4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fifth Assessment Report, we are approaching dangerous territory because of climate change. All areas of the world have already experienced effects of global temperatures rising, from extreme weather events to record droughts.

For the first time in human history, concentrations of carbon dioxide, a global warming pollutant, have hit 400 parts per million in Earth’s atmosphere. Without taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect to experience a number of escalating consequences, from sea level rise to ecosystem degradation, according to experts.

Yet there is still time to reverse course and stave off such catastrophic outcomes. IPCC  finds it physically and technically feasible to stay within the world’s “carbon budget” and offers useful tips for climate action.

What would the future look like if we took drastic action to cut emissions—or no action at all?

Using IPCC data, World Resources Institute created an infographic depicting the likely outcomes of four variable emissions pathways—known as Representation Concentration Pathways—from a low-carbon future to one that is fossil fuel-intensive.

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We can choose our own ending to this story. Which way will it go?

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    • donaldinks .

      To ANY “denier” of Human Induced Global Climate Change:

      Isn’t it all just amazing…
      that the arrogance of humanity rejects the fact that
      “tiny little humans” have NO massive ill-effect upon this Earth
      whatsoever? Have they NOT witnessed for themselves video from the International Space Station, as the sun’s rays fade away from the Earth…the glow of human activity coming alive?

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/IntotheBlack/page4.php

      Could the cause be just “pseudo science”, that there is really “no human affect nor remote causation” upon of all the debris currently circling our Earth?

      http://www.space.com/24915-space-junk-space-wallpaper.html

      Can you look anywhere upon the entire face of this Earth, and tell
      me that “tiny little humans” have NOT actually changed it?

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2177202/The-changing-face-Earth-Dramatic-high-resolution-satellite-images-world-changed-decades.html

      IF you actually were an honest sentient being…
      after SEEING with your OWN EYES as evidence:
      can STILL deny that human beings, quite frankly,
      are the most virulent virus and a pox upon planet Earth…

      well then there IS no “hope”.

      The problem with “homo-sapiens” is greed,
      overpopulation, ignorance and arrogance
      (whether religious induced or not…)
      and one big case of what is known as:

      “The Ostrich Syndrome”.

      This Earth and Nature itself does NOT give one rat’s ass about
      humanity.

      If humanity does NOT change its ways:
      the Earth, along with its Nature will rid itself of humanity.
      Humanity will become extinct.
      Period.

      And MUCH sooner than you might care to “believe”…

      or NOT “believe”.

    • Valjean1

      We permeate the atmosphere with warming energy from our wireless tools and toys, putting a hot water bottle under the gas comforter we also create. Denying it doesn’t make it go away.

    • Dirk Diggler

      No more coffee!? F that, I am buying a Prius… Yeah right. The biggest wildcard in all of this is China. They have a chip on their shoulder about still being a ‘developing’ country and will not be easily swayed to change. This world needs some EMP bombs to reset us back to the stone age.