While the political process of combating climate change almost came to a standstill, the global warming continued, but the assessments of new scientific findings progressed.
Work towards the IPCC Third Assessment Report
The eleventh plenary session of the IPCC in the Maldives in October 1997 and the third conference of the parties to the Climate Convention in Kyoto in December that same year were my last engagements as chairman of the IPCC. Since then I have followed the IPCC work attentively but at a distance, have taken part in the work on IPCC's Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry, and been one of the review editors of The Scientific Basis of the Third IPCC Assessment Report published in 2001. Obviously, I have not been in a position to follow the internal work and controversies as closely as during my time as chairman of the IPCC. Nonetheless the following observations might be of interest.
First, five major special reports were completed during 1998–2001.
Analyses of the regional impacts of climate change (IPCC, 1998). In addition to this work by the IPCC, a large number of other analyses have of course been carried out at national level. This is not, however, the place to expand on this essential work.