2060 – World Leaders to Stop Emissions
As climate change spirals out of control, governments around the world have united together to stop all human-made greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade. Sadly, scientists state that this will prove to be too little, too late. With atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide already exceeding 725 ppm, there is now nothing to stop average global temperatures exceeding 4°C.
Newly Constructed Flood Defences
2063 – India Devastated by Famine
India is left in crisis as more than half a billion people are now without food as a combination of rising temperatures and intense, unpredictable rainfall has destroyed much of the nation's farmland. In previous years, this shortfall has been offset by other countries, however, with food shortages now gripping the planet, many countries are struggling to meet their own food demand, let alone India's too. The UN has described the current crisis as the biggest disaster in India's history. Already, thousands of children are dying from food poisoning after having no choice but to eat rotten food. To combat the food shortages, the Indian government has been forced to introduce strict rationing limiting many regions to just a single meal per day. Climatologists state things are only going to get worse for India though. As global temperatures continue to rise, soil productivity will continue to decrease. Added to this, rainfall will become even more intense and unpredictable leading to more frequent droughts and flooding. Scientists believe this will result in some 200 million people could losing their life to malnutrition by the end of the decade.
Huge Swathes of India Washed Away by the Monsoon Rain
2066 – Carbon Emissions Turn the Oceans Toxic
Scientists have today released a report describing how greenhouse gases have not only caused a rise in global temperatures but have also made much of the tropical ocean toxic to marine life. Due to the burning of fossil fuels, our oceans have been absorbing carbon dioxide some 50 times faster than normal, and as a result, the pH scale of the tropical ocean has dropped from around 8.2 to 7.9. While this drop might seem pretty insignificant, it means acidity levels in the tropical ocean have doubled since the industrial revolution. This has made it completely uninhabitable to a variety of calcareous marine life forms, including zooplankton, a near-microscopic lifeform that forms the foundation of the oceanic food chain. Nearly every fish in the ocean feeds either directly on zooplankton, or indirectly, by eating the fish that feed on the zooplankton. This means, as the zooplankton slowly disappears from the ocean, so too does nearly every other type of marine life. This includes larger predatory fish such as sharks, dolphins and whales, as well as smaller fish such as clownfish, pufferfish and angelfish. At current rates, scientists anticipate that nearly all marine life in the tropical ocean will be lost during the next decade. This means we could sail for thousands of miles across the ocean without encountering a single lifeform. The scientists also state that unless our greenhouse gas emissions are stopped immediately, nearly all the world's oceans will soon become too acidic for marine life.
Dead Seals Wash Up From the Southern Ocean
2067 – World Reeling from Monster Storms
A catastrophic series of storms combined with rising sea levels has devastated numerous coastal cities around the globe. In Britain, over three million people have been forced to evacuate their homes, with the cost of damages anticipated to exceed $72 billion. In California, some 400,000 people have been left with no choice but to vacate their homes as floodwaters wash through the state. In total, around $7 billion of damage has been caused this year. In Florida, rising sea levels have forced some two million people to relocate. In Miami alone, the average annual costs of flooding are now $2.5 billion. Altogether, an estimated 13 million Americans have been affected by the rise in sea levels. In Asia, storm damage has crippled many of the continent's most famous cities. In Taipei, some 5 million people have been affected, in Manila more than 12 million people, and in Tokyo, more than 14 million people. Worst hit has been China, where 8,000 people have lost their lives, 30 million have been evacuated from their homes, and some 450 million people have been affected. Added to this some 32 million hectares of cropland have also been destroyed. India has not been spared either, with a total of 8 million affected in Mumbai and Chennai alone. In Mozambique, a combination of huge tropical cyclones and massive flooding has affected more than 40% of the country's population in addition to forcing more than 800,000 from their homes. Furthermore, crop growth has been decimated as 90% of the country's irrigation infrastructure has been damaged in addition to 80% of the country's cattle being killed. Finally, in Madagascar, where some two cyclones hit the country every three years, the addition of unprecedented levels of drought and crop loss has completely crippled the country. The most recent cyclone has resulted in some 300,000 people losing their homes, and with the country's government now bankrupt, it is unlikely many of these people will find any shelter for the foreseeable future. Altogether, the storms have taken the lives 150,000 people and affected more than 70 million. Added to this, some 35,000 people have lost their lives as a result of floods with more than 500 million affected. Unfortunately, as both temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, storm damage of this magnitude is going to become an even more frequent occurrence.
Bangkok Submerged Beneath the Sea
2068 – Cities Abandoned Due to Rising Temperatures
Millions of people are now evacuating the Persian Gulf as peak summer temperatures have become too hot for the human body to endure. Scientists explain that in summer humidity levels of around 55%, humans can tolerate temperatures of up to 44°C, however, beyond this, the body is no longer able to sweat to cool itself down. As a result, even the healthiest person will die in as little as six hours. With temperatures now passing 44°C in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, many have decided to take the initiative and migrate before it is too late. Scientists believe they are making a wise decision too. If emissions continue to increase, they estimate that temperatures of 44°C will become a regular summer occurrence. What's more, only a matter of time before much of Asia, Africa, South America and Australia start experiencing such extreme temperatures.
Cities Abandoned Due to Sweltering Temperatures
2069 – World’s Water Supply Dries Up
A combination of rising temperatures and a booming population have left more than 950 million people suffering from absolute water scarcity. Furthermore, an estimated 1.3 billion more people are being forced to contend with chronic water scarcity. The impacts of this have been devastating as the UN explains that as many as 35,000 children are dying each day due to the lack of clean water. Furthermore, with no water for sanitation, disease is now spreading at unprecedented rates. This year alone, some 6 million people are estimated to have died as due to a lack of sanitation. Moreover, some one billion people who depend on agriculture for their livelihood now have no source of income as they have no water left to irrigate their crops. Armed tribes have now formed, with villages being mercilessly pillaged for their remaining resources. Africa, the Middle East and much of Asia have been the worst hit, with many nations forced to introduce extreme levels of rationing to try and reduce the number of lives lost. Sadly though, as temperatures continue to rise, so too will the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
A Young Child Left Pleading for Water
Climate Change in the 2070s
The damage caused by climate changes not going to stop here! Find out what disasters 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 flood defences taken by Aleksandr Kurganov and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of floods in India created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Base image taken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and released into the public domain.
Image of washed up seals created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Base image taken by ToddBF, released on Flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0. Whale overlay sourced from taken by Nick R, released on the Geograph website and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0.
Image of Bangkok flooded based on maps generated from Geology.com – ‘Global Sea Level Rise Map’ – geology.com. Image created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Cityscape underlay taken by tonefotografia and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Storm clouds underlay taken by Kevin Udy, released on Colorado Clouds Blog and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0. Flood effect created using the Photoshop application ‘Flood’ by Flaming Pear.
Image of urban destruction created by petrafler and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of boy and tap taken by TinnaPong and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. 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.