WMO and Climate Central have launched a series of “Summer in the City” videos to explain the impact of climate change on temperatures in some of the world’s major cities. The short videos have been released in a year that is already experiencing multiple heatwaves across the globe and daily temperature records, and if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, Earth’s average global surface temperature could rise more than 4°C by the end of the 21st century.
The reports are presented by TV weather presenters and explore the impact on the daily lives of people living in major cities such as Paris, Tokyo or Berlin, and are part of an initiative by WMO to make climate science more accessible so that the public can better understand how climate change affects the local and national weather conditions that impact our daily lives.
The reports are based on downscaled global climate models (assessed by the IPCC) which were used to model the effects on summer temperatures in various cities by 2100, using 2 different climate change scenarios (high emissions and moderate emissions). Each city was then matched with a city that is already experiencing such temperatures in order to anticipate the impacts. Weather presenters, working with national meteorological services, from each country were invited to contribute to the work and to present the findings.
For example, by the end of the century the citizens of Paris (where daily summer high temperatures now average 22.7°C) may see summer high temperatures like those today in Fez, Morocco (29.2°C). Many of the assessed cities could see their maximum daily temperatures in summer rise by as much as 6-9°C, and nowhere on Earth is currently as hot as the summer highs that cities such as Doha and Baghdad could experience if global emissions remain high.
“What the weather presenters have created are only possible scenarios, and not true forecasts. Nevertheless, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science, and they paint a compelling picture of how climate change may impact daily life in cities where most of the world’s population lives. Urban warming could be double that of surrounding areas due to the presence of stone materials and paved roads. This would lead in particular to higher night-time temperatures,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“The enhanced heat – and an expected increase in associated extreme weather like summer storms – will have major implications for energy and water supplies, public health and transportation. More intense heatwaves would also often lead to poorer air quality, which can even be lethal,” he said.
Miguel Ángel Mancera, the Mayor of Mexico City and the Vice Chair of C40 Cities for Latin America, said: “By 2050, about 80 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Fortunately, a growing number of cities around the world have committed to taking action to reduce emissions and pursue sustainable development. I am convinced that with local action we can achieve global goals.”
The schedule for release of the videos is:
- 5 July –Madrid and Barcelona, TVE
- 6 July – Montreal, MétéoMédia
- 7 July – Frankfurt, ARD
- 10 July – Sofia, NOVA TV
- 11 July – Hanoi, VTV
- 12 July – Cape Town, SABC
- 13 July – Brussels, VTM Nieuws
- 14 July – Buenos Aires, National Meteorological Service
- 17 July – Berlin, ZDF
- 18 July – Paris, France TV
- Fri July 21 – Havana
- Mid-July – Miami, NBC/El Mundo
- August – Tokyo, NTV