What are RCP's? [Text]
Did you hear a buzz word "RCP" used by the scientists in the video. Do you understand what it means?
RCPs is the abbreviation for " Representative concentration pathways " used by IPCC's AR5 report for classifying the stringency of different warming limits. RCPs quantify the projections of greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations and their combined radiative forcing. They originally comprised four projections, viz RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0 and RCP 8.5 to represent mitigation pathways . The values refer to radiative forcing in Watt/m2 by the end of the century compared to preindustrial times, e.g. 2.6 Watt/m2 in the case of RCP 2.6. However most of the times climate change is often discussed in terms of increase in sea level rise and increase in temperate and not in terms of radiative forcing. These pathways represent four plausible futures based on the mitigatory actions taken by all of us together. The emission trend, increase in temperature and increase in sea level rise along these pathways are presented in the table below. By the late-21st century across all RCPs the global mean temperature is projected to rise by 0.3 to 4.8 °C and the global mean sea level is projected to rise by 0.26 to 0.82 m.
You might have understood that it is important to observe the changes and keep track of changes in green house gases and the impacts due to these changes in order to understand what happened in the past, what is happening now and what might happen in the future. This knowledge will enable us to plan and take adaptation or mitigation actions at local, regional and global levels.