Monday, September 24, 2018

Life in the Year 2100

According to most current models of climate change life in the year 2100 is going to resemble the most dystopian visions of the future cooked up by writers of science fiction. We can look forward to a world which suffers from extreme heat, rising seas and practically unbreathable air.

For example, MIT recently modeled how climate change could impact on the future of air quality in the USA. The future air pollution model developed by these scientists estimated the likely increase in fine particulate matter (PM2.5, μg m-3) based on current climate change forecasts. The results are very worrying.

The Revelator has created an interactive map from MIT's air quality estimates for the year 2100. The Revelator's Air Pollution in 2100 interactive map shows where air pollution is expected to increase as a result of global warming. The dark areas on the map show the regions which are predicted to see the biggest increase in the annual average fine particulate matter. If you hover over a US county on the map you can see the predicted increase in PM2.5 and the predicted total PM2.5 for the selected location.

The Climate Impact Lab's Climate Impact Map visualizes how global warming will effect temperatures around the world over the rest of this century.

Using the drop-down menu you can choose to view predicted global temperatures for each quarter of the year or for the whole year. You can also choose to view the number of days which will be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The timeline below the map allows you to view a choropleth view of any of these selected temperature predictions for the years 2020-2039, 2040-2059 and 2080-2100.

The map includes two choropleth views. The 'absolute level' shows the predicted temperatures around the world for the year selected. The 'change from historical' view shows how much the temperature will increase above the 1986-2005 averages around the globe.

The University of Hawaii has released a similar interactive map which uses expected temperature increases to predict the number of deadly days we can expect from extreme heat around the world for each year up to 2100. Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days provides a timeline control which allows you to select any year from 1950-2100. The blue dots on the map show historic extreme heat events that have occurred around the world before 2014.

If you click on the map you can view two charts for the selected location. One chart visualizes the number of annual deadly days over time and the other shows the humidity vs. temperature for the current year.

Thanks to NOAA's Sea Level Rise Viewer we can also observe how these increases in temperature will effect sea levels.

By the end of this century the National Climate Assessment estimates that sea levels may rise by up to 6.6 feet. NOAA's interactive map uses the most accurate elevation data available to model how different extents of sea level rise will impact coastal areas in the USA. You can adjust the sea level displayed on the map by adjusting the water level tool from 0 to 6 feet.

You can also use the 'Local Scenarios' tab to view the potential impact of different sea level rise scenarios on different areas of the country. The Local Scenarios option allows you to adjust the map to view the impact of sea level rise of different orders of severity. It also allows you to see how this impacts the local area by decade (up to the year 2100). 

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