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The global climate of the 21st Century

The global climate of the 21st Century

(a) CO2 emissions

(b) CO2 concentrations

(c) SO2 emissions

(d) Temperature change

(e) Sea level rise

Figure 5: The global climate of the 21st century will depend on natural changes and the response of the climate system to human activities.

Climate models project the response of many climate variables - such as increases in global surface temperature and sea level - to various scenarios of greenhouse gas and other human-related emissions.

  • (a) shows the CO2 emissions of the six illustrative SRES scenarios, which are summarised in the box on page 18, along with IS92a for comparison purposes with the SAR.
  • (b) shows projected CO2 concentrations.
  • (c) shows anthropogenic SO2 emissions. Emissions of other gases and other aerosols were included in the model but are not shown in the figure.
  • (d) and (e) show the projected temperature and sea level responses, respectively. The "several models all SRES envelope" in (d) and (e) shows the temperature and sea level rise, respectively, for the simple model when tuned to a number of complex models with a range of climate sensitivities.

All SRES envelopes refer to the full range of 35 SRES scenarios. The "model average all SRES envelope" shows the average from these models for the range of scenarios. Note that the warming and sea level rise from these emissions would continue well beyond 2100. Also note that this range does not allow for uncertainty relating to ice dynamical changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet, nor does it account for uncertainties in projecting non-sulphate aerosols and greenhouse gas concentrations.

[Based upon

  1. Chapter 3 , Figure 3.12 ,
  2. Chapter 3 , Figure 3.12 ,
  3. Chapter 5 , Figure 5.13 ,
  4. Chapter 9 , Figure 9.14 ,
  5. Chapter 11 , Figure 11.12 , Appendix II ]"

Source & © IPCC TAR SPM of WG1 

Related publication:
Climate Change (2001) homeClimate Change 2001 Assessment
Other Figures & Tables on this publication:

Adaptive Capacity, Vulnerability, and Key Concerns by Region

Facts on environmental matters

Table SPM.1 Estimates of potential global greenhouse gas emission reductions in 2010 and in 2020

The Emissions Scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES)

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Footnotes for the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Working Group III

Footnotes for Table 1 of IPCC SPM WG II

Footnotes for the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Working Group 1

Footnotes for the Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Working Group II

Variations of the Earth's surface temperature for :

Indicators of the human influence on the atmosphere during the Industrial Era

The global mean radiative forcing of the climate system for the year 2000, relative to 1750

Simulated annual global mean surface temperatures

The global climate of the 21st Century

Documented Climate Change Impacts

Figure SPM-2 - Reasons for Concern

Figure SPM-3 - Projected Changes in Annual Runoff

Carbon in Oil, Gas and Coal Reserves Compared with Historic Fossil Fuel Carbon Emissions (in gigatonnes)

Footnotes to Table SPM-1 (Question 6.2.2)

Figure 8.1 Precipitation

Figure 8.2 Hurricanes

Schematic of observed variations of the temperature indicators / the hydrological and storm-related indicators

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The annual mean change of the temperature (colour shading) and its range (isolines)

Analysis of inter-model consistency in regional relative warming

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CICERO

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

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