Jake Slobe | March 15, 2017
Mega-droughts. Long-lasting heat waves. Flooded coastal cities. These are the weather scenarios for 2050 from a series of imaginary, yet realistic, reports from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that predict a future of warmer, wetter and more extreme weather.
WMO released four series of future weather reports in 2014 and 2015 to highlight the need for action to minimize the risks of extreme weather and climate events. Series 4 was launched in advance of the Paris conference on the Climate Change Convention in November 2015, Series 3 supported the Third World Conference on Disaster risk Reduction held in Sendai, Series 2 was launched in December 2014 during the Lima conference on the Climate Change Convention, and Series 1 was launched in September 2014 to support the UN Secretary-General’s call for action at the UN Climate Summit.
Three of the station’s best-known personalities—Sam Champion, Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams—each contribute to segments that imagine a world besieged by the kind of extreme weather scientists expect to see a lot more of by midcentury.
Climate reporter Andrew Freedman said about the video forecast:
“This Weather Channel video of a weather forecast in 2050 may be the most compelling climate advocacy vid I’ve seen. It represents an aggressive, almost advocacy-oriented, move on the part of The Weather Channel, which began covering climate change more routinely during the past two years after virtually ignoring it entirely for several years.”
What they created are only possible scenarios and not true forecasts. Nevertheless, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science, and they paint a compelling picture of what life could look like on a warmer planet. The events dramatized in both pieces are entirely in keeping with what climate scientists expect to see as human-spewed carbon continues to saturate the atmosphere.
You can watch all the videos here.