DOI: 10.1101/458018Nov 1, 2018Paper

Cities of the future, visualizing climate change to inspire actions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jean Francois BastinThomas Crowther


Combating climate change requires unified action across all sectors of society. However, this collective action is precluded by the consensus gap between scientific knowledge and public opinion. A growing body of evidence suggests that facts do not persuade people to act. Instead, it is visualization, the ability to simulate relatable scenarios, which is the most effective approach for motivating behavior change. Here, we exemplify this approach, using current climate projections to enable people to visualize cities of the future, rather than describing intangible climate variables. Analyzing city pairs for 520 major cities of the world, we characterize which cities will most closely resemble the climate conditions of which other major cities by 2050. On average, most cities will resemble cities that are over 1000km south, and 22% of cities will experience climate conditions that are not currently experienced by any existing major cities. We predict that London's climate in 2050 will resemble Barcelona's climate today, Madrid will resemble to Marrakesh, Moscow to Sofia, Seattle to San Francisco, Stockholm to Budapest, Tokyo to Changsha, etc. Our approach illustrates how complex climate data can be packaged to provide tangible i...Continue Reading

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