If greenhouse emissions continue their steady escalation, temperatures across most of the Earth will rise to levels with no recorded precedent by the middle of this century.
Scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa calculated that by 2047, plus or minus five years, the average temperatures in each year will be hotter across most parts of the planet than they had been at those locations in any year between 1860 and 2005.
To put it another way, for a given geographic area, “the coldest year in the future will be warmer than the hottest year in the past,” said Dr. Camilo Mora, the lead scientist on a paper published in the journal Nature.
Unprecedented climates will arrive even sooner in the tropics, as soon as seven years from now, Mora’s group said, putting increasing stress on human societies there, on the coral reefs that supply millions of people with fish and on the world’s greatest forests.
If the researchers are correct, the transition would occur by 2020 in Manokwari, Indonesia; by 2023 in Kingston, Jamaica; by 2031 in Mexico City; by 2047 in Washington, D.C.; and by 2071 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Although scientific research shows that more warming occurs nearer Earth’s poles, the tropics are especially vulnerable because even a small change in climate will affect a wide range of species. The equator is also home to billions of people in poor nations with fewer resources to help them cope.
The new study is hardly the first to document the steady march toward hotter temperatures. Less than two weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations, released its fifth report, describing a planet that is warming at an accelerated pace because of human activity. The past three decades have been the hottest since 1850, according to the panel.
But by predicting the tipping point when traditional climates will be replaced by hotter futures, the new study provided a fresh way to look at a problem that often is seen as a global phenomenon — except by authorities who must respond to the increasing toll of floods, droughts, wildfires and severe weather.
Source | Dallas News