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21st Century Global and Regional Surface Temperature Projections
  • +5
  • Nicole Ma,
  • Jonathan H Jiang,
  • Kennard Hou,
  • Yun Lin,
  • Philip E. Rosen,
  • Trung Vu,
  • Yu Gu,
  • Kristen Fahy
Nicole Ma
Sage Hill School
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Jonathan H Jiang
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:jonathan.h.jiang@jpl.nasa.gov

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Kennard Hou
Hanford High School
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Yun Lin
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Philip E. Rosen
5. Independent Researcher
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Trung Vu
University of California
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Yu Gu
Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering
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Kristen Fahy
JPL / Caltech
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Many regions across the globe broke their surface temperature records in recent years, further sparking concerns about the impending arrival of “tipping points” later in the 21st century. This study analyzes observed global surface temperature trends in three target latitudinal regions: the Arctic Circle, the Tropics, and the Antarctic Circle. We show that global warming is accelerating unevenly across the planet, with the Arctic warming at approximately three times the average rate of our world. We further analyzed the reliability of latitude-dependent surface temperature simulations from a suite of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 models and their multi-model mean. We found that GISS-E2-1-G and FGOALS-g3 were the best-performing models based on their statistical abilities to reproduce observational, latitude-dependent data. Surface temperatures were projected from ensemble simulations of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 2-4.5 (SSP2-4.5). We estimate when the climate will warm by 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 ℃ relative to the preindustrial period, globally and regionally. GISS-E2-1-G projects that global surface temperature anomalies would reach 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 ℃ in 2024 (±1.34), 2039 (±2.83), and 2057 (±5.03) respectively, while FGOALS-g3 predicts these “tipping points” would arrive in 2024 (±2.50), 2054 (±7.90), and 2087 (±10.55) respectively. Our results reaffirm a dramatic, upward trend in projected climate warming acceleration, with upward concavity in 21st century projections of the Arctic, which could lead to catastrophic consequences across the Earth. Further studies are necessary to determine the most efficient solutions to reduce global warming acceleration and maintain a low SSP, both globally and regionally.