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All the risks of climate change, in a single graph

The risks of climate change are not easy to communicate clearly. Since the atmosphere affects everything, everything will be affected by its warming — there’s no single risk, but a wide and varied array of risks, of different severities and scales, affecting different systems, unfolding on different timelines.

It’s difficult to convey to a layperson, at least without droning on and on.One of the better-known and more controversial attempts to address this problem is a graphic from the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The so-called “burning embers” graph attempts to render the various risks of climate change — “reasons for concern,” or RFCs — in an easy-to-grasp visual form.In an early-2017 paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, a group of 17 scholars examined the RFC conceptual framework and reviewed the latest science. (Because IPCC reports take so long to produce, the science they contain is always a few years behind.)

photo credit: HereIsTom

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