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Towards a world in crisis: grim predictions for 2070

© Camille Coirault for Presse-Citron/Metro Exodus

Advances in science and technology allow us today to establish fairly precise projections of what the future will hold has in store for us. Photorealistic images, interactive simulations, all projections based on rigorous studies which draw before our eyes two imaginable futures. One, rather alarming and based on our current trajectory. The other, a little more optimistic, provided that we manage to drastically reduce our carbon emissions.

Scientific projections and realities

Today, the scientific consensus is well established and the latest United Nations report on climate change published in 2023 is unequivocal. We are heading straight towards climate catastrophe.

According to the most recent research presented in this report, critical temperature thresholds could be crossed in the next decade if we continue to use fossil fuels in this way. The impacts on living things would be deleterious: endangerment of biodiversity, threat to food security and endangerment of the lives of half a billion of individuals.

Research published in 2020 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy suggests that a third of the world's population could find themselves in extreme climate conditions, comparable to the Sahara, by 2070.

This interactive article from National Geographic shows how temperature regimes will change across the planet. The panorama is more than frightening for the year 2070, with cities which will experience increases of 3 to 4°C on average.

The power of images: raising awareness and mobilizing

The Climate Central research group has published Picturing Our Future, presenting two different visions of what lies ahead. Either we don't change anything, and the planet will warm up overall by 3° C, or we reduce our carbon impact and warming will be limited to 1.5° C.

Relying on simulations and photorealistic images, this initiative presents in a quite striking way the effects of global warming and the rise in sea levels in different places around the globe. Seville, Bremen, Alexandria or Dubai, so many cities presented through the prism of these two scenarios.

An interesting (and a little creepy) approach which at least has the merit to illustrate in a fairly concrete way the consequences of our way of life. As Benjamin Strauss (managing director and chief scientist at Climate Central) explains in this article: “Human beings are visual beings. Around 30% of our brain is used for vision. Most scientific reports on climate threats report numbers that are difficult to interpret: what would a sea level rise of 30 centimeters or 1.50 meters really mean?? “.

Even though they present a rather bleak future, these images and simulations also remain an invitation to action and to raise awareness that change is still possible. Rather than presenting abstract data which may remain insufficient to raise awareness, the organizations which produce them hope to produce the necessary electroshock through visuals. Will this approach be more effective??

  • More and more climate projections use the visual rather than the figures to impact consciences more effectively.
  • Initiatives in this direction are multiplying and complementing raw scientific reports.
  • This is the case of the project Picturing our Future for example , or an interactive article published by National Geographic.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116