IPCC Special Report- Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) - Summary for Policymakers

This Special Report explores the social as well as physical dimensions of weather- and climate-related disasters, considering opportunities for managing risks at local to international scales. The report was developed to offer a greater understanding of the human and economic costs of natural disasters and the physical and social patterns that cause them. The Summary for Policymakers presents key findings from the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX), tailored to decision-makers with concise conclusions and strategies. SREX was approved and accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on 18 November 2011 in Kampala, Uganda.

The SREX assesses the scientific literature on issues that range from the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events to the implications of these events for society and sustainable development. The assessment concerns the interaction of climatic, environmental, and human factors that can lead to impacts and disasters, options for managing the risks posed by impacts and disasters, and the important role that non-climatic factors play in determining impacts.

The report is the outcome of cross-disciplinary teamwork between scientists studying the physical aspects of climate change, scientists with expertise in impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, as well as experts in disaster risk management. The SREX provides an unprecedented level of detail regarding observed and expected changes in weather and climate extremes, based on a comprehensive assessment of over 1,000 scientific publications. A total of 220 authors from 62 countries worked on the nearly 600 page full report, for which 18,784 outside expert and government review comments were received in the three rounds of formal review.

The report provides improved differentiation of observed and projected changes in extremes of temperature, precipitation and drought across the continents of the globe. According to IPCC, increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic losses from climate-related disasters. Furthermore, the assessment indicates that in many regions of the world, socio-economic factors will be among the main drivers of future increases in related losses.

Table SPM.1 gives illustrative examples of options for risk management and adaptation in the context of changes in exposure, vulnerability, and climate extremes. In each example, information is characterized at the scale directly relevant to decision-making. Observed and projected changes in climate extremes at global and regional scales illustrate that the direction of, magnitude of, and/or degree of certainty for changes may differ across scales.

The full report provides the basis for the key conclusions presented in the IPCC SREX Summary for Policymakers.

The IPCC assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to understanding climate change and its effects. It does not conduct any research itself or monitor climate-related data. The work of the IPCC is carried out by thousands of scientists on a voluntary basis.




Publication Date: March 28, 2012

Related Organizations:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment guide


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