Dangerously hotter cities await 2100’s residents
(Climate News Network, 8 Jan 2021) In the concrete jungle, the most dramatic high-rise could be the mercury. Urban dwellers should expect much hotter cities.
Tomorrow’s metropolises will feel the heat: by the close of the century, assuming that nations act on vows to drastically reduce fossil fuel use, hotter cities − on average almost 2°C warmer than today − will be home to billions of people.
And if humans go on − as is the case now − tipping ever-greater levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, then Paris and Philadelphia, Shanghai and São Paulo, Lagos and London, Beijing and Baghdad could see an average rise of 4.4°C.
The world’s cities are also likely to become less humid as the thermometer goes up, say US scientists who have harnessed machine-learning to statistical data to find a new way of checking the future of the planet’s cities this century.
Such research is literally vital, and vital to most of humankind. Right now, cities − concentrations of people, asphalt, concrete, brick, glass and steel − cover just 3% of the globe’s terrestrial surface, but shelter more than 50% of the world’s people. By 2050, the present megacities and many new ones will be home to more than 70% of humanity.