Berkeley, CA: How warm will your country be by 2100? If nothing changes by then the greenhouse gases created by human activities are expected to increase the world’s annual average temperature by about 2.7°C (4.9°F), with countries such as China headed for 5°C (9°F), the U.S. to 4.3°C (7.7°F) and the U.K to 3.5°C (6.3°F).
As world leaders gather at the COP26 Climate Change Conference to confront the challenge of slowing global warming, Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit independent source of climate change data since 2013, has produced a new resource, Actionable Insights for Policymakers, offering for every country warming scenarios consistent with the 2021 IPCC Report findings, which Berkeley Earth contributed to.
This is the first resource offering easy access to nation-specific projections. Now government policymakers and others worried about global warming have local data to help guide decision making as nations seek to fulfill decarbonization commitments, reduce harmful emissions, and fight global warming.
“No one lives at the global average temperature,” said Berkeley Earth Lead Scientist Dr. Robert Rohde, who created the resource with Berkeley Earth Research Scientist Dr. Zeke Hausfather. “Most land areas will experience more warming than the global average, and countries must plan their responses accordingly. Our goal was to give COP26 delegates and other policymakers localized future warming scenarios paired with data reflecting national progress toward decarbonization.”
The new searchable portal features country-by-country warming projections from the latest generation of climate models alongside historical warming data since 1850 and information on current national emissions trends.
“Uncertainty is not our friend, given the real risk of catastrophic outcomes,” Hausfather said. “While the world has moved away from some of the worst-case emissions scenarios, far more needs to be done. Uncertainties in the sensitivity of the climate to our emissions and how the carbon cycle may change as the world warms make it difficult to rule out 4°C warming if policies remain status quo. We need stronger commitments to keep warming below 2°C.”
- Berkeley Earth’s Surface Temperature Data Set shows the world has warmed 1.3°C since the pre-industrial average.
- Warming projections use the latest CMIP6 climate models with three different future emissions scenarios, SSP 1-2.6, SSP 2-4.5 and SSP 3-7.0, that feature in the UN IPCC Climate Change report published in August.
- Each of the different scenarios, or “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways,” reflect different rates of decarbonization and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from very strongly declining emissions, to an unmitigated and substantial rise in emissions.