BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Climate change often sounds like something down the road, so a Maryland scientist went and put it on a map.
There’s still ice and snow in far western Maryland but at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, a study is focused on warmer places.
“Those kind of climates are coming to us,” said bio-geographer Matt Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick has spent the past decade mapping what a 5-degree increase in global temperatures will mean locally.
“I didn’t know what that meant for me, like in the place I live, for the climate experience,” said Fitzpatrick. “So the basic idea of the study is to ask what is Baltimore going to be like in terms of its climate.”
If the greenhouse gasses warming the atmosphere and melting the world’s ice continue at their present rate, Fitzpatrick believes the climate in Mississippi will be Baltimore’s, 60 years from now.
“How, humid summers,” Fitzpatrick said. “Winters without a lot of snow. Much more rainfall.”
Sounds a lot like Baltimore 2018.
Record rains and record heat when the sun did shine. Only more of each in the future.
It means that Baltimore’s climate today will become Boston’s tomorrow, and San Francisco will have Los Angeles heat.
It’ll be more than just cities that will experience changes as the climate warms.
“Agricultural areas are going to see similar changes,” Fitzpatrick said.
Heavy rains destroyed crops as fields turned to mud last year in Maryland.
“Fields are saturated and a lot of crops have drowned out,” said one farmer. “Including our peas, corn, soybeans, things like that.”
Those kinds of impacts could increase, and not in a century.
“Children alive today are going to live through or experience this drastic transformation of climate from the familiar, to an entirely new state,” said Fitzpatrick.
Baltimore is set to experience those drastic changes by 2080.