What does the future of climate look like where you live? For the first time, maps and summaries of temperature and precipitation projections for the 21st century are accessible at a county-by-county level, thanks to awebsitedeveloped by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in collaboration with the College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.
The maps and summaries are based on aNASA datasetthat covers the contiguous U.S. on an 800-meter grid. NASA created the dataset by downscaling 33 climate models used in the 5th Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).
USGS leveraged this massive dataset and distilled the information into easily understood maps, 3-page summaries, and spreadsheet-compatible data files for each state and county in the United States. In addition to future projections, the website includes historical model simulations covering 1950–2005.
"This product is innovative, user-friendly, and invaluable for assessing and understanding climate model simulations of local and regional climate…whether you’re a policy maker, a manager, a planner, an educator, or another engaged U.S. citizen," said Matthew Larsen, associate director for the USGS Climate and Land Use Program.
USGS scientists Jay Alder and Steve Hostetler, who designed and implemented the project, noted that users can not only view the average of all of the models’ output for each county, but can also view output from individual models to see how they compare.