Karen Seto named coordinating lead author of IPCC Working Group III 5th Assessment Report

June 30, 2010

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced this week the author teams for its 5th Assessment Report, naming Professor Karen C. Seto as coordinating lead author of its chapter on “Human Settlements, Infrastructure, and Spatial Planning.” Along with Shobhakar Dhakal of the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, Professor Seto will coordinate an international team of authors charged to review and assess the scientific literature to date on urban areas and climate change adaptation.  This is the first time the IPCC has directly addressed the role of urbanization in managing and mitigating the impact of global climate change.The chapter’s content represents a core area of research for the Seto Lab: the climatic and environmental impact of land-use conversion, urban land expansion, and urban resource consumption at local, regional, and global scales. 

The IPCC is organized into three working groups: Working Group I, which reviews physical science evidence for climate change; Working Group II, which evaluates the vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change impacts; and Working Group III, which assesses mitigation strategies to reduce climate change. The new chapter will be part of the next Working Group III report, which is due for publication in early 2014. The IPCC released its first assessment report on climate change in 1990 and has released subsequent reports in 1997, 2001, and 2006. These reports are considered to be the core scientific documents on which international climate change policy is developed.