Climate change scenarios are a powerful tool for understanding climate change, charting response strategies, and supporting climate policy making. They are not about predicting the future, but come in the form of projections of what can happen or pathways of how to reach certain goals.
Socioeconomics and climate change are inseparably intertwined. Socioeconomics define for example our land and energy needs, which are closely linked to emissions. Increased emissions lead to higher GHG concentrations, which leads to climate change and its impacts. Climate impacts close the cycle as they will also influence our socioeconomics.
Socioeconomic scenarios in climate change research are increasingly based on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways which represent five different futures with widely varying challenges to mitigation and adaptation.
On the model side integrated assessment models get us from those socioeconomic assumptions to energy, land use and emissions. Climate models take the next step towards future climate. And climate impact models show us how that effects nature and society.