What are emission scenarios, climate models and climate projections?

Climate models are used together with emission scenarios to calculate the probable future climate, so-called climate projections. The climate models describe how the earth's climate functions, while the emission scenarios describe the impact of humans on the environment. If the climate models are combined with the emission scenarios, it is possible to predict with a certain amount of probability how the climate will be in the future.

Because of the complex systems and correlations, researchers have been working for several decades to increase the accuracy of these calculations and to name the probability with which a certain scenario will occur. the climate projections of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which make it possible to make statements about the future and thus to be able to estimate the consequences of our actions, are well-respected in this regard.

Based on the calculated climate projections, the IPCC notes, for example, that there is a high probability that the risks to mankind and nature will be lower if global warming can be limited to 1.5°C. However, with an increase of just 1.5°C, it is still very likely that the average temperature will rise in most regions, that there will be more extremely hot days in most populated areas, and that heavy precipitation will become more frequent and extreme.

sources: German Environment Agency, Deutscher Wetterdienst 

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