Have you ever taken the time to think about climate scenarios?

If you know me. I talk a lot about complexity and future modeling. Don´t trust anyone who says this will happen in the future. Predictions are bullshit (read my article about our jungle method). We can't predict the future, but scenarios let us look at potential outcomes, the assumptions that underpin them, and the actions that could lead to them.

While we are aware that global warming is already happening and affecting nature and human culture, the most far-reaching effects are yet to be seen. Over decades and centuries, a number of social factors can decide human-induced climate change. Most of these variables' future evolution is highly unpredictable, and it will be determined by our behavior. As a result, asking "What will happen?" and attempting to forecast potential climate change is pointless. Although the future is inherently unpredictable, it is not completely unknown. Given our opportunity to influence our future, scenarios can be used to explore "What could happen?" and also "What should happen?"

Scenarios related to climate change are no exception. They aren't forecasts, but rather estimates of what could happen by constructing realistic, coherent, and internally consistent explanations of potential climate change futures. They may also be used to create plausible, coherent, and internally consistent representations of paths leading to specific objectives. So, depending on the type of question they wish to address, climate change scenarios can take two forms: predictions (black line) (“What could happen?”) and goal-oriented pathways (A or B) (“What should happen?”).

A single scenario is virtually pointless because scenarios aren't about predicting the future. Scenarios are often used in pairs or in broader groups to compare various futures and decisions. We do our best to integrate dynamic ecosystems in order to predict how things will turn out. Scenario-based climate policy analysis, for example, compares a forecast without policy action (typically referred to as a baseline scenario) with a path to the desired goal (e.g., the 2°C targets). As a result, scenarios are essentially context-dependent.

To comprehend a single scenario, it is necessary to comprehend the entire set of scenarios in which it is embedded. As a result, I believe the 2°C goal, or CO2 terms, is ineffective.

Scenario analysis is a popular method in climate change research and its numerous subfields due to the complexities of climate change. There are seven different types of situations that can be described in general:

  • Socioeconomic scenarios that characterize the evolution of social drivers of human climate system interference.

  • Scenarios for emissions, concentrations, and climate forcing that result from these changes.

  • Climate change scenarios resulting from human-caused climate change.

  • As a result of these climate changes, climate impact scenarios have been created.

  • Scenarios for mitigating human-caused climate change.

  • Adaptation scenarios that reduce the negative effects of climate change on society.

  • Integrated climate change scenarios that include all of the above elements.

Climate change occurs in concert with other processes of environmental, social, technological, economic, and cultural change, rather than in isolation. Climate change has been embedded in a wider sense of change through scenario forms. Climate-resilient development pathways broaden the idea of adaptation pathways to include future development trends that make communities more climate-resilient. Sustainable development paths are goal-oriented routes to achieving a wide variety of sustainable development objectives, such as the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Would you be interested in going into the individual points in more detail?