Predicting climate changes

Environmental issues that may become priorities in the 21st century can be clustered in three groups - unforeseen events and scientific discoveries; sudden, unexpected transformations of old issues; and already well-known issues to which the present response is inadequate. The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment of the International Council for Science conducted a special survey for GEO-2000 on environmental issues that may require attention in the 21st century. Most of the responding scientists expect that the major environmental problems of the next century will stem from the continuation and aggravation of existing problems that currently do not receive enough policy attention. The issues cited most frequently are climate change, and the quantity and quality of water resources. Many scientists emphasized that the interlinkages between climate change and other environmental problems could be important. This includes the emerging scientific understanding of complex interactions in the atmosphere-biosphere-cryosphere-ocean system - which could lead to irreversible changes such as shifts in ocean currents and changes in biodiversity.
There are three ways of making predictions about the future climatic conditions: theory, computer models and existing data. All existing theoretical models about the climate are crude and very limited, as illustrated by the accuracy of weather forecasts of periods longer than five days. Computer models of the climate are based on theory and are limited. The use of existing data, that is past data, is a poor guide to the future.
Forecasting weather
Facilitated by:
Studying global warming
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 13: Climate Action