Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A new study suggests that by 2050 people in Northern states might enjoy real Summers.
Cities of the future: visualizing climate change to inspire action
Our Climate Future
Millions marching the streets, daily articles in every newspaper and heartfelt pleas: never before has the topic of climate change been so omnipresent. The problem: We only have 11 years until passing the point of no return. If carbon emissions remain unabated, the Earth will be 1.5° C warmer by 2100 and the costs of climate change under a business as usual scenario will exceed $12 trillion by 2050. But what does this mean?
The imminence of the climate threat requires unified actions across all sectors of society. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that facts and data, which are often hard to understand, do not necessarily persuade people to act. Behavioral change is much more likely to be inspired by visualizations that make climate issues tangible.
With our analysis, we aim to do just this. Rather than describing quantitative change variables, we paired the predicted climate conditions of 520 major cities in 2050 with analogues conditions of cities around the world today. We thereby demonstrate concrete scenarios for the future of the life in those cities. By making data relatable, we hope to motivate citizens and policy makers to adapt their decision making accordingly.
…Read more: https://crowtherlab.pageflow.io/cities-of-the-future-visualizing-climate-change-to-inspire-action
If you wade through their tedious web presentation you finally get a website, which after a little navigation yields the actual study;
Understanding climate change from a global analysis of city analogues
Published: July 10, 2019
Jean-Francois Bastin , Emily Clark, Thomas Elliott, Simon Hart, Johan van den Hoogen, Iris Hordijk, Haozhi Ma, Sabiha Majumder, Gabriele Manoli, Julia Maschler, Lidong Mo,Devin Routh, Kailiang Yu, Constantin M. Zohner, Thomas W. CrowtherRead more: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217592
Combating climate change requires unified action across all sectors of society. However, this collective action is precluded by the ‘consensus gap’ between scientific knowledge and public opinion. Here, we test the extent to which the iconic cities around the world are likely to shift in response to climate change. By analyzing city pairs for 520 major cities of the world, we test if their climate in 2050 will resemble more closely to their own current climate conditions or to the current conditions of other cities in different bioclimatic regions. Even under an optimistic climate scenario (RCP 4.5), we found that 77% of future cities are very likely to experience a climate that is closer to that of another existing city than to its own current climate. In addition, 22% of cities will experience climate conditions that are not currently experienced by any existing major cities. As a general trend, we found that all the cities tend to shift towards the sub-tropics, with cities from the Northern hemisphere shifting to warmer conditions, on average ~1000 km south (velocity ~20 km.year-1), and cities from the tropics shifting to drier conditions. We notably predict that Madrid’s climate in 2050 will resemble Marrakech’s climate today, Stockholm will resemble Budapest, London to Barcelona, Moscow to Sofia, Seattle to San Francisco, Tokyo to Changsha. Our approach illustrates how complex climate data can be packaged to provide tangible information. The global assessment of city analogues can facilitate the understanding of climate change at a global level but also help land managers and city planners to visualize the climate futures of their respective cities, which can facilitate effective decision-making in response to on-going climate change.
Reading a bit further, we encounter this gem;
The proportion of shifting cities varied consistently across the world. Cities in northern latitudes will experience the most dramatic shifts in extreme temperature conditions (Fig 2C and Fig 2D). For example, across Europe, both summers and winters will get warmer, with average increases of 3.5°C and 4.7°C, respectively. These changes would be equivalent to a city shifting ~1,000 km further south towards the subtropics, i.e. a velocity ~20 km.year-1, under current climate conditions (Fig 2C and Fig 2D). Consequently, by 2050, striking changes will be observed across the northern hemisphere: Madrid’s climate in 2050 will be more similar to the current climate in Marrakech than to Madrid’s climate today; London will be more similar to Barcelona, Stockholm to Budapest; Moscow to Sofia; Portland to San Antonio, San Francisco to Lisbon, Tokyo to Changsha, etc(Fig 3, S2 Table).
…Read more: Same link as above
Let’s imagine for a moment the unlikely possibility that this study is correct.
What is so bad about moving 1000km closer to the tropics?
People like myself voluntarily live in very warm climates. Its not so bad – no freezing your proverbials off on cold winter mornings.
And its not like people wouldn’t have time to adjust.
Florida is the place people retire, because of its gentle warm climate. Most people who move to Florida don’t have any trouble adjusting.
As for more rainfall seasonality, so what? Just build a few more reservoirs. Surely the engineering capabilities of 2050 will be up to the job of collecting a little more rainwater.
I actually enjoy reports like this – all doom and gloom and hyperbole in the introduction, but when you lift the cover on the cage of their monster it turns out to be an inconsequential little mouse.
No wonder they built a funky web presentation to try to make their report look impressive.