Climate models are used for a variety of purposes from the study of dynamics of the weather and climate system to projections of future climate.
NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory has created several ocean-atmosphere coupled models to predict how greenhouse gas emissions following different population, economic, and energy-use projections may affect the planet.
The RCP 2.6 scenario is a so-called "peak" scenario, which means the radiative forcing level reaches 3.1 W/m2 by mid-century but returns to 2.6 W/m2 by 2100. In the RCP 8.5 emissions scenario the radiative forcing level reaches 8.5 W/m2 characterized by increasing greenhouse gas emissions over time representative for scenarios in the literature leading to high greenhouse gas concentration levels.
The Earth gets warmer as CO2 increases in the atmosphere
The Earth doesn't warm uniformly, the oceans warm slower than the continents and arctic
Projections for temperature according to RCP 2.6 W/m2 show the level of radiative forcing by greenhouse gas emissions peaking by mid-century then returning to 2.6 W/m2 by 2100
A large-scale, global and differentiated greenhouse gas mitigation strategy and new technologies would need to be widely employed very soon in order to attain this reality of the scenario depicted here
Projections for temperature according to RCP 8.5 W/m2 show extreme change
CO2 levels rise to 936ppm by 2100 making the global temperature rise by about 5-6°C by 2100