In 50-60 years New York will be like Arkansas, Minnesota like Kansas, and Stockholm like Paris

A study in Nature Communications (2019) finds that if greenhouse emissions continue unabated (RCP 8.5) climates in North America will shift on average 850 kilometers between now and 2080. That is, 14 kilometers per year. The northeast will tend to feel more like humid subtropical parts of the Midwest or southeastern U.S – warmer and wetter. Washington will be like northern Mississippi. San Francisco will be like L.A. And New York will be like northern Arkansas.

Figure. In 2080 you will have to travel 850 kilometers on average to find your current climate. Credit: Matthew Fitzpatrick/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Another study from 2019 describes that in 2070 Minnesota’s signature forests might be lost altogether to prairies. Researchers describe that if we are to hit 667ppm CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases in 2070 Minnesota by then might resemble Kansas. They describe that the state’s tree cover would creep northward and the prairies that predominate in the southwest of the state would take over what was previously a mix of fields, deciduous woods and pine forests. Also, the say that climate is likely to change too fast for plant species to migrate to their new locations. Plant species would need help by moving them (sic!).

Figure. From forest to prairie in 50 years. Credit: Star Tribune, with sources from the University of Minnesota for forest Ecology.

When we turn to Europe, it is harder to find climate analogue studies. A Swedish government study from 2007 predicts (conservatively we might add in 2018) an average temperature rise by 2080 in between 3 and 5°C. Climate modelling based on these numbers would mean that the area around Stockholm would have a climate comparable to Northern France.