The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), PAst Global ChangES Early-Career Network (PAGES-ECN), Permafrost Young Research Network (PYRN), and Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community successfully organized the group review of the Second Order Draft (SOD) of Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the IPCC 6th Assessment Report (AR6) by early career scientists.
The IPCC expert review period was originally scheduled from 2 March to 26 April 2020. However, acknowledging the multiple challenges faced by scientists due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IPCC decided to extend the review period by six weeks. As a result, the review period concluded on 5 June 2020.
The organizing team of this group review was composed of 39 team members, whose dedication and hard work made this group review possible despite the tight deadlines and the challenges of the pandemic. A total of 120 reviewers, including some of the organizers of the review, provided comments on sections of the report. As a result of this group effort, 2173 comments were submitted to the IPCC. The comments pertained mainly to the chapters that were of most interest for the participants of the review: Changing state of the climate system (chapter 2), Global carbon and other biogeochemical cycles and feedbacks (chapter 5), Water cycle changes (chapter 8), Ocean, cryosphere, and sea level change (chapter 9), Linking global to regional climate change (chapter 10), Weather and climate extreme events in a changing climate (chapter 11) and Climate change information for regional impact and for risk assessment (chapter 12).
This group review is a continuation of previous reviews organized by APECS. In 2018 APECS successfully coordinated, with support of IPCC staff members, two group reviews of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). Then, in partnership with PAGES ECN, PYRN, YESS and MRI, APECS has organized group reviews of the first order drafts of the WGI and WGII contribution to the IPCC AR6, and this team is currently organizing a group review of the second order draft of WGII contribution to the IPCC AR6.
The organization of these group reviews is beneficial for both the IPCC and the early career scientists involved in them. In effect, these group efforts provide a comprehensive review of the IPCC reports using the diverse knowledge of early career scientists. At the same time, early career scientists have the opportunity to learn more about the IPCC process and how to review the IPCC reports. Moreover, for many early career researchers, these group reviews constitute a first opportunity to participate as reviewers of an IPCC report. Based on the analysis of the outcomes and the experience of the participants of the group review of the first order draft of the SROCC, Casado et al. (2020) discussed the benefits of inviting early career scientists to take part in review processes, while Gremion et al. (Accepted) extended the study with the second order draft, confirming the results with larger statistical ensembles.