Climate Change

Cities feel the heat of climate change

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6377, pp. 757-758
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6377.757-f

Many climate change studies aim to determine how the global annual mean surface air temperature has changed or will change over time. Since 1975, this temperature has changed at a rate of about 0.15° to 0.2°C per decade. But as Papalexiou et al. show, this figure does not capture the rising extremes in heat that many people living in cities around the world are experiencing. In the past three decades, the highest temperatures of the year at 9000 stations have risen by an average of 0.25°C per decade. In many big cities, the rise has been even larger, with Houston, Moscow, and Paris experiencing rises of more than 0.8°C per decade. These fast rises in the most extreme temperatures increase the risk of heat-related fatalities.

Earth's Future 10.1002/2017EF000709 (2018).

Navigate This Article