What your area's climate will be like in 60 years

Staff writer

A new study by the Nature Communications Journal has calculated exactly how far south you need to look to predict what a city's climate will be in 2080.

Researchers at the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science studied 540 locations in the US and Canada and mapped them to where their expected climate by 2080 would be based on 12 other climate scenarios including minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation.

Generally what it showed was that within a lifetime, cities will have the same climate as areas more than 500 miles south of them today. Depending on how climate change will affect air and water currents in the north Atlantic, this would roughly see Manchester having a similar climate to Turin, Italy, home of the Juventus football team, while London would have a climate similar to the city-state of Monaco!

The research also analysed climate differences in two scenarios: unchecked emissions, which is what would be expected if we continue with current policies towards climate change, and mitigated emissions, which assumes all proposed climate change policies are implemented.

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Study author Matt Fitzpatrick said: "We can use this technique to translate a future forecast into something we can better conceptualise and link to our own experiences.

"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."

"Under the business as usual emissions the average urban dweller is going to have to drive nearly 1,000km to the south to find a climate like that expected in their home city by 2080."