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This Is How Hot Your City Could Be By The End Of The Century

Know how hot it is in Juarez? That’s what New York will be like in 2100.

This Is How Hot Your City Could Be By The End Of The Century
Phoenix may hit a new average summer high of 114. [Photo: Arto Marttinen/Unsplash]

By the summer of 2100, if carbon emissions continue as usual, the average high temperature in Toronto could be the same as Belize City today. New York City could feel like Juarez, Mexico. Paris could feel like Fez, Morocco. Beijing could be as hot as New Delhi. Abu Dhabi–with a predicted average high of 112.6 degrees Fahrenheit–could be hotter than any city on Earth today.

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A new map shows the predicted summer temperature changes in cities around the world, along with what might happen instead if the world manages to make moderate cuts in emissions roughly in line with what’s planned in the global Paris agreement.

In Madrid, where the average temperature could go up 14.4 degrees by 2100–and where the city is planning a massive greening campaign in an attempt to keep temperatures down–emissions cuts could keep that rise to a slightly less sweltering 7.7 degrees.

Climate Central, which created the map along with the World Meteorological Organization, wanted to focus on cities because that’s where most of the world’s population lives, and because of the urban heat island effect (cities, filled with concrete, tend to absorb and release more heat than nearby rural areas). Cities are also helping lead plans to reduce emissions.

A previous version focused only on cities in the U.S., and Climate Central wanted to update the map with a global perspective. “Part of the reason that we decided to do this globally is that the climate change discussion has largely shifted away from the United States since Trump has taken office, in terms of action,” says James Bronzan, a research analyst at Climate Central who focuses on the environmental and social impacts of climate change.

The new map only shows up to five of the largest cities in each country, so if you want to see others in the U.S., you’ll have to look at the older version. (The underlying data is the same, though changes in methodology mean that some of the results may be slightly different). Phoenix, for example, which reached a record high of 118 degrees on July 7, may regularly be nearly that hot with a new average summer high of 114.

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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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