This chapter demonstrates how to analyze and compare CCSM model runs, available through the GIS Climate Change Scenarios portal, in a GIS. This demonstration used one variable, air temperature, and compared simulations of a present-day climate to a projected climate of 2030.This same analysis can be applied to other scenarios, variables and time periods that are available from the CCSM and the GIS portal. In addition, within a GIS framework, additional spatial information such as land use/land cover change, population projections, or any other environmental and social spatial data of interest can be used for climate change impacts studies.
The example analysis below shows the summer months' temperature anomalies (as derived in this demonstration project) with the US Census-projected patterns of elderly population for the United States in 2030. These preliminary results show that regions with increased summer temperatures will also see influx of elderly population (age 65 and older), with several western and northern plains states among top 10 in the percentage of elderly population.
It is up to the user to fully understand the meaning and uncertainties of climate model projections. The data available through the NCAR Climate Change Portal are from one of many GCMs, (i.e., the Community Climate System Model), that contributed to the current understanding of the Earth's Climate System and reported in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IPCC climate change projections were based on multi-model results from a world-wide climate modeling effort. For further information on the CCSM and the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, please refer to the NCAR GIS Initiative Climate Change Portal
ClimateChangePortalTutorial.doc at NCAR GIS Initiative Climate Change Portal
Access Census Bureau projections for both national and state level projections.
Case Studies with Tool
Other EET chapters that use My World GIS and/or other GIS software include the following:
- Detecting El Nino in Sea Surface Temperature Data — Create and analyze fifteen years of average SST maps to find El Niño and La Niño events.
- How Cities Affect Their Local Climate — Download GLOBE data and investigate the relationship between city location and surface temperature.
- Evidence for Plate Tectonics — Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.
- Exploring Monsoon Precipitation and Streamflow in a Semi-Arid Watershed — Investigate the effect of summer thunderstorms on streamflow in a semi-arid watershed in Arizona.
- Investigating Earthquakes with AEJEE — Download earthquake data from the USGS. Bring it into a GIS and analyze it to predict where the next big earthquake will occur on Earth.
- Investigating Earthquakes with ArcVoyager GIS — Download earthquake data from the USGS. Bring it into a GIS and analyze it to predict where the next big earthquake will occur on Earth.
- Is Greenland Melting? — Explore map layers to examine annual melting and long term changes of Greenland's ice sheet.
- Looking into Earth with GIS — Examine seismic wave data in a GIS and analyze wave velocities to infer the depth of the crust-mantle boundary.
- Mapping Local Data — Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of a map-based science research project.
Other EET chapters that discuss Climate Variability include the following:
- Are Our Cities Warming the Earth? — Download GLOBE data and investigate the relationship between city location and surface temperature.
- Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model — Run the climate modeling software, Educational Global Climate Modeling Suite (EdGCM), to visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years.
- Exploring Albedo with NASA NEO and ImageJ — Access satellite images of land surface temperature, snow cover, and reflected short wave radiation (albedo) data from the NASA Earth Observation (NEO) Web site. Analyze Changes in Snow and Ice cover over time.