Climate in 100 Years: What to Expect?

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Climate changes all the time and 100 years is a short period for the significant changes. However, if you try to analyse climate data for the last 150 years, you will notice several different periods. Therefore, the Little Ice Age took place in 1650 and ended until the end of the XIX century. Exactly since that moment, the global warming begins. There are two waves of this process with some stabilization between them.

The first wave of the global warming dated back to the end of the XIX century and lasted until the 1940s of XX century. This wave is well-known as the global warming in the Arctic.

The second wave began in the 1970s of XX century. The observed occurrence of heavy rain is exceeding what we expect under a stable climate. Globally, the observed number of record-breaking daily rain events during 1980-2010 was 12% higher than would be expected in a world without climate change. Increases have reached 56% in South East Asia, 31% in Europe, and 24% in the central US. These observations match the expected increase in the rain under global warming: warmer air can carry more water, which can be released during short-term, heavy bursts of rainfall.

Observations of September Arctic sea-ice extent over the period 1979 to 2015 show a 13,4% reduction per decade relative to the 1981-2010 average.

Future climate change: what next?

There are three scenarios of the future developments of the planet’s climate: temperature rise, stabilization or temperature decrease.

The last variant is the most doubtful. Other options depend on the anthropogenic factor – the rate of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere. Thus, global warming would reach about 1,5℃ by the end of the century. Without changing our behaviour, it could increase to 3-5℃ by the end of the current century.

Climate model simulations have shown that the probability of hot daily temperatures will increase non-linearly with global mean warming. At 2℃, the probability of hot extremes is projected to be more than five times higher than for the present day.

The risk of flooding is also projected to increase. Currently, floods are among the main weather events that force people to leave their homes each year. An average of 22,5 million people per year over the period 2008-2014. Without accounting for changes in population, the number of people affected by flood events could more than double if global warming increased from 2℃ to 4℃. Therefore, people need to change their attitude to the ecology and try to prevent the negative consequences of climate change.



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