Summers in Paris could feel as sweltering as those in Fez, Morocco, by the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar.
By 2100, Toronto could trade its milder summer for a tropical climate like that of Belize City. Cairo, Egypt, could experience summers as scorching as those in Abu Dhabi, which today is one of the hottest places on the planet, according to a new report.
A new interactive map by Climate Central and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) shows how many cities could “shift” into warmer temperature zones as rising carbon emissions — together with growing urban populations and sprawling development — boost summer temperatures worldwide.
For each city, researchers looked at the projected average summer highs for 2100 and compared them to existing averages in cities today. Their goal is to help people better understand how human-caused global warming will affect our everyday lives.
“It gives people a more visceral feel for how exactly different those [summer] temperatures might be,” James Bronzan, a Climate Central research analyst who did the map analysis, said by phone.
The map is based on two global climate scenarios. Under the high-pollution scenario, carbon emissions are left unchecked, and the world carries on with a “business-as-usual” approach. In this case, for example, New York City’s present-day average summer highs of 81.8 degrees Fahrenheit would rise to 94 degrees Fahrenheit, on par with Juarez, Mexico today.
But under the “moderate emissions cuts” scenario, New York’s average summer highs would still rise to 88.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or Belize City’s current average.
On June 29, temperatures climbed to 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the city of Ahvaz, Iran, which may be not only Iran’s hottest temperature on record but also a record high for June in all of mainland Asia. It also may have tied the all-time global heat record, pending further investigation.
— Earth.com (@EarthDotCom) July 2, 2017
In the United States, an unusually wide-reaching and long-lasting heat wave punished at least six states for an entire week. Temperatures were so high near Phoenix and Palm Springs that certain aircraft couldn’t fly out of area airports — offering a preview of what might happen to transportation networks in the coming decades.
While rising summer temperatures affect people well outside of urban areas, researchers said the new Climate Central-WMO map focuses on cities for two key reasons: about half the world’s population lives in cities, and city leaders are at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
Bronzan said the project was partially prompted by the swift response to President Donald Trump’s June 1 decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement. In recent weeks, U.S. mayors, governors, local officials, and business executives have pledged to redouble their own efforts to slash emissions and develop more renewable energy.
“Cities are really taking the lead in thinking about these problems, both from a perspective of mitigating emissions but also in terms of adapting to the problems they’re facing,” he said. This map, he added, is one more tool for leaders as they confront the challenge.
Original article from Mashable