What is a Scenario?

"The goal of working with scenarios is not to predict the future, but to better
understand uncertainties and alternative futures, in order to consider how robust
different decisions or options may be under a wide range of possible futures."
Source: IPCC Scenario Process for AR5


The future of the Northeast’s climate, waters and land ecosystems will depend on future human decisions and management strategies for issues such as:

  • Climate change and natural resource management policies
  • Regional population changes
  • Development patterns
  • Infrastructure and technology
Scenarios are alternative pathways for how the future might unfold. They are a tool for understanding the impacts of different regional strategies on the earth system and, subsequently, the region’s economy.

Global Climate Scenarios


Regional Scenarios