Our future according to AI: How the world will look in 2100 due to climate change
There is no denying how much of an impact climate change is having on the world around us. But what will the world look like 80 years from now if we do not make the necessary changes?
Net zero energy experts at Uswitch used AI to imagine the world in 2100
The study visualises 20 world-famous places in the year 2100 to see how they could be impacted by climate change if we fail to achieve Net Zero status by 2050
AI predicts risk of flooding in major places around the world, including Agra, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro
Extreme pollution could affect famous cities such as London, Barcelona, Berlin and Tokyo
AI suggests more extreme wildfires in Los Angeles following its recent extreme temperatures over the last two years
New AI images predict what the world will look like in the year 2100 as a result of climate change, according to new research from the green energy experts at Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.
Using the AI tool, Midjourney, experts created images of world-famous destinations to reveal how starkly different places that we know and love could look if we do not reach our Net Zero target by 2050, and continue to live the way that we do over the next few decades. In cooperation with Professor Sam Fankhauser, Research Director of Oxford University Net Zero, the green energy team analysed the emission data from various sectors to show how we can all get to net zero emissions by 2050, as well as reviewing the latest IPCC report to identify how each country will be most affected by climate change in 2100.
But what is Net Zero and why does it matter? Like many countries around the globe, the UK has outlined a strategy to reduce emissions to net zero. That means that by 2050, we won’t produce more emissions than we can remove from the atmosphere.
The UK’s emissions were at an all-time high in 1991 reaching 818mt, which is almost double our current emission levels (455mt). While it is great to see the UK’s total emissions on the decline, it is imperative that we strive for net zero status by 2050 to help limit the global temperature rising to 1.5%.
Uswitch experts have analysed the emission data of key sectors to show which industries have the biggest impact, and how we can get to net zero emissions by 2050. AI was used to create images of 20 famous places from around the world, and visualise how they will look in the future. These places include Agra, Auckland, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Dubai, Edinburgh, Giza, Kruger National Park (South Africa), London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.
While AI suggests extreme smog due to air pollution, floods and desertification, Uswitch also tasked the tool to envision a best-case scenario for our future should the goals of Net Zero be achieved.
The more positive results showcased clear skies and the return of wildlife to densely populated cities. By prioritising the eco-credentials of each place, AI predicts much greener areas with less devastating environmental impacts. Our actions today can influence how the future looks for us and the next generations. Take a look at some of the results below.
What could London look like in the year 2100? Recent summers in Britain’s capital have become noticeably hotter and drier. By the middle of this century, an average summer in London could be a fifth drier and an average summer's day could be 3°C warmer. After London’s temperatures recently surpassed 41°C in the summer of 2022, heat waves are more likely to happen and could be even hotter. Air quality and pollution are also huge environmental risks to the health of all Londoners, so working towards the Net Zero target will help London to avoid looking foggy and grey, as the AI images have predicted.
But, if Londoners and the rest of the UK start to do their bit and contribute to the UK’s strategy to achieve Net Zero by 2050 - from reducing the number of car journeys they take and opting for public transport to cutting down on meat - then AI predicts a much greener and brighter version of the city.
What could Toronto look like in the year 2100? Toronto has one of North America's most ambitious Net Zero targets, aiming to achieve this status by 2040. This was declared in 2019 following the city’s climate emergency declaration. Climate change is expected to make Toronto’s weather hotter, wetter, and more extreme in the years to come, so to get to Net Zero by the 2040 goal, fossil fuels used in Canadian homes, corporations and vehicles are being completely phased out over the next two decades.
If this does not happen, AI anticipates a dark and gloomy Toronto that has extremely visible pollution affecting the city's skyline. However, if the city council and the people of Canada contribute to making these changes then the image on the right could resemble a more positive outlook.
What could New York look like in 2100? Like most business hub cities, New York has been heavily polluted by emissions from the daily commute. The AI images predict that if things are to continue and if we do not achieve Net Zero by 2050, then New York’s leafy Central Park could end up in a permanent drought state.
However, the visualisation of what the city could look like in 2100 if the world reaches Net Zero status is much more appealing. As cities rely on their green spaces to help combat high carbon emissions, it would be great to see a city park thriving like this in the next few decades.
Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch.com comments: “From individual households to the businesses we work for, there are many ways we are contributing to increasing CO2 emissions on the planet. “It is important to visualise how the world could look in the next few decades if we fail to start making changes now. “And there are some simple ways we can try and reduce our carbon footprint to help prevent things such as species from going extinct, wildfires ruining ecosystems, and rising sea levels. “These small changes could be as simple as reducing the number of days we commute by car, reassessing the type and amount of food we eat or making our homes more energy efficient. “If countries around the world do not start to change their habits, then the repercussions could lead to many places looking unrecognisable.”
Learn the best ways to reduce your carbon emissions with our Net zero tool
Methodology: The energy experts at Uswitch sought to visualise how climate change will affect our world in 2100, according to AI. Using Midjourney, the energy experts took some predicted global effects of climate change according to the most recent IPCC report and applied them to famous places around the world. The prompts used were: [city name], [effect], hyper realistic, photo realism, futuristic, 8k, 2100, dusk sky, cinematic, --ar 16:9 Prompts are used to give a general overview of the effects of climate change and are not based on the specific effects of each location. All data correct October 2022.
About Uswitch Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. We’ve saved consumers £2.5 billion off their energy bills since we launched in September 2000, and also help people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile and TV. Uswitch is part of RVU, a global group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.