Climate Change

What the world could look like in 2500 if we don't stop global warming

The Amazon could be left unrecognisable. Image: REUTERS/Lucas Landau

Christopher Lyon

Postdoctoral researcher, Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University

Alex Dunhill

Research Fellow in Palaeobiology, University of Leeds

Andrew P. Beckerman

Professor in Evolutionary Ecology, University of Sheffield

Ariane Burke

Professor, Anthropology, Université de Montréal

Bethany Allen

PhD Student, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Daniel J. Hill

Lecturer, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Erin Saupe

Associate Professor, Palaeobiology, University of Oxford

James McKay

Manager, Centre for Doctoral Training, University of Leeds

Julien Riel-Salvatore

Professor, Anthropology, Université de Montréal

Lindsay C. Stringer

Professor, Environment and Geography, University of York

Rob Marchant

Professor of Tropical Ecology, University of York

Tracy Aze

Associate Professor, Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Share:

Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Climate Change is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

Stay up to date:

Climate Change

Have you read?

Global mean near-surface air temperature (solid lines) and thermosteric sea level rise (dotted lines) anomalies relative to the 2000-19 mean for the RCP6.0, RCP4.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. Shaded regions highlight the time horizons of interest and their nominal reference years. The bottom panel shows spatial anomalies relative to 2000-19 mean for the 2100, 2200 and 2500 climates under the three RCPs. Image: (Lyon et al., 2021)
Discover

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

The top image shows a traditional pre-contact Indigenous village (1500 CE) with access to the river and crops planted in the rainforest. The middle image is a present-day landscape. The bottom image, considers the year 2500 and shows a barren landscape and low water level resulting from vegetation decline, with sparse or degraded infrastructure and minimal human activity. Image: (Lyon et al., 2021), CC BY-ND

The top painting is based on pre-colonisation Indigenous cities and communities with buildings and a diverse maize-based agriculture. The second is the same area today, with a grain monoculture and large harvesters. The last image, however, shows agricultural adaptation to a hot and humid subtropical climate, with imagined subtropical agroforestry based on oil palms and arid zone succulents. The crops are tended by AI drones, with a reduced human presence. Image: (Lyon et al., 2021), CC BY-ND

The top image is a busy agrarian village scene of rice planting, livestock use and social life. The second is a present-day scene showing the mix of traditional rice farming and modern infrastructure present in many areas of the Global South. The bottom image shows a future of heat-adaptive technologies including robotic agriculture and green buildings with minimal human presence due to the need for personal protective equipment. Image: (Lyon et al., 2021), CC BY-ND

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:

Climate ChangeFuture of the Environment

Share:

Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Aquaman Jason Momoa speaks up for the ocean – and other environment stories you need to read this week
About Us
Events
Media
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2022 World Economic Forum