When will climate change strike you?

A global heat map showing the projected climate departure year for the world's major cities. (Hawaii.edu)

When it comes to climate change, when will Earth hit the point of no return?

According to a new study in the scientific journal Nature, 2047. That's the year the planet will pass "climate departure," the moment when the average coolest temperature year is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of the hottest year between 1960 and 2005.

But the sobering study projects that given current greenhouse gas emissions, many major cities will pass climate departure much earlier.

Mexico City, for example, will hit climate departure in 2031, eight years after Kingston, Jamaica, reaches its global warming tipping point in 2023. For New York and Washington, D.C., the estimated year of climate departure is 2047, a year before Los Angeles. Phoenix and Honolulu are projected to reach climate departure in 2043, the earliest in the United States, while Seattle (2055) and Anchorage (2071) have a bit more time.

But that's light years away compared to Manokwari, Indonesia, which is expected to hit climate departure in 2020, just seven years from now.

"On average, the tropics will experience unprecedented climate change 16 years earlier than the rest of the world," Camilo Mora, one of the authors of the study, said in a briefing with reporters Tuesday.

"The boundary of passing from the climate of the past to the climate of the future really happens surprisingly soon," Christopher Field, director at the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science, told the Washington Post.

While scientists say climate departure is inevitable, cutting global carbon dioxide emissions can significantly slow the process. Under one better-case scenario, Earth would hit climate departure in 2069, the journal said.

Click here for the full study.

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