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Timing “Climate Departure” in Seattle

Posted: October 29th, 2013

Most climate change studies describe impacts that are expected to occur on specific dates or years, such as 2050 and 2100. City planners or engineers often work with design-life timelines that tend to fall in between those dates. A novel new paper published in Nature on climate change and temperature looks at timing differently.

 

The results of the study indicate that under “business as usual” activity our global climate will depart from its normal variability in about 35 years. At that point “climate departure” will occur and average annual temperatures will become warmer than the previous hottest year on record. A number of cities were highlighted by the authors, including Seattle, which can expect climate departure by 2055. The approach of the study—naming dates on which specific impacts may occur—is similar to work done by SPU in preparing for sea-level rise.

 

References:
Mora et al, 2013: The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability.
SPU’s sea-level rise mapping project.
SPU’s Climate Change team contact information.