The Florida Climate Outlook takes a novel, visual approach in synthesizing new and existing research on Florida’s climate future in the next 20 years. Based on plausible emissions and sea level rise scenarios, the authors assess the physical and economic impacts of climate change—including its effects on storms, human mortality, and agriculture—along with the economic impacts national climate policies would have on Florida households. Throughout the report, infographics illustrate the findings, highlighting key impacts and considerations. For an easy-to-print copy of these infographics, download the document below; read the full report (above) for the full context and references behind these graphics.
This work was supported by the VoLo Foundation. The authors would like to thank Kevin Rennert and Marc Hafstead at Resources for the Future for helpful feedback and economic modeling input and the Climate Impact Lab for their work, which underlies several of the findings in this report. Any errors are the responsibility of the authors.
Climate change is affecting Florida today, and those effects will become more significant in the years to come. This introduction provides basic information on recent temperature trends in Florida, along with projections over the next 20 years. This report discusses the implications of these changing temperatures along with changes in other climatic conditions that will affect Floridians. The report addresses the following topics:
- Effects of Sea Level Rise in Florida
- Effects of Climate Change on Storms in Florida
- Effects of Climate Change on Human Mortality in Florida
- Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in Florida
- Impacts of National Climate Policies on Florida Households
We examine these effects under two plausible scenarios: a moderate emissions scenario, where global greenhouse gas emissions rise by roughly 1 percent annually over the next 20 years; and a high emissions scenario, where emissions rise by 3 percent annually. These scenarios are drawn from an extensive literature and correspond with climate scenarios known as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5. We apply similar scenarios for future sea level rise. For details on these scenarios, and our rationale for selecting them, please see the Appendix.
Historical and Projected Temperature Trends in Florida
Summer temperatures in Florida have increased by roughly 1°F since 1950, averaging 81.4°F from 1991 to 2010. In the next 20 years, average summer temperatures are projected to rise above 83°F under both moderate and high emissions scenarios.[1,2] There is more uncertainty surrounding future temperatures under a high emissions scenario than under a moderate emissions scenario.
Statewide Average Summer Temperatures (°F)
From 1981 to 2010, Floridians experienced, on average, high temperatures exceeding 95°F roughly 7 days per year. Under moderate and high emissions scenarios, this number is projected to grow to 22 and 26 days per year, respectively. 
Statewide Average Number of Days with Highs Above 95°F
From 1950 to 1970, winter temperatures in Florida averaged 57.4°F. In the following decades, temperatures rose by more than 2°F, averaging 59.5°F between 1991 and 2010. In the next 20 years, average winter temperatures are projected to rise above 60°F under both moderate and high emissions scenarios. [1,2]
Statewide Average Winter Temperatures (°F)
- Climate Impact Lab. Climate Impact Map. (2019).
- Southeast Regional Climate Center. Monthly and Seasonal Climate Information. https://sercc.com/climateinfo/monthly_seasonal. (2019).
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