A new way to quantify climate change impacts: “Outdoor days”

"Outdoor days" describes the impact of rising temperatures on the number of days per year suitable for outdoor activities.
March 22, 2024
From Openverse

Key Takeaways:

  • Researchers at MIT have developed a new measure called “outdoor days” to describe the impact of rising temperatures on the number of days per year suitable for outdoor activities.
  • The new system allows users to define what constitutes an acceptable outdoor day and see how the number of such days will change in specific regions around the world.
  • The data generated from this system shows that there will be winners and losers in terms of outdoor days, with a concentration of losers in the global South.


  • For most people, reading about the difference between a global average temperature rise of 1.5 C versus 2 C doesn’t conjure up a clear image of how their daily lives will actually be affected. So, researchers at MIT have come up with a different way of measuring and describing what global climate change patterns, in specific regions around the world, will mean for people’s daily activities and their quality of life.
  • [MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering Elfatih] Eltahir says he got the idea for this new system during his hourlong daily walks in the Boston area. “That’s how I interface with the temperature every day,” he says. He found that there have been more winter days recently when he could walk comfortably than in past years.
  • First of all, there will be winners and losers, and the losers tend to be concentrated in the global south. “In the North, in a place like Russia or Canada, you gain a significant number of outdoor days. And when you go south to places like Bangladesh or Sudan, it’s bad news. You get significantly fewer outdoor days. It is very striking.”

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Read the full post at MIT News.

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