Better weather is one reason people travel. However, a new study suggests that a limited number of “outdoor days” could impact where they decide to go. 

A research paper published in MIT’s Journal of Climate introduced an innovative way of measuring the effect that climate change will have on destinations around the world, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Researchers came up with the concept of “outdoor days” to forecast how much time certain countries will have to partake in alfresco activities throughout the year. The term itself is defined by 24-hour periods where the weather is considered suitable for people to spend time outside. 

“Changes in the number of outdoor days will impact directly how people around the world feel climate change,” MIT environmental engineering professor Elfatih Eltahir told Bloomberg.  

The data found that countries including Russia and Canada will actually have more outdoor days by 2100, with spring-like weather appearing earlier in the season. France, Germany, Austria, and the UK will follow suit, with annual gains between 18 and 60 outdoor days by the end of the century. Though, skiers might not be so fond of the milder weather. 

At the same time, the Ivory Coast in West Africa will lose outdoor days due to scorching hot temperatures. “There is a clear disparity between the Global North and the Global South,” Yeonwoo Choi, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT and member of the research team, told Bloomberg. Popular tropical locales like the Dominican Republic will suffer the greatest decline in temperate, year-round weather, with 124 fewer outdoor days per year, while Mexico, India, Thailand, and Egypt will lose between 55 and 86 outdoor days annually.  

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates is predicted to lose 85 outdoor days, and Mediterranean hotspots like Greece are in the same boat. Due to blistering heatwaves between May and September, coupled with increased droughts and wildfires, the study estimates that Greece will lose more than 30 outdoor days by the year 2100.  

“This really drives home how deeply the travel sector is going to be affected by climate change,” adds O’Shannon Burns, sustainable tourism consultant and program manager at Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, “and the importance of climate action-planning at the destination level.” 

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