Which Future Will We Choose?

At the UN Climate Conference in November, decisions by world leaders will set a path for Rio de Janeiro’s ultimate sea level.

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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BRA__0__Rio_de_Janeiro__Universidade_Federal_do_Rio_de_Janeiro__L13__3p0C.jpg
If we keep our current carbon path
(3°C global warming)
(3°C warming)
Image Landsat/Copernicus
BRA__0__Rio_de_Janeiro__Universidade_Federal_do_Rio_de_Janeiro__L13__1p5C.jpg
If we sharply cut carbon pollution
(1.5°C global warming)
(1.5°C warming)
Image Landsat/Copernicus
Present-day sea level1.1°C1.5°C2°C3°C4°C

These images show projected future sea levels at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil due to human-caused global warming under two different scenarios. Climate and energy choices in the coming few decades could set the destination, but the timing of rise is more difficult to project: these sea levels may take hundreds of years to be fully realized.