IPPC 4th ASSESSMENT REPORT 2007, Intergornmental Panel on Climate Change

21 x 28 x 12,5 cm 

paper, ink.

Scientists from all over the world work together to report every five to six years about what is known about climate change and how it is caused by human and non-human activities. So far (2018) five major reports have been published, each consisting of three big books full of text, maps, tables and graphs. The 4thassessment report, shown here, was the last one to be printed on paper for a wide distribution. Later reports are increasingly distributed in digital form via internet. 

The books contain the science and the science only. Before publication, their content is shown to governments for approval, because governments eventially have to take action. In that approval process, the scientific facts are not changed but the presentation of these facts might be changed in a way that non-scientists can understand them. 

The reports are relevant for policy making but they do not prescribe how policies should be made. In other words: they contain information indicating that there is a problem, they also show different ways to deal with the problem, but they do not say what each goverment should be doing about them. What could be done is drafted by policy makers in each country, and eventually decided upon by the politicians in each country.

That, at least, is how the story is told.