The main contradiction of climate change is that it is the most epic problem that our species have ever faced, but the mediocre person is essentially invisible. From the comfort of your home, you cannot realize how climate change is already affecting mental health, whether it is ecosystems, or how cities like Los Angeles are taking drastic measures to prepare for water shortages.
The challenge for scientists, then, is to signal what is difficult to understand. However, a new interactive map is perhaps one of the best visualizations of how climate change will change America. Click on your city and the map will set a modern analogue city that matches your climate in 2080. The city of New York feels more like today's Jonesboro, Arkansas; Bay Area more like LA; and LA more like the tip of Baja California. If that doesn't make you a serious threat to climate change, I'm not sure what will happen.
There is nothing new about his data, but the public repackaging of these data is called climate analysis, showing how science reaches society. "The idea is to translate global forecasts into something that is less remote, less abstract, it is more psychologically local and topical," says Matt Fitzpatrick, an ecologist at the University of Maryland, leading author of a new book Nature Communications .
Fitzpatrick looked at 540 urban cities in North America using three basic datasets. One captured the current climatic conditions (1960-1990 Mean), the second predicted future climatic conditions and the third annual historical climatic variation from NOAA weather records. (Depending on the city, the climate can be "more stable" and admired from year to year.) Scientists have especially appreciated temperature and precipitation, although, of course, they are not the only two variables in climate modeling. a little bit
If you click around an interactive map, you will notice some trends according to a scenario where emissions continue to rise for 60 years. "Many cities in the East Coast will become more like the southwest, with an average of about 500 miles," says Fitzpatrick. On the west coast, cities generally look like areas south of them. For example, Portland 2080 Feels more like the central valley of California, which is usually warmer and drier. In addition, the map has an option (on the left) that uses a different calculation to show what changes would appear if emissions were around 2040. And will begin to fall.
. "Understanding the results for the public sector, informing the politics and the scientific community is very difficult," says Wisconsin University – Madison Climate Researcher Kevin Burke, who was not included in the study. "One significant result of this work is the potential of cities and their analogue couples to transfer knowledge and coordinate climate adaptation strategies."
Take special heat. This is the norm in a place like Phoenix, a city with air conditioning. But in places like San Francisco, air conditioning is a rarity. If in San Francisco within 60 years there would actually be an environment like LA, it would be a major public health problem. Very easy heat kills, just like deadly heat in Europe 2017
Another important aspect is water. Many urban areas will be dryers, but others may see that their overall rainfall will not change. However, rainfall patterns can change – for example, in winter. "So even if it gets the same amount, it can have a really big impact on places that aren't accustomed to long drought or what you do," says Fitzpatrick.
San Francisco was able to learn water management techniques from his 2080 analogue. Climate models predict that there will be fewer, but more intense rain in the coming decades. So, to get ready, the city started an ambitious program to capture the huge water dumps that have a tank network built into the median of the road. The rain collection program reduces its confidence in the water that flows from the city to the city
Bay Area, which was historically blessed with more rainwater than its neighbor down to the south, was not thinking like that. Rich communities have destroyed hissy when new water needs mean they are chasing – – brown. "Los Angeles is far from the bay area because it has led to a shift from a more water-intensive field landscape that we still have in an advanced bay area," says Michael Kiparsky, director of Wheeler Water, UC Berkeley Institute, which was not involved in this new work  Changes in precipitation, of course, would have serious consequences for agriculture. But something more subtle will come out: climate change, as well as local ecosystem makeup. For example, pests such as mosquitoes can rise in your community. Certain plant species may not be able to overcome the sudden transition and disappear.
"People can adapt and move to some extent, but animals and ecosystems will not be able to do so in the short term," says the Swiss Federal Federation. Reto Knutti, a researcher at the Institute of Technology, who was not included in the study. "So we strive for a risky experiment with the Earth, with some unknown consequences."
"It's really my biggest anxiety," says Fitzpatrick. "It is not necessarily direct climate change, it is an indirect impact on the natural and agricultural systems, given the scale and speed of these changes."
Even more frustrating, some of the cities in North America that Fitzpatrick has researched will not have a modern equivalent. you cannot compare them with the climate that is visible today. That makes it even more difficult to respond to the threat – the Bay Area can expect more than 60 years in Los Angeles and adapt accordingly, but if you don't have a good idea of what's coming, it's hard to mitigate the threat.
However, it is clear that this method of climate analogue simplifies things, for example, scientists have left such complex factors as the effect of urban heat islands, where cities absorb more heat than the surrounding areas. And it is average climate and not the weather. For example, a recent bay source on the east coast was due to warmer temperatures in the Atlantic
"None of these analogues is recorded," says Andrew Jarvis, a researcher at the Agricultural Research Institute in CGIAR. "So from a communication perspective, this is one of its dangers. This is too simplistic. And certainly so: climate systems are monumentally complex, although scientists are somewhat more aware of how climate change will change on our planet. The map alone cannot pass on all of this knowledge
However, the idea with this new interactive map is better than for ordinary citizens, but also for policy makers to visualize what was previously presented as inevitable data sets. "I hope more than all that is an eye-opening tool and that it will start more of this debate to make more planning possible," says Fitzpatrick.
Climate change is here, and it is already causing havoc. Consider this as a plan to help navigate chaos
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