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Don’t Like Winter? Don’t Worry–See How Warm Winter Will Be Where You Live By 2100

Buried in snow? Take hope. Climate change will one day bring warmer Februaries. Boston will feel more like Georgia does today.

Don’t Like Winter? Don’t Worry–See How Warm Winter Will Be Where You Live By 2100
[Top photo: Flickr user Bob Mical]

By 2100, February in Salt Lake City will feel more like Dallas does now. Portland, Oregon, will feel like the Central Coast in California. And Boston, currently buried in snow, will feel like Marietta, Georgia.

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A new tool from Climate Central maps out the future of winter in almost 700 U.S. cities, based on data about how many winter nights are predicted to dip below freezing. Type in your city or click on the map to see how the weather will change (note that if you live in San Francisco or Miami you won’t be on the map–this only includes cities that have at least 10 freezing nights each winter).

If you live somewhere like Boston, the change might sound like a good thing–instead of 115 nights below freezing, you’ll only have to put up with 53. But that massive shift, of course, causes other problems.

Warmer winter nights mean more mosquitoes and ticks will survive the winter season, fruit trees won’t produce as much fruit, and entire ecosystems will change. Some of the maple trees at Boston parks might not make it. (In Chicago, which will feel like Alabama by 2100, the city is already planting swamp oaks and sweet gums to replace white oak, the state tree of Illinois).

In a place like Colorado or California, warmer winters won’t just mean disappearing ski slopes; millions of people in the West rely on snow to provide drinking water throughout the year. If rain falls instead, or snow melts too quickly, water supplies will dwindle. Drought will lead to more forest fires.

Across the ocean in Europe, climate change is having the opposite effect on winter, at least temporarily, as the risk of a severely cold season has doubled. And while a city like Boston may eventually have less snow, for now, climate change and warmer oceans are actually making it more likely that blizzards will be worse. (The city is certainly getting battered by snow this year.)

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As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, summer’s getting worse, too. Check out this map to see how your city will feel in July 2100.

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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