There are many ways to describe what is happening to Earth’s climate: global warming. climate change. Climate crisis. Global weirdness. They all attempt to capture, in different ways, phenomena caused by problems with our world’s weather systems. However, despite the many options for thesaurus entries, it is still a very difficult concept to relate to.

However, MIT researchers may finally have the answer. Instead of predicting Category 5 hurricanes or record-breaking heat days, they developed a tool that allows people to understand how many “outdoor” events their region might experience between now and 2100 if carbon emissions growth continues unchecked. number of days”.

The results can be shocking or comforting, depending on where you live.

For people in California, France or Germany, things don’t look that bad. Summer temperatures won’t be as pleasant, but spring and fall will become milder, with outdoor weather extending from a few days to nearly a month compared to historical records. The UK will be better off, with 40 more days outdoors by the end of the century.

Not everyone will come out ahead, though. Some temperate areas, including New York, Massachusetts, China and Japan, will lose outdoor activities for a week or more. Elsewhere, the situation looks even more dire. By the 2080s, Illinois will lose more than a month of outdoor time as summer becomes unbearable. Texas will lose a month and a half for the same reason.

However, those countries with the most vulnerable populations will be hardest hit (as scientists have warned). Nigeria’s summer is set to become hotter and longer, reducing outdoor activities by nearly two months. India will lose nearly two and a half months.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Even if the world fails to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 (but can still achieve it by 2070), the situation will improve significantly. Nigeria and India will both lose just one month of outdoor days, while regions further north retain some of the increased outdoor days.

evaluate risk

MIT’s tool is a related application in the research field of climate scenario analysis, a branch of strategic planning that seeks to understand how climate change will affect different regions and demographics. This is not a new field, but as advances in computing power have led to more sophisticated climate models, its applications are broader than before.

Many startups are leveraging this relatively new predictive power to help shape an uncertain future.

Many startups in this space are working to address uncertainty among investors, lenders and insurance companies. Jupiter Intelligence, Cervest and One Concern all focus on these markets, providing clients with dashboards and data sources that they can customize based on region and even assets of interest. The startups also identify risks from floods, wildfires and droughts, and they will provide reports detailing asset and supply chain risks. They can also develop regulatory disclosures that highlight relevant climate risks.

Investors and insurance companies are very worried about how climate change will affect assets and supply chains, so these startups are attracting some real cash. Jupiter Intelligence has raised $97 million, Cervest has raised $43 million, and One Concern has raised $152 million, according to PitchBook.

While major financial institutions are the obvious customer base for climate forecasting companies, other outdoor-exposed markets also need solutions.

ClimateAI is targeting agriculture, including agribusiness, lenders and food and beverage companies, all of which have seen droughts, floods and storms destroy crops. Water risk assessment is therefore a key feature of ClimateAI forecasts, although it also provides other weather and climate-related data. The startup has raised $37 million to date, PitchBook reports.

Sensible Weather is looking at a market that is closer to home for most of us. It provides coverage for people attending outdoor activities, from live concerts to camping and golfing. It works with campgrounds, golf courses, live event operators and more to allow them to offer customers an option to ensure their outings are protected from inclement weather. It’s this approach that helped the startup secure $22 million in funding, according to PitchBook.

As more businesses and consumers become aware of how climate change affects their lives, their demand for certainty will create a host of new markets, providing ample opportunity for these startups and their peers to expand. Once limited to academic labs and insurance companies, climate scenario analysis now appears to be on the verge of entering the mainstream.

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