WASHINGTON – Around 77 percent of the world’s major cities will have experienced dramatic warming by 2050 and have conditions similar to those located closer to the tropics, according to a report published by the American journal Plos One on Wednesday.
This global heating will result in Madrid having a climate similar to that of present-day Marrakech, London to that of Barcelona, Stockholm to that of Budapest, Buenos Aires to that of Sydney and Moscow to that of Sofia.
The study’s authors, scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), developed a model with 19 variables of temperature and rainfall that they used in 520 major cities around the world to obtain their findings.
The main conclusion of the study was that 77 percent of the cities will have a different climate from the one they have currently, with higher temperatures typical of other cities located around 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) to their south, closer to the tropics.
The remaining 23 percent, most of them nearer the tropics, will have temperatures similar to those they are experiencing presently although with longer periods of rainfall and droughts.
The study also revealed that 22 percent of the cities “are likely to exist in a climatic regime that does not currently exist on the planet today.”
That percentage rises to 30 percent in cities located closer to the equator, where the climate will be drier.
“Across the globe, the direction of movement is generally trending towards the subtropics, providing unifying patterns that support trends observed in Europe and North America,” the experts pointed out in their conclusions.
“In addition, this analysis revealed new insights for cities in equatorial regions, many of which are likely to move to entirely new climate conditions that are not currently experienced by any of the other global cities today,” they added.
The scientists believe this study “can help land managers and city planners to visualize the climate futures of their respective cities, facilitating efforts to establish targeted climate response strategies.”