What comes after 2100?

I was fascinated to learn in The Unhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells that climate models end in 2100 as a matter of convention. I’d be interested to learn about how this convention emerges and what effect it has had on climate science. It’s easy to see the epistemological reasons for this, as the conditions being modelled become sufficiently complex that forecasting past a certain point becomes close to untenable. But why choose the turn of the century? It’s such a resonant point at which to cut off. I find it unnerving because, for example, my niece and nephew (5 and 3 respectively) could be expected to have an excellent chance of living to see the next century. A generation are being born now who will live to see past this horizon, with their children living to confront what could possibly come to be a literally uninhabitable earth.

One thought on “What comes after 2100?

  1. Philosophically I think it is interesting how science can only see so far into whatever universe into which it wants to turn its gaze.

    I remember in the 90s reading a story about how there was a coincidence and technological ability and the edge of the universe itself. It so happened that our technology had reached a certain level that he was actually able to see the edge of the universe, but the universe is expanding so quickly that now our technology can no longer see the Edge universe, Or something like that.

    So I think it’s kind of funny that for all of our faith in technology and what it is able to give us, for example the prediction models that you’re talking about ending in 2100.

    I think it is more a comment on the actual state of the universe then it is about our ability to know of it.

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About Mark