2050 – World is Getting Hotter!
Scientists have released a scathing report detailing how global greenhouse gas emissions have risen to 60 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. This is all despite much of the world finally starting to generate energy using renewables. Scientists explain that the continued growth of the world's population, combined with an increased reliance on electrical devices, has led to the world's energy demand doubling over the last 60 years. As a result, the new renewable infrastructure is merely meeting new demand rather than the demand supplied by our fossil fuel power stations. On top of this, the greenhouse gas emissions produced from deforestation, livestock and manufacturing have all increased. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent skyrocketing to 625 ppm and average global temperatures rising by some 2.2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Forests Cut to the Ground
2051 – Runaway Global Warming Commences
Following the disasters of the last decade, a report released today confirms that the worst is yet to come. The report demonstrates that global temperature rises have led to vegetation now releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it absorbs. Scientists explain this is because the increased temperatures have enabled the microorganisms contained within the soil to break down the dead plant matter more rapidly. As a result, the world's soil is now releasing more carbon dioxide than the vegetation can absorb. This means that there is now no way to stop the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere exceeding 950 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent by the end of the century. Furthermore, it is near impossible to prevent average global temperatures from rising 4°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. If that wasn't bad enough, the vegetation will continue to be release more carbon dioxide than it absorbs long after 2100. As a result, the planet's temperature will continue to rise for centuries. Scientists state the consequences of this will be catastrophic with future generations now guaranteed a near-apocalyptic future.
Increased Temperatures Have Resulted in Soils Releasing More Carbon Dioxide into the Atmosphere
2052 – Floods Leave China Devastated
A succession of massive floods and enormous landslides have forced more than 22 million Chinese citizens to evacuate their homes. More than 6,000 people have already lost their lives with thousands more reported missing. Some 25 million hectares of cropland have also been devastated resulting in a global surge in food prices. In China, many provinces have been forced to introduce strict rationing to ensure everybody has access to food. All Chinese military resources have now been called upon to rescue those stranded, yet, with more rain forecast, residents are being told to prepare for the worst. Climatologists explain the dramatic escalation in the number of floods and landslides is due to unprecedented increases in the amount of heavy rainfall. This has been caused by rises in air temperatures that enable the air to hold more moisture. This also means that, as temperatures continue to rise, so too will both the magnitude and the frequency of the floods. As a result, large portions of China could soon become entirely uninhabitable.
Catastrophic Floods Leave China in Turmoil
2054 – One Third of All Species Extinct
Scientists have released a report giving details on how some three million species of life are now "committed to extinction". This equates to around one-third of all species on the planet and includes some of the world's most loved animals such as sea turtles, arctic foxes, Bengal tigers, Asian elephants and sea horses. The scientists who wrote the report explain how many of these life forms have taken over 3.8 billion years to evolve, yet in a period of some 100 years, humankind has managed to render them extinct. "We only hope our children have the grace to forgive us," states the study's lead scientist.
Carcass of a Now Extinct Turtle
2055 – Africa Abandoned and Left to Starve
Refugees Desperately Fleeing From Drought and Famine
Hundreds of millions of Africans are desperately trying to escape, as mass famine and extreme temperatures devastate the continent. More than 80% of the continent's arable land has been lost, and nearly half of the continent's wildlife has now ceased to exist. On top of this, expanding drylands now cover more than three-quarters of the land and unprecedented water shortages have left more than 400 million people suffering from chronic water scarcity. The majority of Africans are migrating on foot, scavenging for food and water along the way. Millions have been unsuccessful though, with corpses piling up on the roadsides. Leaders from the African nations have lobbied governments around the world for aid, but all requests have been ignored owing to dwindling food supplies across the globe. Already an estimated 500 million Africans have lost their lives, however, analysts state that this is just the beginning. As global temperatures continue to rise, it is anticipated some two billion Africans will lose their lives to chronic malnutrition by the end of the century.
Climate Change in the 2060s
The damage caused by climate change does not stop with famine in Africa. Find out what problems our greenhouse gas emissions will likely cause in the next decade by selecting the link below. Alternatively, find out how we can stop climate change by returning to the main menu.
Image of deforestation taken by dazb75 and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of soil emitting gas taken by Qzian and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of floods in China created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Town underlay taken by Rituraj Bhuyan, released on Wikimedia Commons, and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0. Flooding overlay taken by the United States Air Force and released into the public domain. Helicopter overlay taken by the United States Navy and released into the public domain.
Image of turtle carcass taken by Phil Slattery of the National Park Service and released into the public domain. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of drought in Africa created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Image base taken by Nejron Photo and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. Special thanks to Erika Carter for her assistance creating this image.
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.