Last year was the fourth hottest record and the hottest year for the world's oceans.
As the planet continues to warm up, experts are working to predict the specific local effects of climate change on US cities.
A new study uses a technique called climate-analogue mapping – which compares the expected future climate of the city with the current climate somewhere else – to show how climate change will affect 540 urban areas in the United States and Canada over the next 60 years. The results show that by 2080 Los Angeles will feel more like Baha, California, the climate of Tampa Bay will be like that of today's Mexico City, and New York will feel like Ozark. The authors have gathered their data into an interactive tool that allows users to search for their North American city and explore how its future looks.
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"We can use this technique to translate a future forecast in something that we can better conceptualize and relate to our own experience, "ecologists Matthew Fitzpatrick, co-author of the University of Maryland study, said in a press release." I hope people will have this wow moment, and it sinks for the first time in the scale of the changes we expect in one generation . "
Cities and climate change
Warmer temperatures can mean more heat waves, droughts, strong storms and coastal floods depending on the location of the city.
According to Fitzpatrick and his co-author Robert Dan, professor of ecology at the State University of North Carolina, urban areas are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to large urban populations and their dependence on interconnected and, in some cases, aging infrastructures.
That's why they created the new interactive analogue weather card – it offers "not so much new models of the future, but rather a means of communicating existing models in a way that is less abstract or remote," and more local experimentally and personally, "the authors write,
The numbers used are not new, the study is based on three sets of data – one with average weather conditions between 1960 and 1990, another with future climate forecasts and one third based on the NOAA time data, which shows a change Climate change over time
Of course, how hard the changes a city will experience depends on how much greenhouse gas emissions will increase so the interactive map of the study offers two paths: one where emissions continue to increase in the 21st century, and one in which they reach a peak around 2040, then begin to decline. By the year 2080, the climate in the bay area could have felt more like a Latin American . Central Valley. Washington will have the subtropical climate of northern Mississippi, possibly experiencing shorter winters and longer and wet summers. San Francisco will have to fight extreme heat in Los Angeles, the lack of rain and the associated water shortages. "Our goal is to do this study and make the app help people understand the dramatic transformation of the global climate we are expecting over the next few decades and that emission reductions can help reduce expectations of climate change "Fitzpatrick told Business Insider.