Teaching About the IPCC

What is the IPCC, and what information does it produce?

What are the most important takeaways from IPCC reports?

Can I use IPCC data sets in my teaching?

Why should I—and my students—care about IPCC reports?

Learn about these things here.

What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is a group of hundreds of scientists from 195 countries brought together by the United Nations to assess the latest science of climate change.

FAQ on Earth@Home: What is the IPCC?

IPCC Reports

The IPCC’s assessment reports, published approximately every seven years, are arguably the most important and comprehensive reviews of climate science in the world, and are intended to provide reliable, current scientific information for policymakers.

During each assessment cycle, the IPCC publishes reports from three working groups. Click on the tiles below to get to each Working Group’s report.


Sixth Assessment Report release dates:

  • Working Group 1—Aug. 2021
  • Working Group 2—Feb. 2022
  • Working Group 3—Apr. 2022
  • Synthesis Report—Mar. 2023

Learn about the scope of the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report (2021) in this video.


Download a fact sheet on key findings from the Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 (2021)

Mapping the IPCC Report onto the Curriculum

Let’s begin with IPCC Summary for Policymakers (SPM) Statement A1:

It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”

 And let’s look at those three geographic spaces in a framework of three processes that we routinely teach in Life science, Earth science, Environmental science and Physical science—

  • water cycle
  • carbon cycle, and the
  • flow of energy through the environment

In the table below each of the spaces that we’ve mapped contains a key finding from the IPCC report. Note that they are color-coded by rate (red=fast, blue=slow).

Click the text in the table cells below to see how each key finding is linked to three things:

  • The original content of the IPCC Report;
  • The Next Generation Science Standards and other science standards;
  • Resources developed at PRI that we think can help students learn this material.
Banner photo: IPCC / David Plas, Copyright: Belspo / Nevens, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)