Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, some future changes in climate may already be inevitable. But there is a choice in how large these changes will be.
AVOID is a unique programme of research funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It's led by the Met Office in a UK consortium with the Walker Institute, Tyndall Centre and Grantham Institute.
The AVOID programme is exploring a range of scenarios for mitigation, based on the change in climate and associated impacts of different policy decisions.
Its work provides scientific evidence to underpin many aspects of domestic policies on mitigation options and adaptation strategies, as well as international negotiations on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The AVOID website
In 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented an authoritative overview of the science, effects and mitigation of climate change. Recently, Met Office Hadley Centre and AVOID programme scientists have conducted new research to better understand potentially 'dangerous' climate change and inform the global debate on what needs to be done to avoid it.
The table in Summary of post-IPCC AR4 work (PDF, 93 kB) is our work on those aspects of the climate that are most at risk. We also show some of the potential consequences expected by the end of the 21st century from the climate changes associated with a 'business as usual' emissions scenario. This scenario assumes that no policies are put in place to limit CO2 emissions.
As part of this research, we have consulted with recognised experts in a number of areas to ensure that the table represents the very latest view.
While there is still a high degree of uncertainty in how many components of the climate system will respond out to 2100, our new work highlights where progress in understanding has been made.
We use a traffic light system to highlight how our understanding of impact severity has changed since IPCC AR4. There are impacts that we expect to see by the end of the century, under a medium to high emissions scenario.