Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Climate departure" - which cities will be leaving the station first?

"Climate departure" is when a location has been so impacted by climate change that there is no way back.  The train to permanent climate chaos has left the station.  Passing the "tipping point" is another way of thinking about it.

Washington Post have a nice summary piece that links to a map (Source: Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post) that shows which cities would be seriously bad property investments at the moment (among other things...).

Map: These are the cities that climate change will hit first [Washington Post]


A city hits "climate departure" when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let's say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.'s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.'s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It's the moment when the old "normal" is really gone.

Here is the map mentioned in the article:

Source:  Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/Washington Post.

As you can see, there are certain places that are looking seriously red.  Jamaica looks particularly badly located.  Interestingly Singapore and a number of African cities look to be in trouble as well.

With the US, China and Australia sitting relatively pretty (and them being the largest polluters) one can quickly realise that it is unlikely that a white knight will come riding to Kingstonian's rescue.

The article also includes a map when CO2 emissions are mitigated.  This buys Kingston an extra 5 years.

In the long most of the global megacities are flying past their "climate departure" points.  The north and middle of the UK is clearly the place to live and invest.

Let us hope these predictions also turn out to be wildly pessimistic.  I suspect this time the luck will have run out.

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