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GEO-3: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK  
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Heating up

Key to charts
Change in average temperature: Polar regions (C per ten years)

Large increases in average polar temperature are to be expected for each of the scenarios, especially in the Arctic. The graph clearly shows that the change of temperature between 2002 and 2032 is far larger than the uncertainty.

Source: IMAGE 2.2 (see technical annex)

These differences, combined with the impacts on polar areas of activities and processes in other parts of the world, translate into a varied range of environmental implications under the four scenarios. Large increases in average polar temperatures are to be expected in all the scenarios, especially in the Arctic (see chart). Policy First and Sustainability First feature the highest increases up to 2032, reflecting the rapid abatement of emissions of sulphur oxides under these scenarios. Warming in Antarctica is less pronounced on account of the ocean currents in the area.

In Security First, both areas suffer from proliferation of illegal production of ozone depleting substances, which obliterates the gains made earlier, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Likewise, chemical pollutants originating from outside the region increase significantly in Security First due to weak regulation and in Markets First, where economic growth is higher. In Policy First and Sustainability First, efforts to phase out pollutants effectively terminate these problems.