Decision Making Using GIS Climate Change Simulation Data
NCAR GIS Climate Change Scenarios Project, Decision making using GIS climate change simulation data
GIS Climate Change Scenarios project is conducted by the NCAR GIS Initiative and intended to serve a community of GIS users interested in global climate change. This GIS data portal provides access to free global datasets of climate change scenarios that were generated for the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by the Community Climate System Model (CCSM).
- Currently, this website distributes a subset of all data produced by the CCSM. In particular, one can view and/or download monthly mean, 2D atmospheric and land variables from the CCSM component models.
IPCC 4th Assessment Report 20th Century and future scenarios http://www.gisclimatechange.org/images/fig1_new.jpg
Use and Relevance
Future greenhouse gas emissions are the product of very complex dynamic systems, determined by driving forces such as demographic development, socio-economic development, and technological change. Their future evolution is highly uncertain. Scenarios are not specific predictions or forecasts of future climate. Rather, scenarios are plausible alternative futures. Each scenario is an example of what can happen under particular assumptions on use of fossil fuel and other human activities. Scenarios assist in climate modeling, help to examine potential climate change and explore vulnerabilities of humans and ecosystems under a changed climate.
Use in Teaching
- Understand simple statistics such as averaging
- Understand GIS data representation (vector vs. raster)
Exploring the Data
Data Type and Presentation
The spatial resolution of climate change datasets is approximately 1.4 x 1.4 degrees (approximately 155km). The data temporal range is from the year 1870 to 2200.
Accessing the Data
- Register with the portal - this helps us to justify the need for the portal to our sponsors
- Select the region of interest
- Select the IPCC climate change runset
- Select the time period of interest
- Select CCSM component model (atmospheric or land)
Manipulating Data and Creating Visualizations
Tools for Data Manipulation
Acronyms, Initials, and Jargon
GIS Geographical Information System
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
AR4 Fourth Assessment Report
Ensemble Duplicate runs started from slightly different initial conditions
NCAR - National Center for Atmospheric Research
About the Data
The Community Climate System Model (CCSM) is a community-wide effort led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and is a key component of the National Science Foundation program on Climate Modeling, Analysis and Prediction. One of the primary goals of the CCSM is to aid in understanding global climate variability and climate change, and a near-term goal is to provide information in support of national and international policy programs, including the National Assessment of Climate and the 4th IPCC assessment report (AR4). CCSM is a coupled climate model for simulating the earth's climate system. Composed of four separate models simultaneously simulating the earth's atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea-ice, and one central coupler component, the CCSM allows researchers to conduct fundamental research into the earth's past, present and future climate states. What version of the CCSM is being used to generate climate change scenarios for the IPCC?
- IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
- Working Group I Report "The Physical Science Basis"
- Working Group II Report "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability"
CCSM3.0, the most recent release of the global coupled climate model produced by the CCSM community, contains new model physics, supports new model resolutions, and has new run scripts. Numerous multi-century control runs were conducted with CCSM3.0 at low, medium, and high resolutions and are available to the general public for examination and analysis. For more information about CCSM3.0 visit CCSM3.0 Public Release Home Page.
What are the CCSM components?
CCSM software is based on framework that divides the complete climate system into component models connected by a coupler. Individual components - ocean, atmosphere, land, and sea-ice - can be exchanged for alternate models, thus allowing different configurations appropriate for different applications.For more info go to http://www.gisclimatechange.org/runSetsHelp.html
Limitations and Sources of Error
References and Resources
Education Resources that Use this Dataset