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Climate 360

All about climate change

Greenhouse gas emission scenarios and climate change

Abstract

To understand how the climate system operates and predict future change, climate research centres are working on numerical models produced by computer programs, which enable the simulation over space and time of 3D atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and all its characteristics (air and water temperature, winds, precipitation, humidity, etc.). Around forty of these models have been developed worldwide, two of them in France. They are still being improved, but they have already revealed the main trends, enabling scientists to reach a conclusion: if emissions of greenhouse gases related to human activities follow the present curve, we can expect warming up to four times faster over this century than in the last, and a rise in sea levels that could reach a metre by 2100, submerging certain regions of the world. Not to mention the destructive effects of more intense extreme weather events and the loss of ecosystems in the sea and on land. Only a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will enable warming to be limited to 2 °C by the end of the century. 


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