Climate Change Scenarios

home INTRODUCTION Climate Change Scenarios

Definition and necessity of climate change scenario

Climate change scenario is future climate forecast information (temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, etc.) calculated by applying radiative forcing changes caused by artificial causes such as greenhouse gas, aerosol, and land use changes to the Earth system model.

The climate change scenario is used as preemptive information to evaluate the impact of climate change in the future and minimize damage. The detailed climate change forecast for each region on the Korean Peninsula is essential information for local governments to respond to climate change and establish adaptation measures.

The goal of the climate change scenario is not simply to predict the future, but to analyze the uncertainty for reliable decision-making by identifying 'all the possibilities that may arise widely in the future'.

Types of climate change scenarios

SRES (Special Report on Emission Scenarios): Future emission scenarios used in the IPCC 3rd Evaluation Report (2001). There are six scenarios, including A1B, A2, and B1, depending on the expected amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) Scenario: In the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, the greenhouse gas concentration is defined as the amount of radiation generated by human activities on the atmosphere. 'Representative' refers to the fact that there can be several socio-economic scenarios for the same radiative forcing. It also includes the word, 'pathways', to emphasize the change over time in the greenhouse gas emission scenario.


Type Description CO2 Concentration (2100)
RCP2.6 Instantaneous greenhouse gas reduction 420 ppm
RCP4.5 Substantial achievement of greenhouse gas reduction policy 420 ppm
RCP6.0 Fair achievement of greenhouse gas reduction policy 420 ppm
RCP8.5 Greenhouse gas emission as current trend 420 ppm
<Table 1. Description of RCP scenarios>

SSP (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways): For IPCC 6th evaluation report, this is a scenario that considers demographic statistics, economic development, welfare, ecosystem factors, resources, institutions, technology development, social factors, and policies as of 2100. Similar to the radiative forcing intensity (RCP), it is distinguished by future mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change on the basis of future socioeconomic changes. The SSP global scenario (135 km) has been provided through the climate information portal from December 2019; East Asia (25 km) will be available in December 2020, and South Korea's detailed scenario (1 km) will be available in December 2021.