Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, B. DeAngelo, S. Doherty, K. Hayhoe, R. Horton, J.P. Kossin, P.C. Taylor, A.M. Waple, and C.P. Weaver, 2017: Executive summary. In: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 12-34, doi: 10.7930/J0DJ5CTG.
“Our world is warming overall, but temperatures are not increasing at the same rate everywhere. The average global temperature is projected to continue increasing throughout the remainder of this century due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities; however, high latitudes are expected to continue warming more than lower latitudes; coastal and island regions are expected to warm less than interior continent regions.”
“Climate models differ in the way they represent various processes (for example, cloud properties, ocean circulation, and aerosol effects). Additionally, climate sensitivity, or how much the climate will warm with a given increase in GHGs (often a doubling of GHG from preindustrial levels), is still a major source of uncertainty. As a result, different models produce small differences in projections of global average change. Scientists often use multiple models to account for the variability and represent this as a range of projected outcomes. Finally, there is always the possibility that there are processes and feedbacks not yet being included in projections of climate in the future.”
“The figure below from the shows the Fourth National Climate Assessment shows annual average surface temperature for the contiguous U.S. (black line) from 1960 to 2017, and the long-term warming trend (red line).”
However, as you can see in the chart from the same report the warming has not been uniform across the nation.
“Because warmer air can hold more moisture, heavy rainfall events have become more frequent and severe in some areas and are projected to increase in frequency and severity as the world continues to warm. Both the intensity and rainfall rates of Atlantic hurricanes are projected to increase with the strongest storms getting stronger in a warming climate. Recent research has shown how global warming can alter atmospheric circulation and weather patterns such as the jet stream, affecting the location, frequency, and duration of these and other extremes.”
The bottom line here is no matter what mankind does, in the next couple of decades the expected impacts from climate change and are going to happen. The only future mankind actions can impact at this point are in the second half of the 21st century.
“Because Earth’s climate system still has more energy entering than leaving, global warming has not yet equilibrated to the load of increased greenhouse gases that have already accumulated in the atmosphere (for example, the oceans are still warming over many layers from surface to depth). Some greenhouse gases have long lifetimes (for example, carbon dioxide can reside in the atmosphere for a century or more). Thus, even if the emissions of greenhouse gases were to be sharply curtailed to bring them back to natural levels, it is estimated that Earth will continue warming more than an additional 1°F by 2100.”
So, this brings me to the really cool aspect of the Fourth National Climate Assessment- Climate Explorer. "With advances in computing power, the future effects of climate change can be projected more accurately for local communities down to the county level or you can look at the projected future on a state level. You simply hit this link and the click on the state you are interested in. "Local high-resolution (downscaled) climate modeling was used to produce data at a scale of 1–20 miles. These projections show climate-related impacts at the local level and can be an important tool for community planners, decision-makers, or for choosing where you want to live. The “Climate Explorer, projection data are derived from the global climate modeling experiments known as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). In the updated version, graphs and maps will display county-scale data generated using a new statistical downscaling technique called Localized Constructed Analogs (LOCA).”
When we were choosing a community to retire in, I had to manually extrapolate to climate projections available and simply guess at what the future might bring to any location. We chose a location in Virginia and the new Climate Explorer tool produced a very satisfying report for our location. You might want to look at the climate forecasts for your location and make sure that you make a well informed decision of where to live.