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Climate Change Scenarios — Purpose and Construction

Abstract

Scenarios are descriptions of possible futures — of different plausible futures. Scenarios are not predictions but “storyboards”, a series of alternative visions of futures, which are possible, plausible, internally consistent but not necessarily probable (e.g. Schwartz, 1991; see also Tol, 2007b). The purpose of scenarios is to confront stakeholders and policymakers with possible future conditions so that they can analyze the availability and usefulness of options to confront the unknown future. Scenarios allow implementing measures now to avoid unwanted futures; they may also be used to increase the chances for the emergence of favorable futures.
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