Shocking interactive map shows how climate change can affect cities in 60 years

The map shows the climates of 540 North American cities and how they would be impacted.

Shocking interactive map shows how climate change can affect cities in 60 years

Author: Adrianna Rodríguez

Published: 3:31 PM CST February 12, 2019

Updated: 3:58 PM CST February 12, 2019

A new interactive map from the University of Maryland has acted as a wake-up call for many who has difficulty seeing the true effects of climate change, until now.

Researchers from the Appalachian Laboratory at the university’s Center for Environmental Science created the map to show how the climate of 540 cities in North American will be different by the year 2080.

They argue that the climate of many cities will change to reflect those that are located hundreds of miles away. In cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, the study says that climates in those areas will become like climates in the south and southwest.

“Not only is climate changing, but climates that don’t presently exist in north America will be prevalent in a lot of urban areas,” study author Matt Fitzpatrick said in a press release.

(Matthew Fitzpatrick/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

Fitzpatrick looked at 12 different variables for 540 U.S. and Canadian cities under two climate change scenarios to find out what the future might feel like in a way a regular person might understand. He averaged the climate results from 27 different computer models then found the city that most resembles that futuristic scenario.

The map works by selecting a city in the drop-down menu, or by clicking the map, to see a line that will connect with an existing region that will reflect the city’s climate in 60 years. It also allows the user to see the change in climate even after reducing emissions.

“It’s my hope that people have that ‘wow’ moment, and it sinks in for the first time the scale of the changes we’re expecting in a single generation,” Fitzpatrick said in the study.

The 540 cities on average move 528 miles to the south climate-wise, if carbon emissions keep soaring. If the world cuts back, the cities move on average 319 miles.

The city that moves the most is Wasilla, Alaska, which if emissions aren't cut back could feel like eastern Wisconsin, 11 degrees warmer in the summer. It's a change of about 2,720 miles.

The map was revealed on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel says the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan by Democrats to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

McConnell and other Republicans oppose the plan but are hoping to force Senate Democrats — including a crowd of 2020 presidential candidates — to vote on a proposal Republicans say would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase.

President Donald Trump slammed the plan at a rally Monday in Texas, saying it would "shut down American energy."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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