Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa calculate that by approximately 2047, the coolest year from then on will be warmer than it was in 2005, which is when the world as a whole had its hottest year on record.
Writing in the journal Nature, study author Camilo Mora says that Kingston, Jamaica, will be among the first to become off-the-charts hot — within about a decade.
He says it soon will be followed by Singapore in 2028, Mexico City in 2031, Cairo in 2036 and Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043.
Mora and colleagues used weather observations, computer models and other data to calculate the point at which every year that passes will be warmer than the hottest year on record.
They found that tropical locations will arrive there first, but U.S. cities like New York and Washington will get there by 2046, soon followed by Detroit, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Chicago and Seattle.
“Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced,” Dr. Mora told The New York Times. “What we’re saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”
But he says that the models indicated that this heat can be delayed by 20 to 25 years if greenhouse gas emissions are quickly reduced worldwide.
“This paper is both innovative and sobering,” said Jane Lubchenco, former head of the the U.S. environmental agency NOAA.
Dr. Mora is not a climate scientist, but is a specialist in using large sets of data to probe environmental issues. He and a group of graduate students analyzed forecasts produced by 39 of the world’s leading climate models in arriving at their findings.