ST. LOUIS – The average annual temperature in St. Louis is projected to rise 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 if there is no change to the current pace of global emissions, that’s according to scientists at Climate Central.
Climate Central’s latest project shows two futures in the United States, one with significant cuts in global emissions, and one without. It comes as world leaders wrap up the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland where they discussed how to cope with climate change.
Climate Central is an organization of scientists and journalists focused on studying the impacts of climate change and warming global temperatures.
In St. Louis, the annual average temperature in 2020 was nearly 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The group’s projections show that if significant cuts to global emissions are made the annual temperature in St. Louis would rise to roughly 61 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
However, if global emissions don’t significantly change, the average annual temperature in St. Louis may rise to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. That is an increase of 7 degrees from the temperature in 2020.
A scientist with Climate Central points out that every single day will be 7 degrees warmer than in the past.
The models only look at average annual temperature, and don’t capture the highs and lows – but those wild swings will be there too.
Those consistently hotter, drier days have a major impact. What that looks like differs depending on where you are in the country.
“East of the Rockies, it’s a more humid climate,” said Sean Sublette, Climate Central scientist. “So it’ll be harder for people to cool themselves off. Boston is going to feel more like Charleston, South Carolina. Washington, D.C. is going to start being more like Jacksonville, Florida. St. Louis is going to be more like New Orleans and the Twin Cities are going to be more like St. Louis.”
Crops will have to be grown further north and mosquitoes will thrive, predicts Sublette.
But these outcomes aren’t inevitable, he says, as demonstrated by the second line on the graph labeled “significant cuts.” What exactly does that mean? It’s a massive undertaking, Sublette admits, but it basically boils down to aggressively cutting carbon emissions and a rapid expansion of renewable energy use — things top-of-mind for those at the climate conference this month.
You can see projections for other cities in American by heading to Climate Central’s website.