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By Sarah Romero
Climate change will change the world's cities and, little by little, temperatures will increase, as we are already seeing according to the records of recent years.2016 ended up being the hottest year in history since there are records. What temperatures will we reach after a few years if this continues?
We are all feeling that summers around the world are hotter than they used to be before and this trend is set to increase dramatically by the end of this century if carbon pollution continues to increase on the planet. That problem will be felt most acutely in cities.
The growing world population and the effect of the heat island of cities, which can make cities up to 14.8 ° C hotter than rural and leafy areas lead us to a combination that makes heat dangerous and potentially lethal.
The growth of cities also leads to a more extreme weather pattern
Currently, about 54% of the world's population lives in cities, andby 2050 the population of cities is expected to grow by 2.5 billion people. Considering the extra heat that cities endure, this growth can lead to changing weather patterns and making extreme heat even more common.
To illustrate the future of cities (and their heat) and the options they may face, theClimate Central Non-Governmental Organizationhas created an interactive graph that shows what summer could look like in the future in each of the cities compared to the temperatures of today's cities.
Under this scenario,Madrid (Spain), for example, would have an average temperature of 36.4ºC in 2100 like Erbil (Iraq); Ottawa (Canada) could have the tropical climate of Belize City by the year 2100; Kabul (Afghanistan) could end with temperatures like those found on the coast of Colombo (Sri Lanka) -28.4ºC-; Tokyo (Japan) would rise to 31.2º C on average in summer; Athens (Greece) would end up having temperatures like those of Faisalabad (Pakistan) of 37.6 ºC; or Cairo (Egypt), like its neighbor Umm Durman in Sudan, which according to the graph ofClimate Centralit would have an average of 44.3ºC,a temperature that no city on Earth currently sees.
On average, the Earth's temperature will increase by 4.8 ° C,But due to the vagaries of geography, some cities will get much hotter. Sofia (Bulgaria) will show the largest overall temperature change, as it would increase by about 8.4 ºC on average.
Cities will become so hot that it is impossible to find an analog on Earth today. The planet could be headed for a state of extreme heat that humans have never experienced.
Given all this, it is no surprise that big cities are leading the fight against climate change. They face the worst impacts of extreme heat, which is why thousands of mayors around the world have joined in and committed to reducing their emissions. And it is that, if we do not take it seriously, humanity will face a serious problem for survival on the only planet we know to live.