Members of the public discussed climate change research with world-leading scientists on 15 May. 

Public forum

Following the daytime conference programme on Thursday 15 May we held a public event.

During this interactive event participants spoke directly to world-leading climate change  researchers. Climate scientists spoke about how their research contributes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), and attendees found out more about the broad range of climate research activity from the sciences to the arts.

Recordings and slides

Slides from this session are now available to view online.

A recording of the session will be available to view shortly.


Read more about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Presenters and panellists

In addition to an exciting showcase of climate change research, the evening featured presentations and a panel question and answer session featuring:

Peter Gibbs(Panel Chair)

Met Office and BBC Meteorologist

I am a familiar face and voice on BBC national TV and radio weather forecasts and I am often called upon for expert advice and comment during severe weather events. I regularly chair the popular Radio 4 show Gardeners’ Question Time.

Based at the BBC Weather Centre in London, I am one of the team of Met Office forecasters who provide a round-the-clock service to the BBC. 

Before moving into broadcasting, I had a varied Met Office career which included forecasting for RAF jets in Suffolk and army rocket trials in the Outer Hebrides.

My first job was as a meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey, spending two years at Halley Base in Antarctica.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Professor Thomas Stocker (panellist)

Co-Chair of Working Group I of the IPCC

About Thomas

I am Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern. My research focuses on using climate models of intermediate complexity to understand past and project future changes in the Earth System.

I was Coordinating Lead Author in the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and since 2008 I have been serving as the Co-Chair of Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis.

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Professor Chris Field (panellist)

Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC, and Director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, Stanford University

About Chris

I am the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. My research emphasizes impacts of climate change.

I am deeply involved with national and international scale efforts to advance science and assessment related to global ecology and climate change, especially the IPCC, where I co-chair the working group responsible for assessments of climate-change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.  My recognitions include the Max Plank Research Award and election to the US National Academy of Sciences.

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Professor Peter Cox (presenter)

Professor of Climate System Dynamics, University of Exeter

Presentation title: IPCC: Building on the 'miracle' of consensus. 

Science is driven by uncertainty and disagreement over the causes of the phenomena we see in the universe around us.

So how does the IPCC manage to reach a consensus amongst thousands of argumentative scientists?  Is this social pressure or something deeper? Why doesn’t the same thing seem to be leading to a consensus amongst politicians?

About Peter

I am a Professor of Climate System Dynamics and leader of the Climate Change and Sustainable Futures theme at the University of Exeter. My personal research focuses on interactions between the land-surface and climate, including the first climate projections to include vegetation and the carbon cycle as interactive elements. 

I have been a lead-author for the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports. 

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Professor Andy Challinor (presenter)

Professor of Climate Impacts, University of Leeds

Presentation title: Climate change and the future of food.

Climate change is predicted to affect our food supply. Are all the impacts negative, or will there also be benefits? Which regions will be worst hit, and when? This talk will assess our ability to adapt to climate change and ensure enough food is produced for our growing population.

About Andy

I am a lead author on the IPCC AR5 chapter called Food Production and Food Security. I am also a theme leader for ‘Adaptation pathways under progressive climate change’ – one of four themes of international programmes on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). 

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Dr Richard Jones (presenter)

Met Office Science Fellow and Visiting Professor, School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford

Presentation title: IPCC Working Group II: making climate science and scientists really useful.

Thanks to the efforts of climate scientists, the IPCC WGI can now say that the climate is changing and will continue to do so, largely due to human activities.

But how useful is this information? And how can climate scientists help make use of it? These are two questions that the IPCC WGII is helping to answer.

About Richard

In addition to my posts at the Met Office and University of Oxford I am a lead author for IPCC AR5 Working Group II Chapter 21: Regional Context. I am also a member of the Working Group II Summary for Policy Makers core writing team.

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Professor Catherine Mitchell (presenter)

Professor of Energy Policy, University of Exeter

Presentation title: IPCC Working Group III: policy for climate change.

Working Group III introduces the approaches to climate change mitigation. It provides information about the stocks and flows of greenhouse gases and their drivers and sets out mitigation pathways and measures. It also provides a review of mitigation policies and institutions at the sectoral and national levels.

I will present on some of the key WGIII findings relevant to energy policy, and then discuss them in relation to Britain.

About Catherine

I was a Lead Author in the IPCC’s AR5  in the Policy and Institutions Chapter of WGIII, and I was also a Co-ordinating Lead Author of the Policy, Financing and Implementation Chapter of IPCC’s Special Report on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation (published 2011).

I currently hold an Established Career Fellowship with the EPSRC (2012-2016) on Innovation and Governance for a Sustainable Economy. 

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