Using Climate Data - 427 Technical Brief

This primer is designed to support financial institutions, businesses and governments in understanding and utilizing climate data. Raw climate data can be difficult to analyze in terms of financial risk and capital planning, so this brief provides an introduction to climate models and data from a business or government perspective.

The report first explains what a global climate model is, how that model is translated into climate data, and then downscaled for local use.  Other topics include time horizons in climate and weather projections, uncertainty in climate models, and tools available for accessing climate data. 

The Key Takeaways as summarized by 427 are:

  • Climate models are simulations of the Earth’s future conditions. Climate projections are based on a compilation of many models and are publicly available.
  • Regional climate models and statistical downscaling improve the resolution of data produced by global climate models and are thus valuable options when projections are only needed for one location or several in the same region.
  • Climate models can be used to project future trends in temperature and precipitation, but cannot project discrete storms or local flooding from sea level rise, which require additional data.
  • Different time horizons of climate projections have different strengths and limitations so it is important to select the data product best suited to a specific project’s goal.
  • There are several drivers of uncertainty in climate models and strategies to hedge this uncertainty can help users correctly interpret and use climate projections.


Publication Date: April 25, 2018

Related Organizations:

  • Four Twenty Seven


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Climate science

Go To Resource