By Chris Bentley

Some people find it hard to get worked up about the fate of future generations. But Mark Mesle, who came to Curious City with a big question about climate change, has no problem putting a face on future environmental anxieties.

Her name is Parker. She’s Mark’s 18-month-old daughter. He and his wife Abbey have another kid on the way, and it got him wondering:

How will climate change impact Chicago?

Mark runs a website,, devoted to raising awareness on climate change, so he’s no stranger to the topic. What he asked us for was a higher-resolution picture of the problem: a better understanding of how greenhouse gases might change life for his kids here in Chicago.

Curious City is a news-gathering experiment designed to satisfy your curiosities. You ask your questions about Chicago, the region and the people who live here, vote for your favorites, and together we discover answers. It’s your Curious City.

“You always see 2100 projections,” said Mark, who is 33 years old. “How about 2045, when my daughter is my age?”

Mark wants to know what kind of world his kids will grow up in, so understandably he asked for a high degree of detail.

“Do the Cubs not play August games anymore?” he asked, for example.

But here’s the thing: Mark’s asking for something that we don’t have a clear answer for, according to Liz Moyer, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry and transport at the University of Chicago.

“We know physically that climate change will happen. We know geologically what’s happened to species in the past,” Moyer said. “How do you turn that into saying, ‘It’s going to cost this much, it’ll change our economy in this way.’ That’s something we’ve had trouble doing, and the economic models are set up to reflect that.”…

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Areas of Focus: Climate Change
Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...