The Birmingham climate could be as hot as Paris by 2050.
Climate change remains an ever-present threat, despite the coronavirus pandemic sucking up much of the media oxygen over the past year. And as if to remind us of this threat, a nifty interactive map charts the future temperatures of 530 world cities, aiming to predict how hot each place will be by the year 2050. Shockingly, if global warming continues at its current rate, the Birmingham climate could soon resemble that of Paris – a city that lies 403km closer to the Equator.
It’s a damning verdict, with a 1.4°C increase in the city’s annual temperature forecast in that time. Birmingham would be more likely to feel the heat in summer, however, with temperatures in the warmest months of the year forecast to be as much as 4.3°C higher on average than they were this year. We’d be by no means the only European city to see such a dramatic rise; Kiev will likely be as hot as Canberra by 2050, whilst Madrid (where summer temperatures have been known to hit 40°C in recent years) could have a climate comparable to Marrakech.
The map is based on work carried out by experts from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and draws some pretty sobering conclusions. For instance, 77% of the cities they looked at are predicted to have a different climate as a result of the soaring temperatures. Much like Birmingham, they are expected to see temperatures resembling those of cities located 400km to the south, with some predicted over 1,000km.
Still, it’s necessary shock to have, if we as a planet are to mitigate the worst effects of rapid climate change. As the report authors put it, the idea is “to facilitate the understanding of climate change on a global scale and also to help politicians and urban managers to visualize the future climate in their respective cities to facilitate decision-making”. As a Paris-like temperature could be just 29 years away, the time to act is now.