Climate Scenarios

Global climate data is provided by the Meteorological Research Institute Earth System Model Version 2.0 (MRI-ESM2.0), which is part of the globally-recognised Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). The climate data is available from 2015 until 2100. In order to address the socioeconomic developments in future climate predictions, the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) were introduced (O'Neill et al., 2014). Five major climate scenarios are differentiated. The biggest advantage of using the SSPs is the incorporation of both, uncertainties in climate change outcomes and socioeconomic pathways regarding adaptation and mitigation strategies. Socioeconomic and environmental challenges can be displayed on two axes. The x-axis represents challenges pertaining to adaptation and the y-axis depicts challenges to mitigation.
Climate scenarios
SSPs overview (O'Neill et al., 2014)
The term ”socioeconomic” encompasses demographic, political, social, cultural, institutional, life-style, economic, and technological aspects, as well as human-induced services such as water quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem form and function (O'Neill et al., 2014).

The five Scenarios

In order to query climate data for a certain scenario from the API, the parameter source has to be set to the desired scenario. The data sets include the parameters temperature, precipitation, wind, radiation and other parameters that are related to or derived from those. The native grid resolution is , but the data is downscaled to a resolution of 90 m.

SSP1: Sustainability (taking the green road)

SSP1 (former RCP2.6)
  • Shift towards a more sustainable path
  • Development respects environmental boundaries
  • Broader emphasis on human well-being
  • Inequality is reduced
  • Consumption is oriented towards lower resource and energy intensity
  • Radiative forcing reaches 2.6 W/m2 by the end of the century

SSP2: Middle of the road

SSP2 (former RCP4.5)
  • Social, economic, and technological trends do not shift significantly from historical patterns
  • Development and income growth proceeds unevenly (dependent on country)
  • Slow progress in achieving sustainable development goals
  • Environmental systems experience degradation
  • Overall the intensity of resource and energy use declines Moderate population growth
  • Income inequality persists or improves only slowly
  • Radiative forcing reaches 4.5 W/m2 by the end of the century

SSP3: Regional rivalry (a rocky road)

SSP3 (former RCP7.0)
  • Resurgent nationalism
  • Insecurities and concerns about competitiveness
  • Regional conflicts force countries on domestic issues
  • Countries focus on achieving energy and food security goals
  • Investments in education and technological development decline
  • Economic development is slow, consumption is material-intensive, and inequalities persist or worsen over time
  • Population growth is low in industrialized and high in developing countries
  • Radiative forcing reaches 7.0 W/m2 by the end of the century

SSP4: Inequality (a road divided)

SSP4 (former RCP6.0)
  • Increasing disparities in economic opportunity and political power
  • Unequal investments in human capital
  • Increasing gap within societies followed by social cohesion degradation
  • Technology development is high in the high-tech economy
  • Energy sector diversifies (low-carbon energy sources)
  • Radiative forcing reaches 6.0 W/m2 by the end of the century

SSP5: Fossil-fueled development (taking the highway)

SSP5 (former RCP8.5)
  • Increasing faith in competitive markets, innovation and participatory societies
  • Strong investments in health, education, and institutions to enhance human and social capital
  • Developments are coupled with the exploitation of abundant fossil fuel resources
  • Rapid growth of the global economy and population
  • Radiative forcing reaches 8.5 W/m2 by the end of the century


  • Global temperature (2 m) for July 1st, 2080 in MetX: Climate data metx
References Climate scenarios FAQ
Here you can find the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers concerning our climate data.