Flooded Miami streets, North Pole vacations and Anchorage hosting the Summer Olympics? This will be our world in 2050, at least according to The Weather Channel.
Three of the channel's biggest stars — Sam Champion, Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams — star in a hypothetical weather forecast highlighting the threats of climate change.
The new video is part of a series produced for the World Meteorological Organization ahead of the U.N. Climate Summit, which will take place Sept. 23 at U.N. Headquarters in New York.
The WMO invited newscasters and meteorologists across the globe to prepare a daily weather report based on climate science documented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. By 2050, global temperatures could rise more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit if greenhouse gas emissions from human activities continue at the current rate.
With its futuristic gadgets and "footage" of an Arctic Circle cruise ship, The Weather Channel's video may seem like a parody, but some of 2050's top stories are eerily similar to current weather reports.
In the video, Abrams reports that the southwestern U.S. is suffering from a "megadrought" — a word that's already being used to describe California's long dry spell.
Bioclimatologist Park Williams recently told USA Today that "more area in the West has persistently been in drought during the past 15 years than in any other 15-year period since the 1150s and 1160s."
In another scene, Cantore stands in several feet of water in Miami reporting on an offshore hurricane.
"A storm that's over 400 miles offshore would never be a problem many decades ago," he says, "but now that we have sea level rise, even a storm that's over 400 miles offshore can still cause big problems like you see here."
While such a scenario may seem extreme, according to research by nonprofit Climate Central, there's a 100 percent chance of at least one Miami flood rising above 6 feet by 2100, putting $15 billion worth of property at risk.
"Areas of Miami Beach could experience constant flooding," Florida International University scientist Rene Price recently told the National Science Foundation. "We could see large portions of the Everglades taken over by the ocean. Areas that are freshwater today could become saltwater by 2100."
In addition to The Weather Channel's futuristic news segment, newscasters and meteorologists from Bulgaria, Brazil, Denmark, Japan and Zambia have also released 2050 weather reports.
The WMO will post videos from more countries over the next two weeks leading up to the climate summit.
Watch The Weather Channel's full 2050 weather forecast below.
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