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"Extrapolations”: Reflecting Our Climate Reality




As the workweek draws to a close this Friday evening, the narrative of sustainability continues to unfold in our #WeekendWonder series, encouraging reflection, learning, and engagement with the stark realities of climate change. Every Friday, a curated selection of content invites you to pause, delve into themes of sustainability, and foster a collective aspiration for a better future.


This weekend, journey into the near future with Apple TV+'s 'Extrapolations,' a series directed by Scott Z. Burns. With a stellar cast including Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Sienna Miller, Yara Shahidi, Daveed Diggs, Matthew Rhys, Diane Lane, Edward Norton, and others, 'Extrapolations' navigates a world grappling with climate change through eight intertwined stories spanning 33 years. It's more than just a show; it's a reflective mirror revealing the profound implications of our climate reality.

The Climate Disasters in "Extrapolations":

'Extrapolations' transcends the traditional storytelling realm, immersing its audience in real-world climate scenarios - rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and food scarcity. Each episode echoes the somber warnings from reputable sources like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), offering a grim outlook if decisive actions are not taken.


Crafting the Narrative:

Creating the TV show "Extrapolations" required a blend of creative storytelling and a factual basis in climate science to depict a near-future world grappling with climate change. Here’s an outline of the process involved in making the show, as gathered from various sources:

  • Conceptualization:

    • "Extrapolations" is an anthology series created by Scott Z. Burns for Apple TV+, focusing on the effects of climate change on the planet through various interconnected stories ​1​.

  • Release:

    • "Extrapolations" premiered on March 17, 2023​

  • Production Team:

    • The show is produced by Media Res for Apple TV+, with Lindsey Springer, Gregory Jacobs, Dorothy Fortenberry, and Michael Ellenberg serving as the executive producers. Scott Z. Burns, a renowned screenwriter and filmmaker, is the series creator and showrunner ​2​.

  • Dramatizing Climate Change:

    • One of the challenges faced during the making of "Extrapolations" was dramatizing climate change in a way that engages the audience while staying true to the science. The show aimed to turn science into a captivating narrative ​3​​​.

  • Filming and Casting:

    • The show features a star-studded cast portraying characters navigating a world altered by climate change over 33 years.

  • Behind The Scenes Look:

    • There's a video titled "Extrapolations — An Inside Look" on Apple TV+'s YouTube channel that gives a closer look at how "Extrapolations" turned science into an engaging narrative​​.


The meticulous creation of "Extrapolations" demonstrates a concerted effort to not only entertain but educate the audience on the grave realities of climate change. Through its narrative, the show beckons a broader discourse on the exigent climate issues and the collective action required to navigate the looming challenges.


Real-Life Climate Future:

The narratives in 'Extrapolations' are a stark reminder of the urgent need for global initiatives aimed at combating climate change. Current climate trends are a foreboding echo of the scenarios depicted in the series. As we delve into the captivating yet foreboding world of 'Extrapolations', it serves as a wake-up call, urging us to shape a sustainable future before the depicted disasters become our reality.


To further underscore the realism ingrained in 'Extrapolations', it's imperative to look at the current climate situation unfolding in the real world. Each narrative thread in the series resonates with actual climate concerns that have been documented and observed by scientists globally. Here's a succinct overview of each climate scenario presented in 'Extrapolations', mirrored against the real-world data and observations:


Rising Sea Levels:

  • Global sea levels are rising due to the melting of ice caps and glaciers as well as thermal expansion as the planet warms. The global mean sea level has risen by 3.3 mm/year between 1993 and 2020 according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Extreme Weather Events:

  • Climate change intensifies the occurrence of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, and heatwaves. For instance, the frequency and intensity of hurricanes have increased over the last few decades. "Extreme weather events are becoming more common as the global climate changes." - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Food Scarcity:

  • Changes in climate patterns affect agricultural productivity, leading to food scarcity. Droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events can cause crop failure and reduce food availability. "Climate change threatens to erode the improvements in global food security..." - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Species Extinction:

  • Many species are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss, changing climate conditions, and other human-induced factors. The IUCN Red List estimates that over 37,400 species are threatened with extinction. "Around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history." - United Nations, 2019 Biodiversity Report.

Melting Ice Caps:

  • Arctic sea ice is decreasing at a rate of about 13% per decade, impacting wildlife habitats and contributing to rising sea levels. The loss of ice also has implications for global weather patterns. "The Arctic is warming at more than twice the global average rate." - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2020.

Droughts:

  • Droughts are becoming more frequent and severe with climate change, impacting water supply, agriculture, and energy production. Regions like the Western US and parts of Africa are experiencing prolonged droughts. "Climate change is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and impacts of some types of extreme weather events such as drought." - U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Environmental Crisis:

  • Various environmental crises are unfolding due to climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction. These crises threaten biodiversity, human health, and the stability of global ecosystems. “The environmental crisis is a crisis of human consciousness." - Sir James Lovelock, renowned environmental scientist and futurist.

Changes in Marine Ecosystems:

  • Ocean acidification, warming waters, and overfishing are altering marine ecosystems. Changes in ocean conditions affect marine species and can disrupt the balance of marine ecosystems. "Ocean life is facing challenges from rising temperatures, acidification, and overfishing." - Jane Lubchenco, marine ecologist and former head of NOAA.

Stay tuned every Friday evening for our hand-picked recommendations under the #WeekendWonder series, fostering a journey of discovery and reflection from the comfort of our homes. The compelling narrative of 'Extrapolations' is but a glimpse into the enthralling content that awaits. Link to watch the show on Apple TV+, bridging the transition from reading to viewing effortlessly: Link to watch



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