Everyone is talking about how eerily warm this winter has been. Throughout December, spring-like temperatures had Northeasterners feeling about as chipper and confused as the poor flowers that started popping up like it was late April. Multiple factors likely contributed to the recent warmth, including the effects of El Niño, and the unusually strong polar vortex. However, the science points to global warming as the primary cause which, if left unchecked, will cause a steady rise in temperature in for decades, at least, and maybe more . The graphic below from Climate Central looks ahead to see where this trend might take the U.S. by 2100.


It’s one thing to worry over a global two-degree-Celsius temperature rise and all of its alarming implications for the majority of life on this planet. But to view global warming from this rather narrow angle of everyday human life is, in a way, even more jarring because it is simultaneously easy to imagine and disturbing. Consider, for example, that someone born in Boston this year might, by the end of her life, experience a local climate like that of Marietta, Georgia.

Despite the grim connotations of its message, the graphic is inviting in both its visual form and its friendly interface. As each click on a city sends the line gliding southward like an airplane en route to a balmy vacation, the background shifting to a cheerful yellow, recent memories of a 70-degree Christmas make each revelation as plausible as it is shocking.