Climate Change Data Explains What Duluth’s Climate Could Be Like By 2080
While the political debate over climate change continues to rage on, researchers continue to warn of drastic climate changes on the horizon being spurred on by greenhouse gas emissions. To illustrate the impacts of climate change, researchers at Nature Communications have developed an interactive map that looks at cities around the country, showing what forecast models think weather could look like 60 years into the future.
The model data looks at 27 different forecasts and finds the average outcomes for unchecked emissions at current rates and outcomes if emissions are reduced. The most basic conclusion is that there are changes ahead, and for Duluth, it looks warmer and wetter. The image above shows a number of the various scenarios of where Duluth's weather could be like based on the 27 different forecasts (marked with red dots), with two being the most likely scenarios. Those are explained below.
For high emissions model, Duluth's climate in 2080 will feel most like today's climate near Oregon, Ohio, which is near Toledo. The map explains that the typical winter in Oregon, Ohio is 13.9°F (7.7°C) warmer and 122.5% wetter than winter in Duluth.
Aside from the obvious increase in average temperatures, this is a formula for more storms (and more severe storms), with flooding and strong storms being more likely in summer months, and greater amounts of ice storms and rain in winter months, with average temperatures during the winter going from around 20 degrees to around 33 degrees.
For reduced emissions model, Duluth's climate in 2080 will feel most like today's climate near Germantown, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Milwaukee. The map explains that the typical summer in Germantown, Wisconsin is 5.3°F (2.9°C) warmer and 4.7% drier than summer in Duluth.
While some might welcome a little extra warmth in the Twin Ports, that change in climate would allow for the migration of animals and insects that don't normally live around here. Imagine having to contend with deadly black widow or brown recluse spiders in Minnesota, for example. According to this forecast data, areas of Minnesota are expected to see climates more like places where these insects call home.
Experts also warn that warmer temperatures will allow for greater chances of spreading diseases like Zika and other dangerous diseases. The same animal/insect migration into our area combined with winters that aren't as cold, thus not killing off some of these creatures, could lead to increases in other diseases like West Nile and Lyme Disease as well.
Accompanying these threats, generally warmer temperatures also have the potential to create more extreme weather events, including more intense storms and droughts.
You can see the entire map to see how models suggest various cities around the country could be impacted by tapping the button below.