By 2080, many urban areas in the U.S. could have a climate similar to cities today that are hundreds of miles to the south and southwest, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Expand chart
Data: Fitzpatrick, et. al., "Contemporary climate analogs for 540 North American urban areas in the late 21st century", 2019; Note: Projection assumes C02 emissions continue unchecked; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: The projected shifts in climate if greenhouse gas emissions are unmitigated show that the climate young people are growing up with today will be drastically different by the time they are older — and may even have "no modern equivalent."

By the numbers:

  • In the scenarios with unchecked emissions, all 540 cities showed an increase in the average annual temperature between the current city and its contemporary analog, with an average increase of 8.2°F.
  • Annual precipitation was more mixed, with 218 cities experiencing less rain and 322 with more, for an average change of +3mm.
  • On average, the contemporary analog city was 528 miles from its 2080 partner.
  • With lower emissions, the average distance shrinks to 230 miles, average annual temperatures would increase by 4.6°F, and precipitation would increase by 22mm.

How they did it: The study, led by Matt Fitzpatrick at the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Sciences, used 12 temperature and precipitation variables to create 27 climate projections for each city.

  • The projections are based on two underlying emissions scenarios, which were combined with Earth system models to generate 54 future climate scenarios.
  • One of the emissions scenarios involves the world reining in greenhouse gas emissions, but not sufficiently to meet the Paris Climate Agreement's temperature goal.
  • The other scenario, shown in the map, involves emissions continuing to increase unchecked.

The researchers took the mean of the 2080's projections for the 540 cities they examined and matched it with the contemporary city with the most similar climate.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

41 mins ago - World

Ethiopia's Nobel Peace laureate cracks down on ethnic violence

The image of a Nobel Peace laureate in military fatigues encapsulates the moment in which Ethiopia finds itself — on the verge of a transition to democracy, a descent into violence or, perhaps, a precarious combination of the two.

Driving the news: At least 166 people were killed after an iconic musician, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, was murdered last Monday in Addis Ababa, the capital. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responded to the violence by sending in troops and shutting off the internet. High-profile opposition leaders were arrested, along with some 2,300 others.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positive for coronavirus

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus after displaying no symptoms.

Why it matters: Bottoms, one of several Black women on the shortlist to be Joe Biden's running mate, has risen to national prominence in recent months as part of mass protests over racism and police brutality — driven in part by the killing of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 11,565,541 — Total deaths: 536,658 — Total recoveries — 6,258,697Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 2,922,000 — Total deaths: 130,208 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,032,329Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positiveCuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.