A group of researchers at the University of Hawaii has done the math to figure out how soon cities around the world will begin to feel the effects of major climate change – and their findings may shock you. The closest tipping point will affect Manokwari, the capitol of West Papua, Indonesia, where temperatures are expected to skyrocket by 2020 – just a few short years away. Jakarta and Lago aren’t far behind, and Mexico City will feel the heat by 2031 followed by Bogota, Cairo, Bagdad, and Nairobi in 2036.
We’ve known for a long time that climate change is affecting different parts of the world at different rates — while major changes haven’t yet hit areas that have historically been fairly temperate, changes have already started to hit the arctic and tropical island nations.
Major changes won’t come to the US until the 2040s, with significantly increased temperatures in New York and San Francisco. Other major world cities like Rome, Tokyo, and Beijing will also start to shift at about the same time. You can view the full list of cities and a detailed timeline over at the Climate News Network.
Perhaps the most disturbing implication of this research is the fact that low-income nations without many resources will be the first to experience the major impacts of climate change. These poor nations tend to be located in the tropics, but may be unable to preserve rare local plant and animal species, resulting in a loss of biodiversity.
Lead image © Mora et al, University of Hawaii