Global warming isn't just about polar bears anymore.
Let's assume we do nothing about climate change. Imagine that we just continue to emit carbon at our current levels or even exceed those levels. How would our weather change? What would our forecast be? Welcome to The Weather of the Future.
In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Heidi Cullen, one of the world's foremost climatologists and environmental journalists, puts a vivid face on climate change, offering a new way of seeing this phenomenon not just as an event set to happen in the distant future but as something happening right now in our own backyards. Arguing that we must connect the weather of today with the climate change of tomorrow, Cullen combines the latest research from scientists on the ground with state-of-the-art climate-model projections to create climate-change scenarios for seven of the most at-risk locations around the world.
From the Central Valley of California, where coming droughts will jeopardize the entire state's water supply, to Greenland, where warmer temperatures will give access to mineral wealth buried beneath ice sheets for millennia, Cullen illustrates how, if left unabated, climate change will transform every corner of the world by midcentury. What emerges is a mosaic of changing weather patterns that collectively spell out the range of risks posed by global warmingwhether it's New York City, whose infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to even a relatively weak category 3 hurricane, or Bangladesh, a country so low-lying that millions of people could become climate refugees due to rising sea levels.
Provocative and convincing, The Weather of the Future makes climate change local, showing how no two regions of the country or the world will be affected in quite the same way, and demonstrating that melting ice is just the beginning.
Although Weather of the Future sounds like an exercise in speculation, Ms. Cullen grounds her harrowing predictionsextrapolations, reallyin "the best available science" derived from an array of climate models, environmental data and interviews with scientists. And her forecasts actually turn out to be an armature for discussing the fallout of climate change (from rising sea levels to more extreme weather) in an accessible, tactile fashion and for examining existing liabilities in various regions and cities, like overstretched infrastructure and dwindling water supplies.