Skip to main content

Climate Change Forecast: When Cities Will Hit 'Tipping Point'

Climate change predictions
Estimated dates of coming climate extremes under the RCP8.5 model, which projects today's levels of carbon dioxide emissions continuing through 2100.
(Image: © Camilo Mora et al./Nature)

For the first time, researchers have pinpointed when global warming will become the norm in the world's capitals.

This list of cities shows each one's tipping point: the year when local temperatures will exceed historical extremes recorded in the past 150 years. The dates reflect two carbon emission scenarios. The first, RCP8.5, assumes no change in global carbon output by 2100. The second, RCP4.5, is a moderate rollback in carbon dioxide emissions.

The predictions come from a meta-analysis by University of Hawaii, Manoa, geographer Camilo Mora and his co-authors — all University of Hawaii students — of 39 climate models independently developed by climate scientists from 12 countries. A meta-analysis is a statistical approach that gathers existing research and examines trends in the data. Their findings were published Oct. 9 in the journal Nature. A full list of cities and a searchable world map is online at the University of Hawaii.

COUNTRYCITYRCP8.5RCP4.5
AustraliaPerth20422072
BrazilRio de Janeiro20502079
ChileSantiago20432071
ChinaBeijing20462078
ColombiaBogotá20332047
EgyptCairo20362057
IcelandReykjavik20662084
IndiaMumbai20342051
IndonesiaJakarta20292042
IndonesiaManokwari20202025
IraqBaghdad20362055
ItalyRome20442067
JapanTokyo20412067
KenyaNairobi20362058
MexicoMexico City20312050
NigeriaLagos20292043
RussiaMoscow20632092
South AfricaPretoria20432068
ThailandBangkok20462070
UKLondon20562088
USAAnchorage20712095
USAHonolulu20432067
USANew York City20472072
USAOrlando20462074
USASan Francisco20492074
USAWashington20472071

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.