Policy Briefs Books Journals

Climate Change and Conflict Policy Brief  No.129 - June, 2022

How Robust is the Evidence on Climate Security?
An Assessment of Confidence Levels in IPCC Reports via the SCIPCC Dashboard.

Image: amgun/Shutterstock.com

This Policy Brief aims to fill existing research gaps and discuss the temporal and thematic evolution of confidence levels in WGII's climate security reporting. Since AR4, the IPCC has been assigning a level of scientific uncertainty to each substantive statement in its reports. Using a novel application of natural language processing, this study was able to assess IPCC confidence levels in climate security literature over time and across topics. The study finds that more scholarship does not automatically lead to more robust evidence and that while the IPCC has a strong bias toward reporting findings with medium to high confidence levels, the under-representation of low confidence findings is somewhat problematic. The Policy Brief concludes with recommendations for researchers and practitioners.