We know that climate change is already affecting Earth's weather in a major way, but we don't exactly know how bad things are going to get. However, scientists have a pretty good idea of the probabilities of Earth going to hell in the next few decades. This video shows them.
"We wanted to find a way of communicating climate risks in a way that showed exactly what climate scientists meant when they say likely or unlikely," co-producer Owen Gaffney told Sploid, "while the terminology can sound a little vague, it is more precise than most people realize."
The visualization—funded by the UN Foundation for the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and made by our friend Felix Pharand Deschenes—is based on 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data. It ties the IPCC findings with the effects of the Anthropocene, the new geological era that refers to the effect of humans on Earth ecosystems, including the transformation of terrain and life all around us. "We also wanted to communicate the sheer scale humanity is now operating on," says Owen:
I am sure many people assume the world is just too big for us to have a global impact. But in fact we have unequivocal evidence that we are changing the global carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle.
Owen also told me about the sea level rise: "The sea level rise is interesting. Climate scientists often focus on the end of the century but that ignores the fact that sea level will keep on rising and sea-level rise will accelerate, causing more and more problems. So, if we don't control emissions, cities need to build defences not for a one-meter rise in sea level but potentially much higher in the long run."
It's not a very bright future, but there's hope that we can at least scale back on emissions or at least get ready for these changes.