Models of Future Climate

Let’s check out another model of the future, to put some of our learning about the effect of different gases and aerosols into practice. The app below has three different modes.

    1. The single-slider model from Chapter 2, in which emissions of all pollutants are scaled relative to their 2020 value via the slider.
    2. A model that has emissions separated into different economic sectors (electricity generation, industry, transportation, agriculture, and buildings). With this model you can do experiments like decreasing energy emissions without affecting agriculture, or vice versa. In addition to having different total emissions, each sector has a different balance of heat-trapping gases. Agriculture, for instance, has higher emissions from methane and nitrous oxide.
    3. A model that has emissions separated into the individual gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) and aerosols. In this model you can change emissions of the different gases separately.

Climate interactive tool by EarthGames.

Move the slider or sliders on the left to increase or decrease emissions relative to 2020. There is a “Pause” button to stop time from passing, and a “Reset” button to go back to 2020 temperatures, pollution levels and emissions.

You can press “Graph T” to plot the temperature, including a simple representation of uncertainty. The dark red line has higher climate sensitivity and more negative aerosol radiative forcing, while the yellow line has lower climate sensitivity and less negative aerosol radiative forcing. “Graph F” allows you to plot the radiative forcing for CO2 (black), methane (green), short-lived pollutants like aerosols (gray), and the total radiative forcing (blue).

Try out some experiments to better understand the role of each greenhouse gas and each sector in determining future temperatures.


While Western science tends to focus on separating into individual components (like the above app), Indigenous knowledge systems consider the world from a more holistic perspective. Indigenous scientists also believe that knowledge should be acted upon. This also is in contrast to the typical Western scientist, who often attempts to serve as an impartial observer. Listening to Indigenous scientists, problem solvers and historians is especially critical for climate action.



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Climate, Justice and Energy Solutions Copyright © 2022 by Dargan M. W. Frierson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.