2070 – World Emissions Stopped but Temperatures Still Rise
World leaders have been patting themselves on the back as scientists confirm that all human-made greenhouse gases have been stopped. Experts explain this colossal achievement has been accomplished by rapidly reducing the amount of energy humankind consumes while also generating the remaining demand using only renewables. Despite this, climate change continues to spiral out of control as atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent increase to 800 ppm. That is more than two times the amount it was at the turn of the century. Scientists explain that, even though human-made emissions have stopped, vegetation decay and forest fires caused by rising temperatures have resulted in the planet's natural carbon cycle producing more greenhouse gas than it absorbs. Consequently, average temperatures have now risen by some 3.5°C and will continue to rise over the coming centuries.
2075 – Giant Bushfires Devastate Australia
Enormous bushfires are rampaging through Australia with an estimated thirty million hectares of land already destroyed. Huge numbers of volunteer firefighters are now trying to assist as the blazes spread dangerously close to a number of major cities. In Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra visibility has been reduced to as little as 50 metres as ash rains down upon the streets. Within rural areas, many fires are now taller than four-storey buildings and have led to whole towns being evacuated. Altogether, it is estimated that bushfires have destroyed some 100 million hectares of land over the last 20 years alone. That is roughly eight times the size of Greece. On top of this, extreme summer temperatures have made life intolerable across much of Australia with as many as 12,000 people dying every year due to heat-related illnesses. Moreover, the country is now plagued by chronic water shortages as well as much of the country's farmland becoming untenable. This has led to once common fruits and vegetables being strictly rationed to a single serving per week in many states. Scientists explain the damage unfolding was to be expected, as, even at the beginning of the century, Australia witnessed a surge in the number of forest fires. As a result, a temperature rise of just a few degrees has been enough to send the entire country into a state of turmoil with the risk of catastrophic fire increasing from a one-in-33-year event to a one-in-three-year event. This is the last straw for many Australians, with more than a million migrating to northern Europe and Canada each year. Sadly though, migration has become a privilege for the rich with most countries now charging hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, most Australians will be forced to adapt to the vastly more hostile world they find themselves in.
Tragedy Strikes Australia as Wildfires Rage Across the Continent
2079 – The Amazon Burns to the Ground!
The world is left reeling as aerial footage is released of the Amazon Rainforest burning. More than 300 million hectares of forest have already been destroyed, sending over 20,000 species into extinction. This includes 210 species of mammals, 190 species of reptiles, 200 species of amphibians and at least 700 species of birds. As a result of the fires, gigantic plumes of searing smoke have engulfed the surrounding countries of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Eastern Peru and Bolivia. Over 200 million people have been affected with some two million cases of respiratory tract infections already reported. Climatologists explain the soaring temperatures and massively reduced rainfall have left the Amazonian forest exceptionally dry. Unfortunately though, unlike the trees found in Australia and Africa, the trees in the Amazon are have not been exposed to forest fires and have therefore developed only limited resistance. When this is combined with further temperature rises, scientists state they have little hope that any of the Amazon Rainforest will be with us for much longer. Tragically, the full impact of the Amazon's destruction will not be felt for a number of years. Scientists state that this will happen once the massive amounts of carbon dioxide released in the fires have settled into the atmosphere. Countries around the world have begun to prepare for the worst with scientists confirming the casualties from climate change will now enter the billions.
Firefighting Aircraft Desperately Try to Save the Amazon
Climate Change in the 2080s
The damage caused by climate change does not stop with the loss of the Amazon! Find out what disasters our 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 photovoltaic panels taken by taraki and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications by SUPER RADICAL LTD.
Image of bushfires in Australia created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Terrain underlay taken by THPStock and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. First fire overlay taken by Steve Hillebrand and released into the public domain. Second fire overlay sourced from ‘Red Sky in Morning‘ taken by Robert Couse-Baker and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.
Image of forest fires in the Amazon created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. Amazon underlay taken by top10top and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Fire overlay taken by norinori303 and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Burnt land overlay taken by Vladimir Melnikov and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock.
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.