Scientists may have to recalibrate their projections of what a “worst case” climate change scenario is, as new studies take into account greater global economic growth than previously forecast. Climate scientists forecasting how the earth’s climate will change over time examine trends in greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely dependent on how the global economy behaves. As countries get richer, the amount they consume goes up, and so too do greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists use four scenarios called representative concentration pathways (RCPs) that attempt to depict possible futures for our planet. The standard worst case scenario, RCP 8.5, assumes rapid and unrestricted e conomic growth which will see rampant burning of fossil fuels. In addition, it also assumes no further action will be taken to limit warming than the policies countries are already pursuing. However, scientists at the University of Illinois say there is a one-in-three chance that by the end of the century emissions will have exceeded those estimated in the RCP 8.5 scenario.
Independent 15th May 2018 read more »