DATE: July 10, 2019
SNIP: A fifth of the world’s major cities will face “unknown” climate conditions by 2050, researchers warned on Wednesday, as rising temperatures heighten the risks of drought and flooding.
Climate scientists at the Crowther Lab, a research group based at ETH Zurich, a science and technology university, analyzes 520 cities across the world, including all capitals and most urban centers with a population of more than 1 million.
Looking at current climate conditions in these cities – including precipitation and seasonal data – scientists projected what would happen as temperatures rise another half degree, to near the lower 1.5 degree Celsius target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
It showed that 22% of the cities will experience unprecedented climate conditions by 2050, such as more intense dry and monsoon seasons, said Jean Francis-Bastin, the lead author of the report.
Crowther Lab scientists said their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was the first global analysis of the likely shifts in climate conditions in major cities as a result of global warming.
It showed that 77% of the cities it looked at will experience a striking change in climate conditions by 2050.
Across the northern hemisphere, many cities in 30 years time could resemble places that are over 1,000 km (620 miles) further south toward the equator, said the study, which projected conditions if current plans to cut climate-changing emissions go ahead.
Of the 22% of cities that will see ‘unprecedented’ climate shifts, 64% are located in the tropics and include Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Rangoon and Singapore, researchers said.
Under the study scenario, London’s climate in 2050 could be similar to Barcelona’s current climate, with Madrid feeling more like Marrakesh, Seattle more like San Francisco, and Tokyo more like Changsha in central China.