IPCC Report 2021: What Have Scientists Predicted for the Future?

  August 10, 2021

IPCC’s* Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) has bad news for the future. The warming beyond 1.5°C or 2°C will be breached much earlier. Average global temperatures will continue to rise and could increase by 5.7°C by the end of this century compared to 1850–1900. Consequently, the land surface will continue to warm more than the ocean surface. The Arctic will continue to warm more than global surface temperature. Extreme changes become larger with every addition to global warming.

For example, every additional 0.5°C increase amplifies the intensity and frequency of heatwaves, heavy precipitation and droughts. The temperature of the coldest days will increase by 3 times in the Arctic. As a result, the frequency of marine heatwaves will continue to increase in the tropical ocean and the Arctic. This will amplify permafrost thawing and loss of seasonal snow cover of land and sea ice. The Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice-free at least once before 2050. The global water cycle will continue to transform as surface water flows become more variable over most land regions. A warmer climate will intensify very wet and very dry weather and climate events and seasons leading to flooding or drought. Land and ocean’s capacity to absorb CO2 will decrease. Therefore more emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere.

Greenland Ice Sheet and Antarctic Ice Sheet will continuously lose ice over the 21st century. This ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet will increase with cumulative emissions. Deep ocean warming and Ice sheet melt will drive sea level rise for centuries and millennia.

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