1 Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. Attribution of climate change to natural forcing and human activities has been addressed by Working Group I.
2 The report has been written by 183 Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors, and 243 Contributing Authors. It was reviewed by 440 government and expert reviewers, and 33 Review Editors oversaw the review process.
3 Delegations from 100 IPCC member countries participated in the Sixth Session of Working Group II in Geneva on 13-16 February 2001.
4 A more comprehensive summary of the report is provided in the Technical Summary, and relevant sections of that volume are referenced in brackets at the end of paragraphs of the Summary for Policymakers for readers who need more information.
5 There are 44 regional studies of over 400 plants and animals, which varied in length from about 20 to 50 years, mainly from North America, Europe, and the southern polar region. There are 16 regional studies covering about 100 physical processes over most regions of the world, which varied in length from about 20 to 150 years. See Section 7.1 of the Technical Summary for more detail.
6 In this Summary for Policymakers, the following words have been used where appropriate to indicate judgmental estimates of confidence (based upon the collective judgment of the authors using the observational evidence, modeling results, and theory that they have examined): very high (95% or greater), high (67-95%), medium (33-67%), low (5-33%), and very low (5% or less). In other instances, a qualitative scale to gauge the level of scientific understanding is used: well established, established-but-incomplete, competing explanations, and speculative. The approaches used to assess confidence levels and the level of scientific understanding, and the definitions of these terms, are presented in Section 1.4 of the Technical Summary. Each time these terms are used in the Summary for Policymakers, they are footnoted and in italics.
7 Details of projected climate changes, illustrated in Figure SPM-2, are provided in the Working Group I Summary for Policymakers.
8 Details of projected contributions to sea-level rise from the West Anarctic Ice Sheet and Greenland Ice Sheet are provided in the Working Group I Summary for Policymakers.
9 Global mean temperature change is used as an indicator of the magnitude of climate change. Scenario-dependent exposures taken into account in these studies include regionally differentiated changes in temperature, precipitation, and other climatic variables.
10 Eight studies have modeled the effects of climate change on these diseases, five on malaria and three on dengue. Seven use a biological, or process-based approach, and one uses an empirical, statistical approach.