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Delhi in 2080: Brace for warmer and drier summers, interactive map warns

An interactive map by the University of Maryland in US, titled 'Future Urban Planets', predicts that Mumbai summers will be 3.4 degrees Celsius warmer and 7.4 per cent wetter by 2080

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Nandini Singh New Delhi

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Climate change is reshaping global weather patterns. And it’s triggering a cascade of disruptions and extreme weather events. Rising global temperatures, largely driven by human activities like burning fossil fuels, have resulted in more frequent and severe heat waves, storms, droughts, and floods. These climatic shifts are affecting ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, and human health.

Now, a new interactive map by the US’s University of Maryland is highlighting the accelerating effects of climate change and projecting the dramatic transformations our planet will undergo.

The map, titled ‘Future Urban Planets’, was developed by the university’s spatial ecologist Matthew Fitzpatrick. By using advanced data analysis, it forecasts the climatic future for thousands of cities, towns, and suburbs worldwide, painting a vivid picture of what urban areas will feel like in 60 years.

“In 50 years, the northern hemisphere cities to the north are going to become much more like cities to the south,” explained Fitzpatrick. “Everything is moving towards the equator in terms of the climate that's coming for you.”

Stark climate projections for 2080

Featuring data from over 40,000 locations, the map presents a sobering scenario for 2080. For instance, New Delhi’s summers are projected to be 4.5 degrees Celsius warmer and 1.4 per cent drier. In winter, the average temperature could rise by 4.9 degrees Celsius.

Mumbai’s future looks equally stark, with summers predicted to be 3.4 degrees Celsius warmer and 7.4 per cent wetter, while winters could see a temperature increase of 4.5 degrees Celsius and 5.8 per cent more rainfall. This comes as no surprise, given the city's recent experience with torrential rains that disrupted suburban train services and flight operations, with some areas receiving over 300 mm of rainfall in just six hours.

Alarming climate changes ahead?

Popular winter destinations will not be spared either. According to the map, Srinagar is expected to be 5.4 degrees warmer by 2080, significantly altering its winter climate.

In the United States, the projections are equally alarming. New York is expected to resemble present-day northern Mississippi, while Washington DC is anticipated to feel like current-day North Louisiana, with a potential temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius.

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First Published: Jul 11 2024 | 4:25 PM IST

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