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These Cities Will Be Deserts by the End of the Century

Karen Doyle

Regardless of opinions on the cause, there is no doubt that the weather in America is changing. Arctic sea ice is melting fast, oceans levels are rising and heat waves are becoming more intense. Some areas that are now warm and dry will become hotter and arider, to the point where they will experience desert-like conditions before the end of the century. These dramatic shifts in temperature and humidity change vital interactions between plants, animals and humans.

Climate change is also expected to have devastating effects on the U.S. economy. In 2018, The New York Times cited a report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program that claimed a changing climate could disrupt American exports and supply chains and diminish agricultural yields, in addition to cutting the gross domestic product by 10% — which is more than twice of what was lost during the Great Recession.

Using data from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, GOBankingRates looked at 15 U.S. cities that will have completely different climates by 2080, if climate change advances as expected, and compared them to cities that currently experience these conditions.

Data is accurate as of July 8, 2019, and is subject to change.

In 2080, Billings, Montana, Will Feel Similar To...

The Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) advocates for state and federal policies to address climate change. MEIC is focused on reducing the use of coal, protecting air and water from irresponsible oil and gas development and promoting clean, renewable energy resources like wind, solar, small hydro and low-emission biomass.

Hurricane, Utah

Right now, the average temperature during a typical summer in Hurricane is 11.3 degrees higher than it is in Billings, Montana. This is the fifth-highest increase in average temperature of any city on the list. By 2080, Billings will be that much warmer in the summer, and it will also be 36.1% drier than it is now.

In 2080, Boulder, Colorado, Will Feel Similar To...

The entire state of Colorado is already feeling the effects of climate change. Recent years have seen warmer spring temperatures, less snow and more water scarcity. Earlier snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains means more spring floods, intense erosion and longer summer droughts. Snow is now melting 15 to 30 days earlier than it did just 25 years ago. Boulder County has a goal to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions 90% below 2005 levels within the next 30 years by focusing on becoming fossil fuel free.

Clovis, New Mexico

The average temperature in Clovis during the typical summer is 9.2 degrees higher than that in Boulder currently. Although it is tied for the fourth-smallest increase on the list, it’s still significant. Clovis is also wetter than Boulder by 46.9%. Of the four cities on the list that will be wetter rather than drier by 2080, this is the smallest increase.

In 2080, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Will Feel Similar To...

Cheyenne already averages 12.3 more days above 90 degrees than it did in 1970. By 2050, the city is expected to have 10 “danger days” with a heat index above 105 degrees, compared to five danger days in 2000 and 2030. Warmer weather and increased humidity also mean more mosquitos and the dangers they present. From 1980 to 1989, there was an average of four days per year in Cheyenne where conditions were ideal for mosquitoes to grow; since 2006, the average is seven days.

Hurricane, Utah

The average temperature during a typical winter in Hurricane is 12.9 degrees higher than it is in Cheyenne, which means it will have the second-highest increase in average temperature by 2080. It will also be 147% wetter during winter than it is today — the third-largest increase in that metric.

In 2080, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Will Feel Similar To...

The snowpack in the Southern Rockies is predicted to drop 50% this century, but the impact goes far beyond the concerns of skiers. Seventy percent of Colorado’s water supply comes from the snowpack, and less snow means less water.

Las Vegas, New Mexico

By 2080, the average temperature during a typical summer in Colorado Springs will be as hot as it is now in Las Vegas, New Mexico, not to be confused with Las Vegas, Nevada. This is 10.5 degrees hotter than it is now. It will also be 9.9% drier.

In 2080, Conroe, Texas, Will Feel Similar To...

In Texas, several bills have been introduced in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to protect the state against climate change. But the bills have yet to go through the first step toward becoming law, which is to be scheduled for public hearings. Governor Greg Abbott commissioned a report that urged the state to “future-proof” itself to minimize impacts from future storms, but the report focused more on improving response and infrastructure than it did on climate change.

More Extreme Weather: The 11 Costliest Hurricanes to Ever Hit the US

Linares, Mexico

By 2080, Conroe in the winter will feel more like Linares, Mexico, where the average temperature is 9.2 degrees higher than Conroe is now. Although this is the fourth-smallest increase in temperature on the list, it is still significant. Conroe will also be 76% drier during a typical winter, which is the third-largest increase in that metric. The increased dryness may not be entirely unwelcome – currently, humidity in Conroe averages close to a sweltering 80% in July.

In 2080, Grand Junction, Colorado, Will Feel Similar To...

Colorado is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat the effects of climate change. This year, the Colorado legislature passed the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution, which established goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% of 2005 levels by 2050. The plan will aim to gradually reduce emissions, with the goal of a 26% reduction by 2025 and a 50% reduction by 2030.

Sunrise Manor, Nevada

The average temperature during the summer in Grand Junction will be 12.5 degrees warmer by 2080, the fourth-largest increase in temperature. It will be 57.3% drier, the fifth-driest of any city on this list. This will make the climate feel more like Sunrise Manor, Nevada, a hot, dry section of Las Vegas Township.

In 2080, Jackson, Mississippi, Will Feel Similar To...

Climate change in Mississippi has been less about increasing temperatures and more about the effects of fewer freezing days, hotter summer days and longer-lasting heat waves. As freezing days decline, mosquito-borne illnesses increase. And longer and more intense heat waves lead to a rise in heat-related deaths.

Sabinas, Mexico

By 2080, the average temperature in Jackson during the summer will have increased by 10.3%, and it will be 54.4% drier, making it feel more like Sabinas, Mexico.

In 2080, Lawton, Oklahoma, Will Feel Similar To...

In Oklahoma, unpredictable rainfall has caused severe swings between intense flooding and serious droughts. Water tables have begun to shrink due to droughts, and increased demand from rising temperatures. If the effects of climate change are not reversed, Lawton will be considerably hotter and drier in 2080 than it is today.

Sabinas, Mexico

The climate in Lawton will change so much by 2080 that it will feel more like Sabinas, Mexico, during a typical winter. The average temperature during winter will increase by 12.7 degrees, which is the third-largest increase in temperature of any city on this list. Lawton will also be 55.7% drier than it is now.

In 2080, Los Angeles Will Feel Similar To...

California has a number of initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of climate changes, such as the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The DRECP focuses on protecting and conserving the desert ecosystems in Los Angeles County and six other California counties. The plan will allow for the appropriate development of renewable energy and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. It covers 22.5 million acres of land and is a collaboration between the California Energy Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The average temperature during a typical winter in Los Angeles is predicted to rise 8.3 degrees by 2080 — the second-smallest change of any city on the list. But it will also become 79.6% drier, which is the second-largest change. These changes will combine to make LA feel like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

In 2080, Provo, Utah, Will Feel Similar To…

In Utah, the Utah Climate Action Network brings together government agencies, research institutions, nonprofits and foundations, faith-based organizations, private companies and citizens to address climate change across the state. The network is committed to reducing emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy and low-carbon transportation, as well as enhancing resiliency by identifying climate vulnerabilities and managing water resources.

Hurricane, Utah

Hurricane is only about 250 miles south of Provo, but the average temperature during a typical winter is 13.8 degrees higher, and the climate is 55.6% drier. By 2080, however, Provo will feel like Hurricane does now. Provo will experience the largest increase in average temperature of any city on this list.

In 2080, Sherman, Texas, Will Feel Similar To...

Sherman, Texas, is about 60 miles from Dallas, so residents experience some of the “heat island” effects of cities that are increased by global warming. Dallas can experience temperatures that are 19 degrees higher than nearby rural areas, and there are 39 more days each year when the temperature reaches 90 degrees higher.

Sabinas, Mexico

The average temperature during winter in Sherman will climb by 10.6 degrees by 2080, putting it on a par with the average in Sabinas, Mexico, today. Sherman will also be 72.9% drier in the winter than it is today — the fourth-biggest increase of any city on this list.

In 2080, Simi Valley, California, Will Feel Similar To...

California has a vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that are 40% below the levels the state had in 1990. The plan is to achieve this by 2030. Steps that will be taken include increasing renewable electricity production, reducing petroleum use and cutting down greenhouse gas emissions from natural and working lands, among other steps.

Loreto, Mexico

Simi Valley’s temperature will not change as much as some cities, with an expected increase of just 8.7 degrees during a typical summer, the third-smallest increase on the list. It will become 1,900.5% wetter than it is today, however — by far the largest increase of any city on this list.

In 2080, Tyler, Texas, Will Feel Similar To...

In Tyler, and throughout Texas, citizens can join with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby to support a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy that would place an increasing price on the use of carbon while returning a monthly energy dividend to households. This type of system is estimated to reduce carbon emission to 50% of 1990 levels in 20 years, according to the Lobby.

Sabinas, Mexico

Residents of Tyler, Texas, will feel the average temperature during the summer rise by an expected 8.6 degrees by 2080, which is the second-smallest increase of any city on this list. Tyler will be 36.2% drier in 2080 than it is today.

In 2080, Vacaville, California, Will Feel Similar To...

California has an ambitious, detailed plan to reduce the effects of climate change. The state’s strategies include increasing the production of renewable electricity to 50% of the state’s electricity production and double the energy efficiency savings at existing buildings. The goal is to have these strategies implemented by 2030.

Tijuana, Mexico

In Vacaville, the average summer temperature will rise by 10.8 degrees by 2080. The city will be 187.8% wetter — the second-largest increase of any city on this list, making Vacaville feel the way Tijuana feels today.

In 2080, Vallejo, California, Will Feel Similar To...

In Vallejo, and throughout California, the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative supports local California governments to help them accelerate climate action by saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Funded by California utility customers, this program is administered by local gas and electric utility companies.

Loreto, Mexico

By 2080, winter in Vallejo, California, will feel as hot and dry as Loreto, Mexico, feels today. The average winter temperature will rise by 10.5 degrees and the city will be 80.5% drier. Of all the cities on the list, Vallejo will have the largest decrease in humidity.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: Using the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s climate change map, GOBankingRates looked to see which U.S. cities will be deserts by 2080. GOBankingRates kept the emission rates for 15 U.S. cities at the current “high emissions” level. With these parameters, GOBankingRates could see the following for each city: (1) which city’s climate it will resemble in 2080, (2) the increase in average temperature it will see, and (3) what percent drier or wetter it will become by 2080. All data is current as of July 8, 2019.

Data is accurate as of July 8, 2019, and is subject to change.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: These Cities Will Be Deserts by the End of the Century