News, Science & Research

University scientist to contribute to next global climate report

IPCC global climate assessment report to release in 2022 with Fox-Kemper as co-lead author

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Baylor Fox-Kemper will work with 20 other scientists to write a chapter of the IPCC report to explain ocean dynamics, sea levels and the cryosphere.

Baylor Fox-Kemper, associate professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences, was selected as a coordinating lead author for a chapter of the next global climate assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Along with two other coordinating lead authors, he will direct a team of 20 scientists in writing chapter nine of the report, which focuses on Earth’s ocean dynamics, sea levels and the cryosphere — the parts of earth where water is solid. Baylor was among 800 scientists chosen to contribute to the report out of over 3,000 applications from all over the world, Fox-Kemper said.

“I’ve found these reports to be a really useful resource, … and I’ve been reading them and thinking about them since my student days,” Fox-Kemper said. “This is an opportunity for me to return the favor and pass on my knowledge to the rest of the world by summarizing what the state of the field is now like.”

Instead of trying to come up with new experiments to conduct, the report will primarily focus on summarizing the progress made in climate research since the last report in 2014, according to Fox-Kemper. The chapter will also evaluate the current capabilities of modeling changes in the oceans and how those models can be made more accurate in the future, he said.

The IPCC’s first Assessment Report was published in 1990, and a new one is published every five to seven years, Fox-Kemper said. The report that he is co-leading is the sixth Assessment Report, which is scheduled for release in 2022.

Fox-Kemper’s work at Brown involves studying the relationship between ocean dynamics and cryosphere change. He develops computer models to simulate these relationships, as well as other ocean processes.

“Baylor is so passionate about his work,” said Qing Li GS, who studies under Fox-Kemper. “While he is technically my advisor, he often brings up interesting science topics to talk about with me on a more friendly basis.”

“Baylor knows everything!” said Abigail Bodner GS, who also studies under Fox-Kemper. “He’s involved in so many projects related to his field of work and often meets with leaders in this field from all over the world to discuss their work.”

“I think one of the reasons he was chosen to contribute to the report was because he’s so well respected in this sector of the scientific community. What he says will be taken very seriously by everyone else,” added Aakash Sane GS, who is also from the department.

“It’s a big honor to be doing this, and I hope I do a good job,” Fox-Kemper said.

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