A famous Danish physicist by the name of Niels Bohr, once remarked, “Prediction is very difficult, especially when it’s about the future.” This remark is often used when predicting the future of climatic change. This tells us how extremely difficult it is to predict the future of climatic change. The climate of the globe has already changed since the industrial revolution, and it has been constantly changing ever since, due to the added greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Nonetheless, we can make some predictions of the future; scientists have predicted the consequences of global warming and added greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and what the future of our globe will likely be if this trend continues. Scientists also have speculated what the best and worst case scenarios of the future will be when climatic change impacts are triggered, if nothing is done to neutralize or reduce the human greenhouse gas emissions.
Unless we stop the billions of tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere every year, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to increase. It will continue to increase the average global temperature, influence precipitation patterns and also the amounts of precipitation globally, reduce ice caps over the Polar Regions, raise sea levels, and increase the acidity of ocean waters.
Climatic changes and the future
Although past and present day greenhouse gas emissions will affect the climate of the future, there are several factors that will determine what condition our future’s climate will be. To predict future changes in climate, scientists use climate models, and simulations which interpret inputs from scientists, based on their assumptions of the levels of greenhouse gases in the future, and get output from these models. There are many factors that come into play when these predictions are made, and therefore, these outcomes cannot be regarded as definitive predictions, but they are called projections.
The levels of greenhouse gases in the future may vary, depending on economic, social, and technological conditions. The rate and magnitude of climatic changes in the future will also depend on factors such as:
- The rate at which greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase in our atmosphere
- How strongly different aspects of the climate (e.g., temperature, precipitation, and sea level) respond to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations
- Natural influences (e.g., changes in the sun’s intensity and volcanic activity) and natural processes such as changes in ocean circulation patterns. (US EPA)
A future weather report
Meteorologists around the world predict the weather every day, and they are increasingly accurate in giving us the daily weather forecasts. But what if we ask them to give a weather forecast of the future, say weather in 2050? Thirteen nations from around the world created future weather reports in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23, 2014, to demonstrate the possible effects of global warming on local weather. (Climate Change Gets Graphic in 2050 Weather Forecasts)
Meteorologists from countries around the world, including Brazil, Germany, and the United States, put together short video forecasts that showed local forecasts in 2050. Predictions were made regarding the effects of global warming and how it would lead to heavy rains, droughts, landslides, and storms. Meteorologists from all over the world gave their best predictions on how the warmer weather is going to affect our daily lives.
Although the link between global warming and one single weather event is still not clear to scientists, models and evidence demonstrate that as the globe gets warmer, different regions of the world can expect more extreme weather events, acidification of ocean waters, and increased volcanic activity. Global warming has also been identified as the “single biggest risk to the global economy today,” (8 Ways Global Warming is Already Changing the Word)
According to the 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists are sure that human beings are causing this global warming, which has been observed since the 1950s.
In a statement, the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that, temperatures in the lower atmosphere of the Earth could increase more than 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of 21st century, if the world’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rate.
Researchers have found some possible links between climate change and extreme weather events. Hurricanes, heavy rain, flooding, droughts, heat waves, and wild fires are all are consequences of shifts in weather patterns. Warmer temperatures may cause fish to migrate further north, and decrease the fishery population.
U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said “Climate change is affecting the weather everywhere. It makes it more extreme and disturbs established patterns. That means more disasters, more uncertainty.”
“We can reduce the risks by cutting global greenhouse gas emissions and building low-carbon economies. Let’s work together to make our societies safer and more resilient. Please join me in taking action on climate change.” – Ban Ki-moon added. (Climate Change Gets Graphic in 2050 Weather Forecasts)
Global warming is real and it needs action. Please add a comment below and let us know your thoughts on it.