The Earth is a very complex system where different realms and processes are intertwined along vast space and
time scales. Earth's climate is one of the best examples in this sense, connecting atmospheric, land and
oceanic domains. In order to analyse and project future climate scenarios, the Earth System Models (ESMs)
have been developed covering a wide range of climate variables and timescales.
The Earth System Model community has developed a common set of experiments under the auspices of the UN
IPCC. These so-called CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5) Models are able to estimate the global
distribution of near-surface temperature (or TAS). In this globe we display the averaged surface temperature
over the 1980-2005 time period.
ESMs project past, present and future climate along centuries. The Industrial Revolution around 1850 is the
start of the historical estimates up to year 2005. From 2005 on, there are four different scenarios accoring
to the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways. Change in surface temperature is shown in the historical
period compared to the averaged 1961-1990 time period, while future projections are referenced to the
1985-2005 time period.
Select Future RCP