This Is What Your City Might Feel Like in 60 Years Due to Climate Change

By Nala Rogers | February 13, 2019 5:30 pm
downtown Pittsburgh

If climate change proceeds unchecked, the Pittsburgh of 2080 may feel like a recent northeastern Arkansas. (Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock)

(Inside Science) — In 60 years, the climate of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will feel kind of like a contemporary Jonesboro, Arkansas, with higher temperatures and more winter precipitation, according to a new study. That’s assuming fossil fuel emissions continue to rise; if instead we succeed in curbing emissions, Pittsburgh will instead become more like Madison, Indiana.

Pittsburgh is one of 540 cities in the U.S. and Canada for which scientists have found doppelgangers of their climate futures — places where the recent climate is as close as possible to another city’s future climate. Anyone can explore the findings using an online interactive map. The results were published today in the journal Nature Communications.

The researchers compared each city’s expected climate in the 2080s with recorded climates from 1960-1990. To estimate future climates, they took the average of outputs from 27 climate models. Each recent and future climate was characterized by total rainfall and average minimum and maximum temperatures for all four seasons.

Under a scenario with high fossil fuel emissions, the average city’s future climate was more than 500 miles away. Under a low-emissions scenario, that distance dropped to about 300 miles. Western cities tended to “move” toward hotter, drier regions of the American Southwest, while cities in the Northeast grew to resemble humid locations in the Midwest and Southeast.

For each city, the researchers found the best match they could within the study region, which spanned the western hemisphere north of the equator. However, they struggle to find perfect matches for the future climate of some cities, especially for those along the western and southeastern coasts. For example, compared to its best match of 1960-1990 era Las Palmas, Mexico, the Los Angeles of the 2080s is expected to have more rain in winter and spring and less rain in summer and fall. According to the models, the climate in cities like Los Angeles will be unlike anything that currently exists in North America.


[This article originally appeared on Inside Science.]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: climate change
  • Dan Pangburn

    Climate has always changed. The last change is it stopped warming. Search “globalclimatedrivers2” to discover why CO2 has little if anything to do with climate

  • Uncle Al

    Buncha crap. The California drought is being sustained out of corrupt data as you read this. We are drowning in rain – but it is the politically wrong kind of rain.

  • SysAdmin

    “To estimate future climates, they took the average of outputs from 27 climate models.”
    That is enough to guarantee that they are wrong.

  • OWilson

    Look below the “climate change” headlines, and a little simple background research tells us that the population of Pittsburgh is declining, while the other two cited cities, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Madison, Indiana.are growing!

    Yo the unbiased eye, this should be good news, not a warning! :)

    The definitive statement tht “the climate in cities like Los Angeles (in 2080) will be unlike anything that currently exists in North America” is pure speculation, based on “models” :)

  • iThinker2

    We now know that the raw data was tampered with to produce the upward trend. Not so, cyclic as always. Solar Minimum?? Earth-Moon orbits? Distance of Earth from Sum? Amount of Solar energy radiating? Sunspots?? Super Volcanoes? These are real weather makers!

  • Uncle Al

    This Is What Your City Might Feel Like in 60 Years Due to Climate Change


    • Erik Bosma

      Dammit, first I had to get used to what the temp really felt like with the WIND CHILL FACTOR and now I have to tack the SIMILAR CITY FACTOR onto it as well.

  • Nom de Plume

    Ehh … The phrase “continued use of fossil fuels” sets the Propaganda Meter twitching. So does “According to the models, the climate in cities like Los Angeles will be unlike anything that currently exists in North America.” Really? North America ranges from the tropics to the arctic, with swamps, rain forests, and hot and cold deserts.

    With that in mind, I went to the interactive map, checked some locations I know, and there found little regard to the effects of terrain. Areas that should be wetter are show drier with matching to places in Mexico. One problem: the reason those referenced locations in Mexico are drier is because of rain shadow. It was amusing to compare adjacent locations separated by only a few hundred miles, and find “wetter” ones located to “drier,” even though moisture would have to pass over the “drier” ones first. It looks like they took projected temperatures and not much else.

  • Kurt Stocklmeir

    carbon dioxide in the air reflects some infrared radiation to space – because of this some infrared radiation does not get to the ground – if the infrared radiation gets to the ground it could be true the ground will absorb the infrared radiation and air will get the energy from the ground – a person can look at air over a hot street – I do not care a lot about carbon dioxide – cutting down trees is bad – this to an extreme changes the weather – my theories about garbage going in the ocean say at this time there may be is a run away temperature increase of the earth – a lot of the garbage breaks down and helps the ocean to absorb more energy from the sun – the ocean gets more hot – people need to put some food around the north pole for animals like bears – it is not fair that people do bad things and animals pay for it – people can look at what happened to Mars – it could be true the earth is going to end up like Mars Kurt Stocklmeir

    • Mike Richardson

      Your theories are about as rational as the earlier comments on this page, and illustrate about the same level of scientific knowledge. Fortunately, the article above provides better information. I hope folks will read it and ignore the predictable comments from climate science deniers.

  • Mike Richardson

    We’re already seeing the effects of climate change causing increased precipitation events in places like Houston and Southeast Louisiana, with catastrophic results. Warmer and wetter local climate variances can increase the likelihood of damaging extreme flooding in additional areas, as the article described. Worsening drought in other locations may be exacerbated by overuse of existing water sources, such as the Ogallala aquifer or open reservoirs in the Southwest. It is unfortunate that the majority of comments on the page thus far flatly deny scientific studies and factual observations in favor of supporting continued use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost to future generations. Even if climate change wasn’t such a growing problem, it is difficult to fathom why someone without a financial stake in continued fossil fuel use would be opposed to moving towards cleaner and renewable energy sources. Aging politicians taking campaign money from the oil and coal lobby seem to be cashing in now, banking on the likelihood they’ll be taking the old dirt nap before the worst effects begin to impact society and voters hold them accountable. Thankfully, more of the younger generation seems to be rejecting the rhetoric of old fossils promoting fossil fuel use. After all, they’ll be the ones on this earth longer.

    • Erik Bosma

      I’m with you Mike and I’m 65… I always say that regardless if you believe in climate change or not, limiting carbon abuse is just a good thing for our planet.

    • Deplorablewinner

      Maybe if liberals objected to China and India’s pollution, stopped with the fraudulent data, got off their knees to the ‘climate’ god, quit scaring the ignorant and gullible with the end of times, stop labeling skeptics as the devil, acknowledge that historical climate cycles are real, and be willing to have a discussion, without the hysterical screaming, you might get somewhere.

      • Mike Richardson

        I love the irony of your diatribe closing with the phrase “be willing to have a discussion, without the hysterical screaming, you might get somewhere.” Please tell me that was intentional for humorous effect . 😁

        • Deplorablewinner

          Still makes sense to me.

        • Deplorablewinner

          At least, you found truth in the premise.

          • Mike Richardson

            The truth that you were engaging in hysterics and hyperbole yourself? Yep, sure did.

  • Deplorablewinner

    Predicting gloom and doom way into the future ( Al Gore’s prediction of flooded coastal areas 15 yrs ago is 5 yrs over due), is a typical liberal tactic ( backed by the disingenuous media) in order to get elected so they can tell us stop drinking 44 oz colas, tax us to death, and open the borders for their new voters. Then, when that is accomplished, an end of times prediction would be credible. (Venezuela)


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