Current emissions determine future temperatures. Find out about future hot days in your city here:
We use climate data from 2016 and a suite of climate models to show how many more hot days cities and towns in the U.S. will experience over the course of the 21stst century. As a global community, our choices about greenhouse gas emissions starting now influence how high the temperatures in your town will likely be by the middle and end of the century. By comparing the projected number of days above a given temperature threshold under different emissions scenarios, you can see how our collective choices directly affect the future in your neck of the woods.
The scenarios are representative of different levels of greenhouse warming and drive the model projections of future temperatures we used in this analysis. They were adopted by the International Panel on Climate Change as part of its fifth assessment report in 2014.
“Continue without emissions cuts”: This scenario assumes that few major changes are made in the amount of greenhouse gases we release, a scenario sometimes referred to as “business as usual.” This corresponds to a future greenhouse gas scenario called RCP 8.5, which has generally emissions over the past 10 years. Under RCP 8.5, global temperatures are projected to increase an average of 5.9°F above the 1985-2005 baseline by 2100.
“Moderate emissions cuts”: This corresponds to RCP 4.5, a scenario where annual emissions peak in 2040 and then decrease, stabilizing at roughly half of current levels. This reduction roughly corresponds to what would be needed to achieve the goal enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting average global warming to 2°C (3.6°F). Specifically, temperatures under RCP4.5 are projected to top out at 4.1°F above the 1985-2005 baseline by 2100. .
“Extreme emissions cuts”: This is a dramatic level of emissions cuts, which in 2017 is probably beyond reach realistically but is still technically possible. This option corresponds to RCP 2.6. Under this scenario, annual emissions peak in 2020, decline sharply to reach zero around 2070, and then would require sustained net negative emissions after that. Negative emissions would require engineered active removal of carbon from the atmosphere at a massive scale, likely to be extremely difficult and expensive. Such extreme cuts would provide a good chance of limiting global warming to 2°F compared to the 1985-2005 baseline, well within the bounds set by the Paris Agreement.
Data bars represent the average number of days in a year with high temperatures above the selected temperature threshold.
Data for each year in the interactive were calculated as the mean of the preceding 20-year period.
Average maximum daily temperature (Tmax) for 2016 is gridded historical data from Daymet.
Tmax for 2050, 2075 and 2100 is the median of the temperature output from a suite of 21 global climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5. These models are spatiotemporally downscaled to provide daily temperature projections at 1/8-degree geographical resolution.
Bias correction was done using a “delta method” where we applied the temperature change between the modeled temperature for 2016 and each future period to the gridded-historical Daymet data to arrive at projected Tmax values for 2050, 2075 and 2100.