmentalists, population has been dropped from most discussions because it is controversial; it has been snared in the web of political correctness. As Speth (2008, 78) somewhat ironically pointed out, “By any objective standard, U.S. population growth is a legitimate and serious environmental issue. But the subject is hardly on the environmental agenda, and the country has not learned how to discuss the problem even in progressive circles.” Cobb (2007, 1) put it this way, “Even if some politicians, policymakers and reporters in wealthy countries can see beyond the daily mirage of plenty to the overpopulation problem, they do
    not want to touch it.”


    It is one thing for “politicians, policymakers and reporters” not to touch research of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth. It is something altogether different when the elective mutism of scientists with appropriate expertise hides science in silence. Such a willful refusal to scrutinize peer-reviewed and published evidence and report findings strikes me as a betrayal of science and also a denial of what could somehow be real.

    How are global challenges of the kind we can see looming before humanity in our time to be addressed and overcome if any root cause of what threatens us and life as we know it is not acknowledged?

    Of course, it could be that Professor Peters’ assessment of the research by Pimentel and Hopfenberg is incorrect; that their work is fatally flawed. If that is the case, we need to know it. On the other hand, if that is not the case and the research is somehow on the correct track, then discussion of the research needed to have begun years ago, at the onset of Century XXI, because this research appears, at least to me, to possess extraordinary explanatory power with potentially profound implications.

    Thanks to those within the community of scientists and to those in the population at large with a perspective to share who choose to examine the evidence to which your attention is drawn and report your findings.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

  3. Does it appear to you that we could move toward sustainability in a much more sensible way if we stopped willfully ignoring extant science of human population dynamics; stopped consciously refusing to communicate openly about peer-reviewed evidence of the human overpopulation of Earth? How on Earth do we reasonably address and overcome the human-driven global challenges looming before the human community if top rank scientists with appropriate expertise reject their responsibilities to acknowledge and deny their duties to examine published evidence and report findings?

    Professor Emeritus Gary L. Peters and Professor Emeritus Albert A. Bartlett have chosen a different, seldom taken path, one that is morally courageous, because they have broken the silence by speaking out so loudly and clearly while many too many of their outstanding, similarly situated colleagues have remained electively mute.

  4. I do not know if I am right or wrong to ask directly and repeatedly for truth, as each of us sees it, to be spoken loudly and clearly so that people can share an understanding of the global predicament looming ominously before humanity. But, it does appear to me that if people with knowledge lose faith in God’s gift of science by denying its presence and remaining electively mute while selfish, shortsighted leaders go forward unsustainably on the basis of specious, preternatural thinking, then the human community has no chance whatever of responding ably to the human-induced challenges before all of us.

    I am trying to encourage the lighting candles because the darkness enveloping the “primrose path” many too many so-called leaders are so adamantly advocating and recklessly pursuing is anathema to me.

Comments are closed.


Molly Samuel

Molly Samuel joined KQED as an intern in 2007, and since then has worked here as a reporter, producer, director and blogger. Before becoming KQED Science’s Multimedia Producer, she was a producer for Climate Watch. Molly has also reported for NPR, KALW and High Country News, and has produced audio stories for The Encyclopedia of Life and the Oakland Museum of California. She was a fellow with the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism and a journalist-in-residence at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Molly has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

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