What Will The World Look Like In 2100 If It Is 2°C, 4°C And 6°C Warmer?

According to the IPCC, climate change could be limited to the internationally-agreed 2°C, but it is now increasingly unlikely that we will be able to limit global warming to this ‘safe’ warming threshold. As a result, decision-makers need to plan to adapt to a world with higher levels of global warming.

In order to help inform these adaptation decisions, the European Commission is funding a scientific research project known as High-End cLimate Impact and eXtremes (HELIX), which aims to assess and present the long-term impacts of extreme climate change across different temperature increase and adaptation efforts scenarios. 

Specifically, the project aims to answer the questions:

  • What will the world look like in 2100 if it is 2°C, 4°C and 6°C warmer?
  • And how will this vary depending on the adaptation choices made by society? 

HELIX: Long-Term Impacts Of Extreme Climate Change

HELIX is a multi-disciplinary research consortium project which aims to assess the long-term impacts of extreme climate change, including food security. HELIX brings together 16 organizations including: national meteorological agencies, universities and research institutes, as well as stakeholders such as WFP who use climate information for planning. 

Providing A Window Into The Future 

HELIX seeks to make adaptation more understandable and manageable for decision-makers by providing a set of credible and coherent views of what the impacts of high levels of global warming will be on the world’s bio-physical and socio-economic systems. 

A total of eight global scenarios will be developed, representing different adaptation pathways. For each of these scenarios, the project will assess the biophysical impacts of 2°C, 4°C, and 6°C warming on land and coastal resources. The socio-economic consequences of these biophysical impacts, including on food security, health, conflict risk, energy and biodiversity, will be assessed.

In addition to global-level assessments, the project will also provide more in-depth analysis of impacts for three focus regions in Europe, East and West Africa, and South Asia.  

WFP’s Role In HELIX

WFP’s focus will be on assessing impacts on food security at the global level as well as for the East Africa and South Asia regions more specifically.