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Why climate85 

Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases due to human activity-related emissions are causing the Earth’s climate to become warmer. 

Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) cause warming by trapping energy in the atmosphere that would otherwise radiate off into space.  

Higher greenhouse gas concentrations lead to more energy trapped in the atmosphere, which in turn leads to a warmer planet. 

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) classifies different scenarios of climate change based on possible 21st century societal responses. These are known as SSPs (Shared-Socioeconomic Pathways).  

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While the IPCC explicitly does not distinguish the likelihood of these different scenarios, they represent the range of projected 21st century climate outcomes. The worst-case scenario, or ‘business as usual’ scenario, would cause average warming across Canada of approximately 6.3 C (with roughly +/- 1.0 C uncertainty estimate) by the turn of the century. This corresponds to the projected climate if no emission-limiting policy action occurs. This scenario is known as SSP5.  

In this scenario, the atmosphere would trap 8.5 W/m2 of additional energy, known as radiative forcing, compared to pre-industrial levels by the year 2100.  

Hence climate85, the worst case we need to be prepared for

Energy is measured in terms of how much work it can accomplish in a second. This is measured in joules per second, or, more commonly, Watts (W). For example, a modern 20W Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) lightbulb requires 20W of power to function normally.  So, by 2100 under an SSP5 scenario, the earth will contain enough additional energy per 2.4 m2 / 26ft2 – about the area of two park benches – to power a 20W CFL lightbulb. That is a lot of extra energy that can power weather events of unseen magnitudes, such as extreme tornadoes, atmospheric rivers, heat domes and other intensified weather events.  

climate85 is about being ready to defend against the business-as-usual scenario, it is about making sure that we are prepared for the worst-case scenarios that may lie ahead.

Climate Change: Global Temperature | NOAA Climate.gov