Articles | Volume 17, issue 11
Review and perspective paper
 | Highlight paper
05 Jun 2024
Review and perspective paper | Highlight paper |  | 05 Jun 2024

A perspective on the next generation of Earth system model scenarios: towards representative emission pathways (REPs)

Malte Meinshausen, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Kathleen Beyer, Greg Bodeker, Olivier Boucher, Josep G. Canadell, John S. Daniel, Aïda Diongue-Niang, Fatima Driouech, Erich Fischer, Piers Forster, Michael Grose, Gerrit Hansen, Zeke Hausfather, Tatiana Ilyina, Jarmo S. Kikstra, Joyce Kimutai, Andrew D. King, June-Yi Lee, Chris Lennard, Tabea Lissner, Alexander Nauels, Glen P. Peters, Anna Pirani, Gian-Kasper Plattner, Hans Pörtner, Joeri Rogelj, Maisa Rojas, Joyashree Roy, Bjørn H. Samset, Benjamin M. Sanderson, Roland Séférian, Sonia Seneviratne, Christopher J. Smith, Sophie Szopa, Adelle Thomas, Diana Urge-Vorsatz, Guus J. M. Velders, Tokuta Yokohata, Tilo Ziehn, and Zebedee Nicholls


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Executive editor
Common pathway frameworks are a critical part of the commonality that underpins the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) and feed forward into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports. This paper presents the perspective of an broad section of the climate modelling community on the desirable form and content of pathways for the CMIP7 cycle and beyond.
Short summary
The scientific community is considering new scenarios to succeed RCPs and SSPs for the next generation of Earth system model runs to project future climate change. To contribute to that effort, we reflect on relevant policy and scientific research questions and suggest categories for representative emission pathways. These categories are tailored to the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal, high-risk outcomes in the absence of further climate policy and worlds “that could have been”.