Give Now

A Moment of Science

Earth’s Climate In The Year 3000

The future does not look so bright. What can be done to help stop global climate change?

two hands holding a globe of the earth

Photo: Entrer dans le reve (flickr)

Humans can have a positive change to global warming.

The answer depends on what happens with global warming between now and then.

Changing Climate

Global climate might look much different several centuries on if we were to somehow stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today, as opposed to phasing out CO2 by the year 2100.

Waiting Game

According to one study using a computerized climate model, waiting a century or more to cut CO2 emissions makes a big difference. In both scenarios, by the year 3000, the oceans warm and sea level rises.

If we were to stop emitting CO2 now, warmer oceans could rise by only about a foot. In the year 2100 scenario, though, oceans could rise by more than three feet. And if the warmer waters reach the massive West Antarctic ice sheet and cause it to collapse, oceans could rise nearly ten feet.

So waiting to reduce CO2 could result in much more catastrophic flooding around the world.

The Future

Climate models are not infallible predictors of the future. Global climate depends on so many complex variables that even the most sophisticated models are only rough approximations of what might happen.

Still, as climate model technology gets better, a picture of how a warmer planet could look several centuries in the future is becoming clearer.

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science