New modeling reveals complex dynamics of climate change, heat-mitigating technologies

Illustration of a sun setting behind a city skyline with an orange skyThe near-term future of Earth is one of a warming planet, as urban expansion and greenhouse gas emissions stoke the effects of climate change. Current climate projections show that in U.S. cities, temperatures are expected to rise by 2 to 7 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 12.6 F) by the year 2099. To try to adapt to this warming and maintain livability on the planet, researchers are looking into new ways of designing and building cities with climate-mitigating technologies and finding that as their predictive models increase in sophistication, they are unveiling a complex interdependency of effects. For example, new modelling is revealing the dynamics of climate change and urban sprawl on a more detailed level, leading to a new understanding of what might be in store as cities grow and regions warm. This information could be critical in determining what might or might not work as we try to adapt to the coming heat. Now a team of researchers led by Arizona State University have completed some of the most sophisticated modeling of the effects of climate change and urban centers in the U.S., and they are finding that some of today’s proposed solutions will provide only a fraction of relief from the projected heat. ASU researchers include sustainability scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Matei Georgescu and Mohamed Moustaoui. Ashley Broadbent and Vishesh Gupta, both affiliated with the Urban Climate Research Center at ASU, also contributed to the report. Read the full story on ASU Now.