Five cities that are steeling themselves…and five that are fooling themselves:
气候变化会影响到每一个城市在这个星球上的方式，但不一定在 同 way. For those cities already adapting to it, strong, decisive action may spell the difference between surviving global warming and succumbing to it.
As for those cities that just haven’t gotten around to it yet, they’re likely to discover that investing in climate-change adaptation isn’t like building a new ballpark or convention center. Typhoons and tsunamis don’t care whether your most recent bond measure has passed; droughts and heat waves can’t be expected to wait around for the results of referenda or other ballot initiatives.
Any city that treats adaptation as something easily back-burnered is going to get, well, burned. Or flooded. Or, more likely, burned, flooded, and parched—quite possibly all at the same time.
The truth is, a number of very big cities are headed for big trouble. But others have managed to pull themselves together and come up with seriously smart plans for meeting climate change head-on. So whether you consider yourself to be a globe-trotter or just a concerned global citizen, here—for your consideration, your edification, and your retirement planning—are the world’s five worst and five best cities for riding out the tumultuous future that climate change is creating for us.
THE RECKONING: Five Cities That Climate Change Is Going To Make Almost Wholly Uninhabitable
PHOENIX: You have to wonder what it does to the Phoenician psyche when fancy-pants cultural historians routinely dismiss Phoenix as “The World’s Least Sustainable City” in the subtitles of their books, or when they 预测 this sprawling anchor of the American Southwest will soon become a desiccated and depopulated archaeological site—“like the Jericho or Ur of the Chaldees, with the shriveled relics of golf courses and the dusty hulls of swimming pools added on,” as one essayist described it. But whatever effect it has, it clearly hasn’t made residents any humbler in the face of their city’s imminent day of reckoning.
Sixty years ago, nighttime temperatures in Phoenix almost never crept above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, thanks to the dreaded urban 热岛效应, nights in the 90s are commonplace. In 2009, Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Arizona, 告诉 an Arizona legislative panel that temperatures in Phoenix could regularly exceed 130 degrees by the second half of the century. That’ll be just in time for the metro area’s two major freshwater reservoirs—Lake Mead and Lake Powell, both fed by the Colorado River—to go dry, and for the city’s water table, which has already dropped by 400 feet over the last 50 years, to descend even further.
Oh well. Phoenicians will undoubtedly survive the infernal heat by doing what they’ve always done: cranking up that A.C., baby! (At least until the flow of the Colorado is 减少到只有涓涓细流 和水力发电厂提供凤凰城几乎所有的电力完全停止工作。）
拉斯维加斯： 你会觉得现在的消息就会沉没在：房子总是获胜。 但是，像一个蛊惑酒杯球员谁知道，刚 知道，他的转机始于下一局，拉斯维加斯停留在桌子上，赌上了与蔓延和水的消耗不明智的赌注它的未来。 平均来说，拉斯维加斯接收约四英寸每年水; 它的水的90％来自米德湖，这是由已经处于危险的科罗拉多河喂快速干燥水库。 而且即使全市已设法从2002三分之一的H 70％的削减其用水2Ø拉斯维加斯用途仍然向它的草坪，高尔夫球场和公园的浇灌去。
这里，根据最近的 国家气候评估，是所有这些新的当地人和游客都期待：在5.5的温度上升到9.5度，可能早在2070，绝对到本世纪末，这意味着你的孙子月底将参加朋友的单身汉和单身派对在一个地方的平均白天气温在夏季很可能是在120-到125度的范围内。 性感！
迈阿密滩： 温暖，碧绿的海水掉迈阿密海滩的海岸长期以来一直逃避现实的幻想的东西。 但如果 预测 是准确的，在80年时间涉及全市（这在技术上是一个岛屿）唯一的逃避现实的幻想将是关于得到了地狱，最有可能通过的船。 目前，涌潮经常连击西侧期间涨潮每年秋季; 当他们这样做，迈阿密海滩的排水系统的流动逆转，导致海水和污水的混合物上来，通过街道级别的雨水渠和洪水的岛屿。
上迈阿密海滩（和很多南佛罗里达）位于多孔石灰岩基础已趋于饱和到令人惊讶的程度。 哈罗德·万利斯，在迈阿密大学地质学教授，认为城市无法生存到世纪末。 它的平均海拔在海平面，这恰好是关于4.5英寸约18英尺以上 下面 海平面上升对南佛罗里达由2099的上限范围估计。
彼得·哈林，在佛罗里达国际大学的海洋地质学家，创造 一系列的地图 该图表迈阿密海滩的未来海平面继续上升。 它们表明，一个4英尺的上升会变成许多城市变成一个浴缸，和六英尺的上升将有效地使大部分无法居住和所有，但在经济上摧毁它。
与此同时，科学家夏威夷大学都在城市的天气状况仔细地看了看，并得出结论认为，2034，孟买 将定期更热 比它在过去150多年来一直在任何时间，达到了他们所认为是“不归路”。但是，而不是屈服于下来，为即将到来的洪水做准备，城市官员一直拖着自己的脚，可以使操作的差。
一个巨大的 排水基础设施项目 is now years behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget; the city has also been backsliding on its commitment not to clear local mangrove forests (which provide a natural bulwark against rising waters) and has ramped up the construction of impervious ground surfaces, which has led to a threefold increase in storm runoff.
DHAKA: In Bangladesh’s capital, a dystopian future marked by climate change isn’t the future anymore. It’s the present. Climate refugees from other parts of the country—which has been hard-hit by drought, flooding, typhoons, and other extreme weather events in recent years—continue to flood into Dhaka every day, straining this city of 17 million people to its infrastructural and public-health breaking points.
Today, nearly seven million residents live in makeshift slums where homes are powered with kerosene, toilets are communal, household waste is regularly emptied into the Buriganga River, and outbreaks of cholera and malaria are routine occurrences during monsoon season. The massive influx of people escaping climate-related tragedy has cruelly and ironically corresponded with a doubling of the city’s carbon emissions over the past 15 years. And the problems are only expected to worsen as the population grows.
By 2025, more than 20 million people will be living within the city’s borders. What awaits them, besides the aforementioned litany of woes, is the near certainty of devastating floods: Dhaka sits just a dozen feet above sea level.
THE ALL-STARS: Five Cities Preparing For Climate Change So Diligently That They're Actually Sitting Pretty—Sort Of
ROTTERDAM: Had it done nothing else, Rotterdam would be noteworthy for giving the world climate adaptability’s first honest-to-God tourist attraction: a trio of domed,40-foot-high pavilionsthat float in its harbor like a family of Bucky Fuller–designed jellyfish, suggesting an entirely new architectural model for cities built on the water.
The second-largest city in the Netherlands boasts Europe’s biggest port, making its continued security one of the few things EU members seem to agree upon. Rotterdam Climate Proof, the city’s comprehensive climate adaptation plan, aims to make this low-lying port fully resilient to climate-change impacts by 2025 and to help the city maintain its status as an economic anchor for the entire continent.
Organized by five areas of concern—flood prevention, adaptive architecture and infrastructure, water, quality of life for residents, and (naturally) city climate—the Rotterdam plan drives home the point that if the sea rises to its predicted level, our coastal houses may have to become houseboats, and our apartment buildings, office buildings, schools, and hospitals may have to be set afloat as well.
NEW YORK CITY: Yo! You don’t just hit New York and expect it not to hit you back…硬. After Hurricane Sandy struck the Big Apple in 2012—killing dozens, displacing thousands, and causing nearly $20 billion in damage and economic losses—New Yorkers, led by then-mayor Michael C. Bloomberg, responded with a package of more than 250 initiatives to be implemented over the coming years, all designed to minimize the city’s vulnerability to coastal flooding and storm surge.
Over its 438 pages, the $19.5 billion plan (titled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”) calls for dedicating nearly three-fourths of its funding to the building and/or rebuilding of major infrastructure—but with the threat of the next major flood event factored into the design, so that homes, hospitals, water systems, subways, and the electrical grid will be able to withstand even the most punishing of future storms.
That still leaves nearly $5 billion for exploring and ultimately implementing a variety of coastal flood protections, such as seawalls, armored levees, wetlands, swamplands, and sand dunes.
MEXICO CITY: It wasn’t all that long ago that Mexico City was considered the worst city on earth in which to inhale. As recently as 1990, in fact, one of the city’s leading daily newspapers reported that as many as 100,000 children in the metropolitan area were dying each year as a direct result of air pollution, and that the mere act of breathing in the city—which the United Nations declared in 1992 to be the world’s most polluted—took 10 years off the lives of its citizens.
As the links among carbon emissions, the urban heat island effect, and respiratory disease became more evident, the government got serious about improving air quality and reducing emissions. To the surprise of other global megacities, Mexico City managed to surpass by 10 percent its goal to curb emissions of greenhouse gases by 7.7 million metric tons between 2008 and 2012, and simultaneously to increase the number of “good air days” from an all-time recorded low of 8 (in 1992) to 248 (in 2012).
demonstrable success of these efforts has transformed Mexico City from one kind of case study into quite another—and turned its urban profile from a cautionary tale into an inspirational one.
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s largest city had barely finished celebrating the end of apartheid in the mid-1990s when the second Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 报告 turned the phrase 气候变化 into a part of our everyday vocabulary.
For a city at a major crossroads, the timing was fortuitous: Johannesburg was already engaged in a multitiered process of self-analysis, assessing its social, economic, and political futures. So why not add one more significant criterion for self-evaluation?
By 2009 the city had completed a thorough climate-change vulnerability assessment, the results of which were troubling. Johannesburg appeared to be in that rare category of cities vulnerable to almost every single challenge climate change could throw at an urban area: deadly heat, massive flooding, overwhelmed power grids, an influx of climate refugees, and a lack of potable water, to name just a few.
Once again, the city resolved to meet its challenges head-on. Today, Johannesburg’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan is a model for how cities can turn data into action. Its findings and goals are integrated into nearly every aspect of city planning and budgeting, so that almost no decision involving the physical city (or its citizens) is made without taking global warming into consideration, from the development of a new bus rapid-transit system that is now used by more than 50,000 people daily to a waste-to-energy project at area landfills that has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 150,000 tons per year.
墨尔本： Aussies are already accustomed to living in a country with some pretty inhospitable conditions, including the arid outback, crocodile attacks，并 Sydney funnel-web spiders. But now they face a daunting panoply of climate change–related disasters as well: drought, flash floods, excessive heat, brushfires, windstorms, and sea-level rise.
By 2070, rainy days in Melbourne could decline by as much as 24 percent; by the end of the century, there could be almost an extra month’s worth of days over 95 degrees, as well as a sea level rise of two feet. Even so, in Melbourne you can almost hear the cry: “Bring it on, mate. We’ll be waitin’ for ya.”
With an unsurprising mix of bravado and resourcefulness, officials have risen to the challenge with the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, a document that suffuses nearly every aspect of municipal public policy with climate awareness. On the table in the near term are new stormwater-harvest systems, a citywide cool/green roof program, an initiative to dramatically increase the city’s passive cooling efficiency, and a major effort to secure the health of Melbourne’s 70,000-plus tree urban forest—an oft-cited contributor to its status as the world’s most livable city as well as a massive carbon sink.
Jeff Turrentine is onEarth's articles editor, Turrentine is a former editor at Architectural Digest. He is also a frequent contributor to Slate, The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and other publications.
Raymond Biesinger, the illustrator and artist, uses physical objects, complex geometry, and his degree in European and North American political history to create his images. Based in Montreal, he has worked on five continents on more than 1,000 projects for such publications as 住, 单片眼镜, “新科学家”, “纽约客”, 纽约时报，并 有线.
Leading ecologist Peter F. Sale, in this crash course on the state of the planet, draws from his own extensive work on coral reefs, and from recent research by other ecologists, to explore the many ways we are changing the earth and to explain why it matters. Weaving into the narrative his own firsthand field experiences around the world, the author brings ecology alive while giving a solid understanding of the science at work behind today’s pressing environmental issues. Most important, this passionately written book emphasizes that a gloom-and-doom scenario is not inevitable, and as Peter explores alternative paths, he considers the ways in which science can help us realize a better future.