The IPCC process has been successful, and it has evolved through time to become increasingly effective in informing policy and decisions at scales ranging from international, to national, regional and even local. Most obviously, the IPCC has helped institutionalize international coordination and cooperation with respect to policy, but it has also fostered unprecedented international collaboration of climate scientists. National climate science programs are now coordinated to facilitate collaboration focused on the most pressing needs of the science, data is shared with unprecedented ease, and the intensely resource-dependent enterprise of global climate modeling is coordinated in a manner that yields enhanced service to society.
The IPCC has also worked to level the international science playing field so that scientists from all countries have the opportunity to be more involved in international climate science. This undoubtedly feeds back positively on climate change diplomacy because each country has an improved stake and understanding of the state-of-the-art science. Moreover, the IPCC has evolved steadily to focus on climate change at the regional and smaller scales so critical to climate-related decision-making. In this sense, the IPCC is providing an ever-greater capacity for regional, national and local climate change adaptation and mitigation. On a more personal-side, scientific relationships across national boundaries are flourishing, and as a result, more effective collaborations are becoming more of the norm. This, in turn, is enabling a more sophisticated understanding of how the Earth’s climate system works, and will undoubtedly lead to an improvement in the climate change state-of-the-art so critical for supporting effective policy and decision-making.
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