Find out when your city will feel climate change

פורסם: 25 בנוב׳ 2013, 11:23 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 25 בנוב׳ 2013, 11:23 ]
by Duncan Geere, 12 October 2013

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Mora et al, University of Hawaii

A group of researchers from the University of Hawaii have crunched the numbers to find out when cities around the globe will have their climate changed by greenhouse gas emissions.

It's no secret that different parts of the world won't be affected at the same time, in the same way, by the effects of climate change. The Arctic, for example, is changing far faster than the rest of the world.

But cities are where the majority of the human (rather than environmental) impact of climate change will happen, and so Camilo Mora and colleagues looked at the major population centres of the world to find out when the weather of each city moves outside its "normal" range (defined as between 1860 and 2005) into something new in a scenario where emissions aren't significantly curtailed. Their results were published in Nature.

First up against the wall is the city of Manokwari in Indonesia, the capital of West Papua and home to 286,000 people. Those residents will start feeling a departure from "normal" temperatures and rainfall in 2020, followed by the 28 million people living in Jakarta and the 8 million people living in Lagos by 2029.

The 8.8 million people crammed into Mexico City will be next in 2031, followed by Mumbai in 2034 and Bogotá, Cario, Baghdad and Nairobi in 2036. New York, San Francisco, Rome, Tokyo and Beijing will be hit in the 2040s, followed by London in 2056. Reykjavik and Anchorage will be last, in 2066 and 2071 respectively. You can find a full list of the world's cities, and when they're expected to shift into the "new normal" here.

"Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change," the paper reads.

The team also looked at when the same thing would occur if emissions were somewhat curtailed. Cities would still arrive in a different climate regime by the end of the century, but would be given an extra twenty years, on average, to adapt to the changes.

"Our results suggest that countries first impacted by unprecedented climates are the ones with the least capacity to respond," Ryan Longman, one of the co-authors of the study, told Climate News Network. "Ironically, these are countries that are least responsible for climate change in the first place."