By 2050 London's Weather Will Resemble Barcelona's Current Climate

New research warns of severe changes to climate in the coming years with London experiencing weather similar to Barcelona of today by 2050.

By 2050 London's Weather Will Resemble Barcelona's Current Climate
Seal level rising as the planet warms courtneyk/iStock

Thanks to global warming, cities around the world will experience changing climate conditions in the years to come with London eventually resembling the climate in Barcelona today.

That’s according to new research from Crowther Lab in Switzerland, which based on its analysis found that 77% of the cities around the world will experience climate change with 22% of the cities encountering conditions that don’t exist today. The most dramatic change will occur in cities in northern latitudes with the climate in 2050 resembling the current climate of cities that are more than 1,000 kilometers south today. 

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The researchers pointed to Europe in particular, warning that cites will be 3.5 °C degrees warmer in the summer and 4.7 °C  degrees warmer in the winter. That will cause London’s weather to resemble Barcelona today while Moscow will resemble Sofia and Stockholm will have weather similar to what is seen in Vienna today.  In the U.S. the researchers warned Seattle will have weather similar to San Francisco today while New York will be more like Virginia Beach. 

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Barcelona Already Dealing with Extreme Weather

That doesn’t bode well for people living in London given Barcelona is already struggling with climate change. In 2008 the city experienced an extreme drought that put the well being of citizens at risk, resulting in the country importing drinking water.

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The researchers noted London’s mayor in 2017 included drought considerations into the city’s Environmental Strategy goals for 2050. 

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Tropical regions aren’t expected to experience such a big shift in temperatures but will see much more precipitation and droughts. The researchers predicted the wettest months of the year will be 5% wetter while the driest months of the year will be 14% drier. Droughts will become more severe in the tropics.

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Uncertainty to Impact 22% of Cities

The researchers warned this is a best case scenario and that there is a lot of uncertainty as to the weather condition outcomes for 22% of the cities that will experience completely new weather conditions. After all, 64% of the cities are located in tropical regions. “By 2020 cities of the world will have become hotter, in particular during the winter and the summer,” wrote the researchers. “Wet seasons will be wetter and dry seasons drier.” 

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Tom Crowther, founder of the Crowther Lab in Switzerland said in an interview that the fact that 22% of cities including the likes of  Jakarta, Singapore, Yangon, and Kuala Lumpur, is what surprised him the most about the research. “These are environmental conditions that are not experienced anywhere on the planet at the moment,” he said in an interview. “That means there will be new political challenges, new infrastructure challenges, that we have not faced before.” 

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