The challenge for scientists, then, is raising the alarm on something that’s hard to conceptualize. But a new interactive map is perhaps one of the best visualizations yet of how climate change will transform America. Click on your city, and the map will pinpoint a modern analog city that matches what your climate may be in 2080. New York city will feel more like today’s Jonesboro, Arkansas; the Bay Area more like LA; and LA more like the very tip of Baja California. If this doesn’t put the dire threat of climate change into perspective for you, I’m not sure what will.
The data behind it isn’t anything new, but the public-friendly repackaging of that data, known as climate-analog mapping, represents a shift in how science reaches the public. “The idea is to translate global forecasts into something that’s less remote, less abstract, that’s more psychologically local and relevant,” says University of Maryland ecologist Matt Fitzpatrick, lead author on a new paper in Nature Communications describing the system.
Fitzpatrick looked at 540 urban areas in North America using three primary datasets. One captured current climatic conditions (an average of the years between 1960 and 1990), the second contained projections of future climates, and the third provided historic climate variability from year to year taken from NOAA weather records. (Depending on the city, climate might be more “stable,” or swing more wildly between years.) The researchers considered temperature and precipitation in particular, though of course these aren’t the only two variables when modeling the climate—more on that in a bit.
If you click around the interactive map, you’ll notice some trends under a scenario where emissions continue to rise for 60 years. “Many East Coast cities are going to become more like locations to the southwest, on average roughly 500 miles away,” says Fitzpatrick. On the West Coast, cities look generally like places straight south of them. Portland, for instance, will in 2080 feel more like California’s Central Valley, which is generally warmer and drier. Also, the map has an option (on its left side) that uses a different calculation to show what the shifts would look like if emissions peak around 2040 and begin to fall.
The implications are shocking, but also potentially useful. “Framing results in a digestible manner for the public sector, to inform policy, and for the scientific community, is notoriously difficult,” says University of Wisconsin–Madison climate scientist Kevin Burke, who wasn’t involved in the study. “One notable outcome of this work is the potential for cities and their analog pairs to transfer knowledge and coordinate climate adaptation strategies.”
Take extreme heat, for example. That’s a norm in a place like Phoenix, a city loaded with air conditioners. But in a place like San Francisco, air conditioning is a rarity. If San Francisco does indeed end up with a climate like LA’s in 60 years, that’s going to be a big public health problem. Extreme heat easily kills, as in Europe’s deadly heat waves in 2017.
Another major consideration is water. Many urban areas will get drier, but others may see their total precipitation remain unchanged. However, the patterns of rainfall could change—to all fall in the winter, for instance. “So even though it’s getting the same amount, that could have really large implications for places that aren’t used to having an extended summer drought, or what have you,” says Fitzpatrick.
San Francisco could stand to learn some water management techniques from its 2080 analog. Climate models predict that in the coming decades, LA will see fewer, yet more intense rainstorms. So to prepare, the city has begun an ambitious program to capture those huge dumps of water with a network of cisterns built into road medians. The rain capture program reduces its reliance on water piped into the city from afar.
The Bay Area, which has been historically blessed with more rainwater than its neighbor down south, hasn’t been so forward-thinking. Rich communities have thrown hissy fits when new water requirements meant their lawns would—gasp—turn brown. “Los Angeles is far ahead of the Bay Area in terms of having put in place incentives to move away from the more water-intensive outdoor landscaping that we still have even in the progressive Bay Area,” says Michael Kiparsky, director of the Wheeler Water Institute at UC Berkeley, who wasn’t involved with this new work.
Changes in rainfall would have serious implications for agriculture, of course. But something more subtle will also unfold: As the climate changes, so too will the makeup of local ecosystems. Pests like mosquitos, for example, could boom in your community. Certain plant species might not be able to handle the sudden shift and die out.
“Humans might adapt to some extent, and move, but animals and ecosystems won’t be able to in that short time period,” says Swiss Federal Institute of Technology climate scientist Reto Knutti, who wasn’t involved in the study. “So we are pursuing a risky experiment with the Earth, with partly unknown consequences.”
“That’s actually my biggest worry,” says Fitzpatrick. “It’s not necessarily the direct changes in climate, it’s these indirect impacts on natural and agricultural systems given the magnitude and rate of these changes.”
More frightening still, some of the North American cities that Fitzpatrick explored will have no modern equivalent in 2080. That is, you can’t compare them to a climate we see today. Which makes reacting to the threat all the more difficult—the Bay Area can anticipate feeling more like Los Angeles in 60 years and adapt accordingly, but if you don’t have a good idea of what’s coming, it’s hard to mitigate against the threat.
To be clear, though, this climate analog technique simplifies things—for instance, the researchers left out complicating factors like the urban heat island effect, in which cities absorb more heat than surrounding rural areas. And this is average climate, not weather. So for instance, the recent cold snap on the East Coast was generated by warmer temperatures in the Atlantic.
“None of that’s being captured by these analogs,” says Andrew Jarvis, a scientist at CGIAR, an agricultural research institute. “So from a communication perspective, that’s one of the dangers of it. It’s overly simplifying.” And necessarily so: Climate systems are monumentally complex, though bit by bit scientists are getting a better grasp on how our planet will transform in the time of climate change. A map alone can’t communicate all of that knowledge.
Still, the idea with this new interactive map is to better visualize—both for regular citizens and policymakers—what has previously been presented as impenetrable datasets. “I hope more than anything it’s an eye opener and that it starts more of these discussions so that more planning can take place,” says Fitzpatrick.
Climate change is here, and it’s already wreaking havoc. Consider this, then, a roadmap to help navigate the chaos.
People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.
between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Montreal was condemned by
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
city police force intervened and declared the protests illegal after tensions
heightened and clashes broke out.
strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of clashes.
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the violence and
“despicable rhetoric” that marked several weekend protests throughout
the country, after clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in
worst violence in years, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, is raging between the
Jewish state and Islamist militants.
strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of deadly clashes.
after protests in Montreal, Trudeau condemned what he said was “despicable
rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend”.
Everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and express themselves freely in Canada – but we cannot and will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind. We strongly condemn the despicable rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend.
insisting on the “right to assemble peacefully and express themselves
freely in Canada”, Trudeau stressed in a tweet that there was no tolerance
for “antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind”.
on Sunday, Montreal police used tear gas following clashes between pro-Israel
and pro-Palestinian protesters.
hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central
Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.
‘Protesting is a right’
the protest started peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of
pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.
SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests illegal, and squads
of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two
groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian
protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city centre.
the clashes, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said on Twitter that
“protesting is a right”, but that “intolerance, violence and
anti-Semitism have no place here”.
Montreal is a city of peace.
thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered on Saturday in central
Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war
crimes” in Gaza.
Israel”, some protesters chanted, while others held up a banner that read,
“Stop the genocide of Palestinian children”.
protests happened the same day in multiple Canadian cities, including Toronto,
Ottawa and Vancouver.
“A new app is offering you the chance to do just that.”
When writer Brandon Wong recently couldn’t decide what takeaway to order one evening, he asked his followers on social media app NewNew to choose for him. Those that wanted to get involved in the 24-year-old’s dinner dilemma paid $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll, and the majority verdict was that he should go for Korean food, so that was what he bought…
NewNew is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith. The app, which is still in its “beta” or pre-full release stage, describes itself as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome”. For many of us that sounds a bit ominous, but the reality is actually far less alarming. It is aimed at what it calls “creators” — writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers etc. It is designed as a way for them to connect far more closely with their fans or followers than on other social media services and, importantly, monetise that connection…
Whenever a vote is cast the creator gets the money minus NewNew’s undisclosed commission… In addition to voting, followers can also pay extra — from $20 — to ask a NewNew creator to do something of their choosing, such as naming a character in a book after them. But the creator can reject all of these “bids”, and if they do so then the follower doesn’t have to part with the money…
Co-founder and chief executive Ms Smith, a 33-year-old Canadian, has big plans for NewNew, and has some heavyweight backers. Investors include Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the first outside person to put money into Facebook. Others with a stake in the business include leading US tech investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, and Hollywood actor Will Smith (no relation to Courtne). Snapchat has also given technical support.
Saker was Australia’s bowling coach when Bancroft was caught trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.
While refusing to be drawn on who knew what, Saker said “the finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on”.
“It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away,” he told Fairfax Media, referring to a 1981 incident when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to ensure New Zealand lost a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The notorious delivery is still cited in New Zealand and in cricketing circles as a prime example of unsporting conduct.
However, the ball-tampering scandal – dubbed “sandpapergate” – had a greater impact on Australian cricket, with the then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles.
Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review blasted their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture.
No one else among the team or coaching staff was held to account but Bancroft’s remarks in an interview with The Guardian newspaper hinted that the team’s bowlers at least knew about the plan.
“Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” he said.
Saker added: “There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.
“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last.”
In response, Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.
Saker said he was not opposed to a fresh investigation but added “I just don’t know what they’re going to find out.”
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Washington – Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country.
Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition’s return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.
Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.
Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.
Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.
“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”
She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “Pray for Myanmar.”
Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4 000 people are behind bars.
Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong – who did not make the top 21 – also used the national costume portion to make a political statement.
Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape – in the colours of the Singaporean flag – was painted with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”
“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.
The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”
The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.
In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.