USGS National Climate Change Viewer

The National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV) from USGS allows the user to visualize projected climate change at the national, state, or county level in the continental United States. The viewer provides a number of useful tools for characterizing climate change such as: climographs (plots of monthly averages), histograms that show the distribution or spread of the model simulations, monthly time series spanning 1950-2099, and tables that summarize changes in temperature and precipitation (e.g., extremes). The application also provides access to comprehensive, 3-page PDF summary reports for each states and each county.

The main window of the NCCV displays maps of change in maximum temperature, minimum temperature or precipitation between a selected future simulation and the historical simulation and two accompanying plots.

- Hovering the cursor over a state produces a popup window of the average value for that state.

- Clicking on a state zooms the map to that state and displays a map and charts with values for the selected state.

- Likewise, clicking on a county displays the map and plots for that county.

A climograph is provided which compares monthly averages and standard deviations, for the present and future periods. A histogram gives a sense of the range and distribution of climate change simulated by the models. Hovering the cursor over the histogram bars produces a window that summarizes the distribution and which models fall within each bin.

The Time Series tab allows the user to visualize the long-term (1950-2099) trends of projected temperature and precipitation through the end of the 21st century. It is also a way to see how the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios produce different (or similar) changes. The user can use the radio buttons located on the lower right of the window to plot either the actual temperatures or the changes in temperature. 

USGS has also created 2.5 million three-page PDF summaries of all of the charts and tables included in the viewer tabs that can be downloaded.  The summary reports are available for each geographic area (US, states and counties), for every month and climate model in both metric and English units. All three variables (maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation) for both RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 emission scenarios are included in the reports to facilitate comparisons between scenarios and among models.



A major revision to the National Climate Change Viewer was completed December 9, 2016, that replaces the hydroclimate variables displayed in the application. With the publication of a formal evaluation of the hydroclimate modeling, the hydrology variables (runoff, soil storage, snow and evaporative deficit) are now included in the downloadable CSV files for each region.

The downloadable PDF reports for states, counties and watersheds have been updated to incorporate the new hydroclimate data. The climatology plots within the PDF reports have been modified to include symbols displaying ensemble agreement and significance.


Publication Date: December 9, 2016

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Resource Types:

  • Mapping tool
  • Modeling tool


  • Air temperature
  • Precipitation changes

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