Wondering how the climate of your city will look like in a few decades?
Look south – about 1,000 kilometers to the south, says an unusually new study published on Tuesday.
This is the average distance between 540 cities in the United States and Canada and the nearest city that now has a climate they could expect, says co-author Matt Fitzpatrick of the Center for Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland.
"The main question we wanted to answer is what will Toronto or Edmonton feel if some of these predictions come true as we expect them?", Said Fitzpatrick.
Science often presents climate change as figures – data on average temperatures or precipitation.
"That never seemed to me," Fitzpatrick said.
"I have been working on this data all the time, but I have no idea what this means actually about where I live. How will my climate change?
– It was an attempt to answer this question.
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Cities of Fitzpatrick represent about 250 million people. These are more than three quarters of the US population and more than half of Canada.
For each city he uses 27 climate models to determine what his climate will be by 2080. He uses the business as usual scenario and one in which emissions are reduced.
He then seeks a community that now has the temperature, rainfall and volatility that most closely match this future climate.
If nothing changed, he found, Montreal could have Chester's climate, Pen. Calgary may resemble Spearhead, N.D.
Toronto might feel like Secaucus, N.Y .; Winnipeg as Maplewood, Minn., Saint John, N. B., as Riverhead, N.Y .; Vancouver and Victoria as Seattle; Ottawa as South Shore, Ill.; Quebec City as Chatham, Ontario and Edmonton as Mendota Heights, Min.
Fitzpatrick admits that comparisons are simple. For example, they do not take into account extreme meteorological phenomena, which are expected to be one of the main features of climate change.
"We must ignore the complexity of the increased frequency and magnitude of extreme events."
Fitzpatrick added that many of the comparisons are not quite accurate, especially in the business as usual scenario.
"For many urban areas," he said, "we have found significant differences between the future climate and the best contemporary climate analogue, highlighting that by the 2080s many cities could experience new climates without a modern equivalent.
Vancouver was the Canadian city that had the most approximate match. Calgary was the most accurate.
The approach used in Europe and conservation planning still has a powerful communication value, Fitzpatrick said.
This leads to the fact that mitigation makes a difference. Emission Reduction Changes Climate Comparison with Calgary with Great Falls, Mont. – 665 km northeast of Spirhish.
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And seeing the distance of the map is a powerful representation of the magnitude of the upcoming changes.
"Overall, it has been the dramatic transformation in the climate that children living today will experience," says Fitzpatrick.
"As long as I have grandchildren, if I live in the same place where I live now, they would not recognize the climate I live in today. It will be like a history of the past. "
Bob Weber, Canadian Press
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