Climate Change Risk in and Unknowable Future

Course video 18 of 19

What happens next? We don’t know, but the answer depends far less on scientific data than on human action—or inaction. The major uncertainty is the future rate of greenhouse gas emissions, which is impossible to predict because it depends on socioeconomic, technological, and political developments. Furthermore, the risks posed by different kinds of natural phenomena vary widely, and similar events can have very different consequences depending on where and even when they occur. How will the effects be distributed, and how resilient are we? Hurricane Sandy provided lessons about our willingness to accept and plan for a future where severe climate events happen more frequently.

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