Future Emissions Scenarios: SRES

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The Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) is a report prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the Third Assessment Report (TAR). The scenarios were also used in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The report describes potential future emissions scenarios to be used in climate change models.

There are 40 different scenarios. Each scenario includes different assumptions on future technological development, economic growth, land-use change, and other forces affecting levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The emissions scenarios are divided into six categories or ‘families’ that share common themes. The six families are: A1F1, A1B, A1T, A2, B1, and B2. Emissions after 2000 grew at a rate of approximately 3%, and the growth rates predicted under the emissions scenarios ranged between 1.4% and 3.4%. This has been interpreted as both a corroboration of the SRES, and also a sign that the estimates may have been undervalued.