Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)
About the fact sheet
Scientists investigating how the earth's climate will respond to future conditions must take into account a number of factors. These include the amount of future greenhouse gas emissions, developments in technology, changes in energy generation and land use, global and regional economic circumstances and population growth.
So that outputs from different modelling systems can be compared, a standard set of scenarios are used to provide a consistent set of starting conditions, historical data and possible future emissions for use across the various branches of climate science. Findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) are based on a new set of scenarios called Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).