2090 – Carbon Concentrations Continue to Increase!
World leaders have released a report detailing how the combination of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and changes to the world's natural carbon cycle has resulted in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent exceeding 950 ppm. Consequently, average global temperatures have risen by as much as 4.1°C above pre-industrial levels. The news was greeted by huge protests around the world with billions unable to understand why emissions were not reduced when we had the chance. In response, world leaders say the blame does not lie with them, but with previous generations who failed to act when they had the opportunity.
Scientists Talking to the Press
2092 – Climate Refugees Now in the Billions
As climate change takes its toll, billions are now desperately trying to migrate north. In Africa, those who have survived the famine and water shortages are gathering up anything they have of value and marching in desperation towards Algeria. There, they hope to buy illegal passage into Europe via one of the thousands of pirate vessels that have taken hold of the Mediterranean. Across southern Europe, some 220 million people are frantically trying to escape the food and water shortages that now grip many nations. In Latin America, over 140 million people are marching towards the United States in the hope of being able to break through the border. Few are having any success though, with a six-metre guarded wall now spanning the entire length of the border. Meanwhile, in the USA, some 63 million people have been forced to relocate as a result of the megadroughts that have consumed the central states. Moving further west, nearly a billion people in Southern Asia are now desperately trying to migrate to Russia as famine, floods, sea-level rises and water shortages decimate the continent. Lastly, in the Middle East, some 23 million people are desperately trying to migrate north as the extreme temperatures have made much of the area uninhabitable. Around the globe, the migrations have led to unprecedented levels of civil unrest. Citywide riots have become commonplace, world landmarks have been burnt to the ground, hundreds of thousands of cars have been torched, shops are being pillaged on a daily basis, and the number of racially motivated assaults and murders has become sickeningly out of control. In response, many countries are now charging extortionate immigration fees. This has caused enormous political tension with those countries most affected by climate change now threatening major military action.
Entire Cities Deserted as Temperatures Spiral Out of Control
2093 – El Niño Doubles in Frequency
An unprecedented series of tropical storms, droughts, bushfires and floods have confirmed scientists' worst fears - occurrences of the Great El Niño have doubled. Previously occurring every 20 years, the Great El Niño is caused by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This results in huge increases in rainfall for much of the USA, intense droughts and water scarcity throughout much of South America, South Africa and Asia in addition to a surge in the number of hurricanes and cyclones that form in the central and south-east Pacific Ocean. However, due to the rise in average global temperatures, the Great El Niño now raises its ugly head every ten years. The consequences have been devastating. During the last Great El Niño, a record-breaking 35 hurricanes and cyclones struck the northern hemisphere destroying more than 20 million homes in addition to taking the lives of an estimated 200,000 people. Added to this, some 600,000 people lost their lives as widespread drought devastated South America and Africa. If that wasn't tragic enough, the Great El Niño's sister event, the Great La Niña has also doubled in frequency. Usually occurring around a year after the Great El Niño, the Great La Niña has almost the opposite impact on weather conditions. This includes intense droughts throughout much of the USA, huge increases in rainfall for parts of South America, Africa and Australia, in addition to a surge in both the number of hurricanes and cyclones that form in the North Atlantic and the south-west Pacific. The consequences of this have been equally devastating. In the USA, vast swathes of cropland have been destroyed leaving millions chronically undernourished. In Asia, an unprecedented series of river floods have hit some 400 million people in addition to destroying more than 20 million buildings. In South America, some 50,000 people have lost their lives in flash floods and landslides that have buried whole towns under three metres of mud. Lastly, in Asia, a record-breaking 29 typhoons have struck taking the lives of some 150,000 people and causing some $300 billion worth of damage. Altogether, this means the Great El Niño and La Niña have been responsible for the loss of more than a million lives in addition to more than $1.3 trillion in damage. Disastrously too, climatologists state things are only going to get worse. As sea surface temperatures continue to rise, so too will the frequency and intensity of both the Great El Niño and the Great La Niña. As a result, both the cost of damages and the number of lives taken will continue to rise over the coming decades.
El Niño and La Niña Leave Coastal Towns in Ruin
2097 – Temperatures in Cities Rise by 14°C
Extreme summer temperatures have rendered many of the world's greatest cities almost unbearable to live in. In the United States, peak summer temperatures in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Baltimore and Detroit have all exceeded 41°C. That is a 14°C rise on those experienced at the turn of the century. In Europe, things have become even hotter with temperatures in Barcelona and Budapest reaching more than 43°C. The temperature rises are not limited to these cities though, with Paris, London, Berlin, Prague and Vienna all experiencing 12°C rises in peak temperatures. This has led to many becoming so desperate for water that they have drilled through their basements in the hope of tapping into underwater flows. Things are not much better in Asia either, where peak temperatures have risen by more than 8°C in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Furthermore, in the Middle East, temperatures have become so high that much of the population has been given no choice but to relocate. This includes the cities Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi which contain some six million people between them. Around the globe, many have been left baffled by the extreme temperature rises as they believed the temperatures would rise by no more than 4°C. Scientists state this was never the case, explaining that the majority of the rise actually occurs on just 29% of the Earth's surface. Added to this temperature rises vary greatly as a result of local geological conditions and climatic variations. When the massive amounts of heat that are absorbed by the tarmac roads, concrete pavements and stone buildings are added, an unbearable set of living conditions is created for even the most resilient city dweller. Moreover, with emissions continuing to increase, peak temperatures are only going to rise further. This means it is just a matter of time before many of our favourite European, American and Asian cities become effectively uninhabitable during the summer months.
Extreme Temperatures Have Made City Living Unbearable
Climate Change in the Next Century
Unfortunately, the damage caused by climate change does not stop here. Find out what our planet will look like in 2100 by selecting the link below. Alternatively, find out how we can stop climate change by returning to the main menu.
Image of scientists talking to the press created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Base image taken by FORES, released on Flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0. Onscreen image taken by David Shankbone, released on Wikimedia Commons and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0.
Image of deserted city created by everlite and reproduced under license from iStock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of flooded coastal town created by varuna and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of New York heatwave taken by kasto and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Barrels of oil equivalent is based on 1628.2 kWh of energy being contained within each barrel. Data sourced from Unit Juggler – 'Converter: Barrel of Oil Equivalent to Kilowatt-Hour' – unitjuggler.com.
The volume of one tonne of carbon dioxide is equivalent to 556.2 cubic metres. Sourced from International Carbon Bank and Exchange – 'CO2 Volume Calculation' – www.icbe.com.
For further information about any of the sources listed, please visit the ZERO EMISSION WORLD Works Cited page.