19 Oct 2021

Jon Snow turned into ‘hologram’ to report on how climate crisis could impact humanity over next 80 years

Jon Snow has been turned into a ‘hologram’ to report on potential climate impacts over the course of the next century in a new project for Channel 4 News ahead of the COP climate conference in Glasgow.

The Channel 4 News presenter’s first forays into the future to show the projected impacts of the climate crisis on people across the planet is online now across social media and our website.

Jon Snow takes audiences on a journey from a gigantic wind farm off the east coast of England in 2035, to the site of irreversible loss of the Amazon rainforest in 2080 and to scenes of the flight from China’s coastal ghost towns in 2100. He is joined by climate scientists from the University of Oxford and The Grantham Institute for Climate Change to give audiences a glimpse into possible futures that they will likely live through – based on the latest research and UN projections.

The video series is called #OurClimateFutures – using real science to forecast and show what impacts and changes humanity may face as the climate crisis unfolds. They are not news stories – yet.

The videos will make viewers stop in their tracks by presenting them with a vision of two possible futures – with Jon Snow reporting on the day’s biggest stories from each. In the first, the world is on track to meet its climate targets but climate impacts are still transforming lives and the natural world. The second is a much bleaker future where climate targets are being missed, with catastrophic results.

All the stories are grounded in science from the UN and peer-reviewed journals, but take the often dry and abstract wording of climate literature and transform them into vivid, living stories. Some of the world’s leading experts explain to us the science behind each of the issues that Jon Snow reports on – from mosquito-borne diseases spreading across the world, to the issues of climate financing and fears of conflicts sparked over battles for natural resources like water.

Dr Friederike Otto, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, who is featured in the films, said: “Climate change is real, it’s happening here and now. We need to connect what we know intellectually with what we and others experience. Some climate impacts might seem like science fiction, but it’s the scientific reality of the future we face. The good news is, we still have the power to determine which path we take to that future.”

Ben de Pear said: “We’ve been covering ‘The Emergency on Planet Earth’ for decades, but with each successive year the volume of reporting we have to do increases; this year the climate emergency has dominated the news from California to Turkey, from India’s floods to Greece’s devastating wildfires to climate migrants fleeing central America.

“As we reflect on the climate catastrophes to date, in the run up to COP26 we will be continuing our exclusive in-depth reports and investigations across the world showing the current devastation being wrought, and Jon Snow will take you where you’ve never been before – to show a glimpse of the future for humanity that the vast majority of climate scientists have forecast.

“We show what the science is telling us about the potential events we will see in the not too distant future if emissions are not limited; but also what mitigation there will be if it can. During COP itself we have partnered with the New York Times in their climate hub to bring you the world’s most informed voices as they debate this emergency, as well as from inside the conference itself. ”

Learn more at Our Climate Futures website