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Climate Change: Reports

This guide will help you with your research into the topic of climate change. Information covered will include multilateral environmental agreements, U.S. measures, and scientific concerns.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a legislative branch agency located within the Library of Congress. Members of the CRS work for Congress providing objective and authoritative research and analysis on any topic of interest or related to Congressional activities. CRS Reports are designed to help members of Congress perform their legislative role. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a body of the United Nations responsible for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Program for the Environment (UNEP) in order to provide all governments with scientific information that can be used to develop policies related to climate change. The IPCC does not conduct its own research, but through expert review and analysis it assess the scientific research that exists in the world.

The IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force. Working Group I addresses the physical science of climate change. Working Group II is responsible for climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Working Group III addresses climate change mitigation. The Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories develops and refines the methodology for calculating and reporting national greenhouse gas emissions and removals. In March 2018, the IPCC decided to establish a Task Group to improve gender balance and address gender-related issues within the IPCC.

The U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 provides for the U.S. Global Change Research Program to provide a report to Congress and the President no less than every 4 years. Such report "integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program . . . analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and analyzes current trends in global change both human-induced  and natural and project major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years."

The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is published by the United Nations Environment Programme. The program was first launched in 1995 and brought together scientists, peer reviewers, and other partners to outline the current state of environment, highlight possible future trends, and analyze the effectiveness of policies.