In less than 35 years, the coldest year will be warmer than the hottest years of the past. That's the central takeaway from a new study by scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The report, published in the sceintific journal Nature, calculated that by 2047 (give or take five years), the average temperatures in each year will be hotter across most parts of Earth than they had been at those locations in any year between 1860 and 2005.
“Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced,” Camilo Mora, the report's lead author, told the New York Times. “What we’re saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”
The tropics will feel the heat first. Unprecedented climates will arrive there early, placing increasing stress on forests, coral reefs, and human societies. In a place like Jakarta, Indonesia, the "climate departure" date could come as soon as 2029.
In New York City, the study predicts climate departure for 2047. The study's silver lining isn't all that pretty either. According to the report, only "a vigorous global effort to bring emissions under control" will delay the inevitable, buying us 20 to 25 years to adapt.
Photo: Rising global temperatures will put more stress on tropical ecosystems, including on coral reefs. (via Adventure Journal)