As the planet warms due to human-caused climate change, cities around the world face the threat of hotter days and increased extreme weather events like storms, heavy rainfalls, and droughts. Many of the most vulnerable cities both in the US and worldwide are located on or near a coast, which also makes them prone to sea-level rise and flooding. These are the US cities facing the greatest threat of rising temperatures, according to data compiled by Nestpick.
9. Seattle, WA
This summer’s heat dome above the Pacific Northwest could be a glimpse into the future for the region. Known for its mild temperatures, Seattle is expected to see a 4.6-degree rise in average temperature by 2050, along with a change in climate type from Temperate Dry Hot Summer to Temperate Dry Cold Summer. Sea levels are projected to rise an additional 10 inches by 2050.
8. Boston, MA
On the other side of the country, the studies show that Boston could see a 4.7-degree rise in average temperature by 2050. The city’s climate is expected to become less continental and more temperate while remaining humid and warm. Boston could feel the effects of sea-level rise even sooner, according to The Washington Post, as sea levels are expected to rise eight inches by 2030.
7. New York City, NY
Facing a projected 5.3-degree rise in average temperature, summers in New York City could get even hotter and muggier. The New York City Panel on Climate Change expects two and a half feet of sea-level rise by then, according to Curbed, and is preparing by retrofitting its coastal areas to withstand higher water levels.
6. Washington, DC
The US capital faces the potential for 5.4-degree warming by 2050. While not directly on the Atlantic coast, Washington, DC is adjacent to the surging Potomac River, susceptible to rising sea levels from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. According to the Center for American Progress, the city could face the impacts of two feet of sea-level rise by 2050 and four feet by 2100.
5. Chicago, IL
Chicago is under threat of a climactic shift from a Continental Humid Warm Summer to a Temperate Humid Warm Summer, which could raise temperatures 5.6 degrees. Extreme weather patterns, including long dry spells and periods of pounding rainfall, could follow. Of the US cities facing the greatest threat of rising temperatures, Chicago is the only one located in the Great Lakes region.
4. Nashville, TN
Music City, USA, could see 5.6- to 5.7-degree warming by 2050. What’s striking about Nashville’s inclusion is that it is among the few US cities facing the threat of extreme climate change that is nowhere near a major body of water. Nashville is subject to heavy rainfall and flooding, however, and already has a long, hot summer season.
3. Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia faces the potential for 5.8-degree warming by 2050 and, according to the report, a higher risk of damage from sea-level rise than New York City, Boston, or Seattle — despite not being directly on the coast. As rainfall increases in summer and snow increases in winter, the risk of flooding including from the Delaware River increases, making the city’s airport and central areas vulnerable to disaster.
2. Baltimore, MD
Facing the highest potential temperature increase along the northeast corridor is Baltimore, Maryland. The city could see a full six-degree increase in average temperature by 2050. Flooding from tidal shifts and increased rainfall could become 10 times more common, as well, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
1. Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati leads all US cities facing the greatest threat of rising temperatures, Average temperatures could be 6.1-degrees warmer here come 2050, and the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the city could also face increased drought and flooding along with the heat.