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Visualizing Climate Change | Analog Atlas website

October 27, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Our climate is changing. It’s been widely noted for years that 97% of climate scientist agree that climate change is happening.

Of these, 97% agree, explicitly or implicitly, that global warming is happening and is human-caused. It is “extremely likely” that this warming arises from “human activities, especially emissions of ” in the atmosphere. Natural change alone would have had a slight cooling effect rather than a warming effect


Recent years has brought an increased level of certainty:

….A 2019 study found scientific consensus to be at 100%, and a 2021 study found that consensus exceeded 99%.


So the level of certainty among climate scientists fluctuates between 97% and 100%. That seems pretty high, for scientists, who generally agree to disagree on almost anything, and publish their disagreements, but some cable and web news sites can always find someone who disagrees about climate change. Just don’t ask about their competence or expertise.

Here’s an interesting report from the U.W. Global Change Research Program.
Executive Summary – Highlights of the Findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report. Something to read over breakfast.

Global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016). This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization. The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, and the last three years have been the warmest years on record for the globe. These trends are expected to continue over climate timescales.

Analog Atlas

A group of scientists at the University of Montana felt that we-the-people didn’t seem able to grasp just what’s happening.

I liken the challenge to describing a song to someone who has never heard it: “It is in the key of C and has 4/4 timing.” The description is factually accurate but fails to inform because it lacks context, emotion and the framing that a listener brings.

We can put climate change in context with a simple question: ‘Where can I find the climate of my future, today?’ For residents of Los Angeles, it’s the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

Solomon Dobrowski: Quoted in Los Angeles Times Op-Ed 24 Oct 2021

I suggest you take a look at their creation: Analog Atlas
It’s extremely user-friendly. It will give you two locales comparable to your current locale; one if the average temperature goes up 2°C, the other for 4°C.

We selected the 2°C temperature rise and put in our northern San Fernando Valley locale. This map popped up. The distance is 1194 miles (1951 km) to the southeast.

Analog Atlas gave us this photo and described our current locale as: “…currently classified as a California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion.” It’s not our backyard, but looks familiar.

Your future climate match (or analog) is García Municipality, Nuevo León, Mexico. Toggle between the photos to see how projected changes could alter the landscape to look more like García Municipality, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Under your selected future climate scenario [2°C increase], this could change to Chihuahuan desert.

Analog Atlas @ 2°C increase – Chihuahuan desert near García, Nuevo León, Mexico

Well, that looks…dry. And hot. I recognize ocotillo in there.

“Very warm days” = 86°F (30°C). “Very hot days” = 104°F (40°C).

Onward to the 4°C increase. The distance is now 595 miles (958 km) to the southeast,

Under your selected future climate scenario [4°C increase], this could change to Sonoran desert.

Good ol’ saguaro cacti. Elf Owls! Harris’ Hawk! I think that’s a Gilded Flicker nest hole in the closest saguaro cactus on the right.

Your future climate match (or analog) is Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. Toggle between the photos to see how projected changes could alter the landscape to look more like Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico.

And there we have it. We can pick our desert and cacti of choice. Thanks a lot, everyone.

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