climate change predictions for three major american cities

Estimated reading time is 2 minutes.

EARLY OMENS OF OUR UNSTABLE FUTURE can be difficult to wrap our heads around. So Teen Vogue partnered with the team at the nonprofit news service Nexus Media, who developed a timeline predicting how climate change could affect three major U.S. cities over the course of the 21st century. This led to the article “What Climate Change Will Do to Three Major American Cities by 2100.”

Climate change will look different in different places across the world, but we chose three places with distinct geographic concerns and climate vulnerabilities to ground all the ominous statistics and headlines in a real sense of place: Houston, St. Louis, and San Francisco.

The article looks at projections for each of the three cities over a series of twenty-year periods: 2020, 0240, 2060, 2080, ad 2100. It is based on RCP 8.5, the so-called “business-as-usual” emissions scenario that assumes that Earth will continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels as the global economy grows.

As we are currently doing virtually nothing to stop climate change, RCP 8.5 is a pretty good predictor of what’s going to happen over the next couple of decades.

Here are samples of their projections just for the temperature of the  three cities for 2100:


By the end of this century, temperatures are expected to have warmed close to eight degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer, Houston will feel something like Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, does today. High temperatures will average over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest months.

St. Louis

By the end of this century, St. Louis is expected to have warmed by roughly 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter will scarcely look like winter. During the hottest months, it will be so scorching that it will be dangerous to go outside for much of the day. 

San Francisco

San Francisco will witness rising sea levels, fierce wildfires, and extreme drought. It is expected to have heated up by more than eight degrees Fahrenheit on average. It will be hot and dry. The Sierra Nevada mountain range will see two thirds less snow than we see today, depriving San Francisco of a much-needed water source.

To read the article in its entirety, click HERE.

By the end of this century, St. Louis will be so scorching that it will be dangerous to go outside for much of the day! Click To Tweet

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FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is a fantastic look into a possible future for San Francisco. It appears that the beloved Golden Gate Bridge is on the verge of collapse as the towers in the background look to be falling over. This image is apparently available as computer wallpaper but I couldn’t find an artist or a title for it.



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