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Global heating: London to have climate similar to Barcelona by 2050

Nearly 80% of cities to undergo dramatic and potentially disastrous changes, study finds

London will have a similar climate in three decades’ time to that of Barcelona today, according to research – but if that seems enticing, a warning: the change could be accompanied by severe drought.

Madrid will feel like present-day Marrakech by 2050, and Stockholm like Budapest, according to a report on the likely impacts of the climate crisis. Around the world, cities that are currently in temperate or cold zones in the northern hemisphere will resemble cities more than 600 miles (1,000km) closer to the equator, with damaging effects on health and infrastructure.

Water shortages will affect scores of cities now in temperate climates as a result of the global heating, which is forecast to be by as much as 3.5C in European cities in summer and 4.7C in winter.

Nearly eight in 10 cities will experience dramatic changes, according to the study of 520 major cities published in the journal Plos One.

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