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Climate change: Scientists simulated 100,000 different futures

Climate change: Scientists simulated 100,000 different futures

Kind of like in a classic science fiction movie, a team of scientists simulated 100,000 different climatic futures to try to understand how we could improve ourselves e what consequences our actions can have. Predictive modeling is the only thing that can bring researchers closer to identifying the factors that can make a difference in the fight against the climate.

At a time when we fail to comply with the Paris Agreement and the carbon dioxide emissions continue to be higher than desired, finding these key points is more important than ever. Most climate modeling to date has focused on the technical aspects. Previous studies have shown that we have the resources to make the changesbut progress is stifled by other facts devalued by predictive modeling.

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In this study, the different simulations up to the year 2100 took into account social, economic and political factors. “We are trying to understand what is in these fundamental socio-political-technical systems that determine emissions,” says Frances Moore, of the University of California, USA.

Scientists suggest that this “emerging sign of the climate change in people’s daily climate experience could lead to widespread recognition of the existence of global warming “. As a result, it can lead people to support environmental policies.

In a previous study, Moore had already noted that people tend to compare current weather anomalies to what they remember from the past eight years. This causes the comparison term to change from person to person and over time. For the researchers, social, economic and political factors are equally important, since “nearly all of our identified clusters have parameters that are distinct from more than one area,” the authors write.

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Over 90% of the simulations showed that we are at least on track for reduce the heating scenario by 3.9 ° C by at least 0.5 ° C. However, in the worst-case scenarios, “populations are highly fragmented by political opinion, preventing widespread support for climate policies”.

As other studies have already suggested, simulations show that it is highly unlikely that we can stay below 1.5 ° C even in an “aggressive action scenario”. Despite this, future scenarios show that it is still possible to keep emissions below 2 ° C. In 30% of them, “the rapid spread of support for climate policies leads to a rapid increase in political ambition in the 2020s”, leading to a reduction in global emissions to zero by 2060.

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The results of the study were published last week in the scientific journal Nature.