Storylines describing possible futuresStorylines describing possible futures

Storylines describing possible futures

A "scenario" is a plausible description of a future state of the world. It is not a forecast; rather, each scenario is one alternative pathway of how the future could unfold depending on the specific assumptions about the future trends in e.g. population growth, technological advances in energy, transport and manufacturing sectors, and mitigation measures adopted by global community. A projection may serve as the raw material for a scenario, but scenarios often require additional information.

Because of the uncertainty of climate projections, a set of scenarios or "storylines" is often used to describe possible futures. Each storyline assumes a distinctly different direction for future developments, but together they describe divergent futures that encompass a significant portion of the underlying uncertainties in the main driving forces.

The Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change developed four SRES scenario storylines (A1, B1, A2, B2) that vary depending on economic growth, global population, local or global change, and clean-energy technology advancements - the forces driving global greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions.

The SRES emission scenarios used in IPCC climate modelling are based on the A1 and B1 storylines;

a)  A1 storyline and scenario family assumes a future world of very rapid economic growth, global population peaking in mid-century and declining thereafter, and rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies.

b)  B1 storyline assumes a convergent world with the same global population as in the A1 storyline but with rapid changes in economic structures toward a service and information economy, with reductions in material intensity, and the introduction of clean and resource-efficient technologies

The Queensland Government's Climate Change Centre of Excellence, part of the Office of Climate Change, has developed climate scenarios across 13 regions, and these are avaliable from the Suburb search pages of Harden Up.

You can also download the Office of Climate Change's report, "Climate Change in Queensland - What the Science is Telling Us"