No one is ever going to confuse cities in Minnesota with having some of the best weather in the country.

But when it comes to avoiding all of the extremes that come with global warming, one city in the North Star State has everyplace else beat.

A recent USA Today story'Best Cities to Avoid Worst Climate Change Impacts' touts Duluth as the number on the list.

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Duluth, Minnesota
Jan Bolz via Unsplash


  1. Duluth, Minnesota
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Asheville, North Carolina
  4. Knoxville, Tennessee
  5. Charlottesville, Virginia
  6. Lynchburg, Virginia
  7. Johnson City, Tennessee
  8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  9. Syracuse, New York
  10. Buffalo, New York
  11. Toledo, Ohio
  12. Green Bay, Wisconsin

So how did Minnesota's fifth largest city develop this 'climate proof' reputation?

In early 2019, economist and associate professor of sustainable real estate at Tulane University Jesse Keenan, referred to Duluth as 'the most climate-proof city in America' and that slogan stuck.

In April of that year, a New York Times article, 'Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Promise Cool Relief', picked up on Keenan's narrative and outlined why Duluth is so resistant to climate change:

'First, it’s cool to begin with. That means, as temperatures increase, it will remain mild in relative terms. By 2080, even under relatively high concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions, Duluth’s climate is expected to shift to something like that of Toledo, Ohio, with summer highs maxing out in the mid-80s Fahrenheit.

Because the region will remain relatively cool, it will have a lower wildfire risk than the West or the Southeast. Wildfires thrive in hotter temperatures, which dry out plants and make them easier to ignite.

And, because Duluth is inland, it’s mostly protected from the effects of sea level rise.'

The New York Times wasn't done with Duluth just yet.

In March of this year, they doubled back the city to chart the influx of people who had moved there from other parts of the country.

The title of the article? 'Out-of-Towners Head to Climate-Proof Duluth’.

The story highlights Duluth's reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and investments in solar power as two of the keys in the fight against climate change.

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They even have a Zoltar machine like in the movie, Big. I had to check that out. He told me the only helping hand is at the end of my arm. Gee, thanks Zoltar.

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