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 credit: 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.

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

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.