Sonia Seneviratne

“State of the climate crisis: Conclusions from the latest IPCC reports”

Conference held on March 3, 2022 | Forum Rolex and online

Sonia Seneviratne

This presentation will provide an overview of the main conclusions of the latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in its 6th assessment cycle. In particular, the latest evidence on past and projected changes in climate extremes will be presented. For the first time, a full chapter of an IPCC assessment report was dedicated to the topic of weather and climate extremes (Seneviratne et al. 2021). The newest evidence shows that changes in extremes are observed in all regions of the world, and that human influence strongly contributed to observed trends. With every increment of global warming, changes in extremes become larger, with important implications for changes in heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones depending on the region. All regions are projected to be affected by multiple changes in climate extremes and other climatic impact drivers with increasing global warming, in particular above 2°C of global warming.

Sonia Seneviratne is Professor at the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich since 2007. She did her PhD thesis in 2003 at ETH Zurich and was a Postdoctoral scientist at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in 2003-2004. Her research addresses climate change and extreme events, land-climate interactions, and terrestrial water processes. She was a Coordinating Lead Author and Lead Author on several IPCC reports, including the IPCC Special Report on Extreme events (SREX), the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C Global warming, and the IPCC 6th Assessment report, on which she was a coordinating lead author of the weather and climate extremes chapter.

Sonia Seneviratne belongs to the most cited scientists in her field. She received several awards for her research, including a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (2014), the Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (2013), and the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geosciences Union (2021).

5:00 pm Welcome address

  • Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL

5:05 pm Talk
“State of the climate crisis: Conclusions from the latest IPCC reports”

  • Sonia Seneviratne, Climate scientist and Professor at ETH Zurich

5:55 pm Round table
“Are we ready to face climate disasters?”

  • Nathalie Doswald, Policy Expert, UN Environment Program
  • Charlotte Franck, Manager at the Climate Unit, City of Lausanne
  • Sonia Seneviratne, Climate scientist and Professor at ETH Zurich
  • Paola Vigano, Full Professor at EPFL
  • Jean-André Tony Davy-Guidicelli, EPFL Student and Vice-President of the Global Earth Horizon Talk – GEHT Association

7:00 pm Cocktail