The Unstoppable Momentum of Outdated Science

Roger Pielke:

We find that the most commonly-used scenarios in climate research have already diverged significantly from the real world, and that divergence is going to only get larger in coming decades. You can see this visualized in the graph below, which shows carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels from 2005, when many scenarios begin, to 2045. The graph shows emissions trajectories projected by the most commonly used climate scenarios (called SSP5-8.5 and RCP8.5, with labels on the right vertical axis), along with other scenario trajectories. Actual emissions to date (dark purple curve) and those of near-term energy outlooks (labeled as EIA, BP and ExxonMobil) all can be found at the very low end of the scenario range, and far below the most commonly used scenarios.