Originally published on The Climate Reality Project.
From the mean daily temperature to the number of days with precipitation over 1”, the NOAA Climate Explorer has a scientific way to see how climate change will affect where you live.
What is the Climate Explorer? In short, it’s a crystal ball created by our friends at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to show what the future may be like for the United States, depending on whether we act on climate or continue emitting greenhouse gases.
The Climate Explorer accomplishes this by instantly displaying interactive maps and graphs that visualize recorded and projected climate change impacts across the United States.
Climate Explorer’s graphs and maps show projected conditions for two possible futures: one in which humans make a moderate attempt to reduce global emissions of heat-trapping gases, and one in which we go on conducting business as usual. NOAA makes these predictions based on global climate models developed for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Ready to look into the crystal ball? Here are five things you can learn about how your hometown will be affected by climate change using this interactive tool.
1. NUMBER OF DAYS OVER 95 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
Climate change means that on average, our planet is getting warmer. Scientists estimate that if we don’t curtail our carbon emissions, the planet could be nearly 5 degrees Celsius (over 7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer by the end of this century. But hey, what’s a few degrees of difference anyways? That’s where the Climate Explorer helps you feel the heat. Type in your hometown here, and then see how many more days over 95 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll have to look forward to.
Below, we’ve highlighted how Oklahoma is going to feel the heat in the coming years.
2. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION OVER 1 INCH
If having more days to endure of 95 degrees weather has you hot under the collar, here’s a downpour of data for you. Select the “Days of Precipitation over 1” ” layer to see how many more deluges your area could see.
Here’s an example showing how more torrential precipitation events are in the forecast for southeastern states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
3. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE UNDER 32 DEGREES
Fewer freezing winter days might seem like a dream come true for some humans. But for those of us whose livelihoods rely upon a predictable winter season – from farmers to snow sports athletes and businesses – fewer days under 32 degrees F means dollars lost or devastation. Not to mention all the non-human species whose very survival depends on freezing temperatures!
Want to see what that will look like? Select “Days with Minimum Temperature Under 32 Degrees” then enter your location. In Minnesota, days with minimum temperatures below freezing may go from an observed 50 days per year in the northern stretches of the state in 1950, down to a mere five to 10 days in 2090 if we don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
4. MEAN DAILY PRECIPITATION
April showers bring May flowers… right? Unfortunately, with changing weather patterns due to climate change, those spring showers will be harder and harder to predict. Some regions may see a drastic increase in mean daily precipitation – which may cause flash floods, washed out roads, and detrimental effects on crops. Other parts of the world could see a large decrease in mean daily precipitation – and that could mean more droughts, scarcer water supplies, and increased reliance on irrigation for agriculture.
Let’s look at Arizona’s mean daily precipitation in April. While the state isn’t known for its rainfall, the area could still see up to a 40 percent reduction in mean daily precipitation in Aprils by 2090. Click here to see how Mean Daily Precipitation will change in your area.
5. MEAN DAILY MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES IF WE DON’T ACT
A day’s highest (maximum) temperature usually occurs in the afternoon. Averaging the daily high temperatures over any period results in a mean maximum temperature for that period. As the planet warms, so too does the mean daily max temperature. And boy is it about to get hot in here.
Take Texas as an example. Not exactly known for its cool breezes, the state is in for a doozy if we don’t curtail our greenhouse gas emissions. The mean daily max temperature in July could be over 100 degrees for the Dallas-Fort Worth area by 2030. And the temperatures only climb up from there, reaching nearly 110 degrees by 2090. Find out how the mean daily maximum temperature may change in your hometown here.
6. MEAN DAILY MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES IF WE TAKE ACTION NOW
There’s still some good news. If we take action and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we can make a difference and prevent the worst-case scenario from becoming a reality. Just look at the difference for a place like Texas. When we take action, the Lone Star State’s future is still hot – but much more bearable. By acting on climate, we can keep the highest mean daily max temperatures in the 90-100 degree range by the end of the century. Enter your location on this map to view the difference between taking action now, and doing nothing to fight the climate crisis.
ARE YOU STILL IN?
If you’ve ever heard people say, “It’s too late,” or “What we do won’t make a difference,” then show them these maps. Pull up the data for the place where you live, and show them what the future will hold if we don’t take action. It’s crystal clear: If we act now to curb our greenhouse gas emissions, we can still make a difference – and stave off the worst-case scenario.
Are you committed to climate action? Download our Paris Agreement Toolkit for more ways you can make a difference.
Reprinted with permission.
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