How hot cities could be in 2050

Many of the world’s cities will face sharply different climates by 2050. I tried to visualize how climate change will affect world cities. I chose 6,000 cities and examined the current climate for each using the Global Environmental Stratification based on modeling future climate conditions as predicted by 63 of the emission scenario combinations.

The Global Environmental Stratification is a globally consistent classification of land into comparatively homogenous units, based upon a statistical clustering of climate variables (Metzger et al., 2013). It was realized in support of the Biodiversity Observation Network to provide a framework for the analysis of ecological and environmental data over large heterogeneous areas.

The Global Environmental Stratification, based on high resolution geospatial monthly climate datasets averaged from 1960 to 2000, describes recent conditions to stratify the earth into 125 strata, aggregated into 18 zones.

The Global Environmental Stratification, based on high resolution
Dendrogram based on the Euclidean distance within clusters showing the similarity between the global environmental zones and the number of strata per zone. Source:

Four emission scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways) were analyzed using the CIMP5 model predictions for the year 2050, ranging from RCP 2.6 (lowest emission scenario) to RCP 8.5 (highest emission scenario). The Maximum Likelihood Classification algorithm in ArcGIS was used to create the predicted future spatial patterns of strata and zones, using the modeled future climate conditions as prognosticated by each of the emission scenario combinations (n = 63) as input parameters (Robert J. Zomer; Marc J. Metzger; Antonio Trabucco; Mingcheng Wang; Dave Murray-Rust, 2017).

All models within each Representative Concentration Pathway were merged into a majority ensemble result, using the class with the majority of occurring in every particular grid cell.

How global warming will impact 6000+ cities around the world?

London could feel as hot as Paris by 2050, with Paris’s climate more like San Francisco. San Francisco feeling like Melbourne and New York City like Bologna (Italy). Moscow will resemble Boston.

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Alex Egoshin,

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