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Shifting climates will make London will feel more like Barcelona by 2050

“Foggy London Town” as the old Jazz classic goes may not be so foggy in the future and could experience weather similar to sunny Spain by 2050, according to a new study. 

The shifting climates don’t stop there. Seattle, another cold and rainy city, could more closely resemble San Francisco, and the weather in Washington D.C will look more like Nashville’s climate today. 

Researchers from ETH Zurich wanted to examine the extent of how climates in some of the world’s most iconic cities will shift due to climate change. 

Will cities like London and New York City have weather like they do today, or will climates shift to match other regions? 

To answer this question, the researchers analyzed pairs of 520 major cities across the globe and created a global data map that shows how a future city’s climate will match up with another city’s current climate. 

Even if the impacts of climate change are relatively low, the researchers found 77 percent of cities will experience a climate shift and have weather that matches another area. 

22 percent of the cities in the study will have climates not seen elsewhere. Many cities in the tropics will have unprecedented climate shifts. 

Cities like Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Rangoon, and Singapore are among the 115 cities that will have “novel” climates, according to National Geographic which reported on the study. 

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the summers will be hotter with an average of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the climate will closely match Kansas Cities current weather. 

In general, the researchers found that by 2050, climates in the Northern Hemisphere could shift to match cities more than 600 miles south. In Europe, summer and winter temperatures could increase by three or four degrees Celsius compared to the early 2000s. 

The study fills an important gap between scientific knowledge and public opinion and provides an impactful visual aid that shows precisely how climate change will impact temperature averages. 

Having a better idea of what the climate will look like can help city planners prepare for future droughts or extremes. 

“Our analysis allows us to visualize a tangible climate future of the world’s major cities,” the researchers wrote in their study published in the journal PLOS ONE. “These results enable decision-makers from all sectors of society, to envision changes that are likely to occur in their own city, within their own lifetime.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Kirch

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