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Climate Science and Decision Making

April 2007

This article focuses on understanding the science of climate change and how such understanding might better contribute to decision processes and the design of decision support tools. An increasing emphasis on adaptation demands greater efforts to understand the diversity of users (e.g. emergency planners, water resource managers, policy analysts, and farmers) and their evolving climate information needs. 

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kirstin Dow, Gregory Carbone

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Using Future Climate Projections to Support Water Resources Decision Making in California

May 2009

This paper presents advances in climate projection information that the California Department of Water Resources has made since their 2006 report, "Progress on Incorporating Climate Change into Management of California's Water Resources. " These advances include an improved understanding of how well selected climate models represent historical climate conditions and refined methodologies for representing stream flows, outdoor urban and agricultural water demands, and sea-level rise in planning tools, in order to assess their usefulness in decision making for water resource managers.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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California Climate Tracker

2009

Monthly station data, taken from cooperative observers (COOP*), along with gridded data from the PRISM database, are used to assess climate across the state. The primary variables that are considered in this process are monthly average mean temperatures and monthly precipitation totals.  

Authors or Affiliated Users: J.T. Abatzoglou, K.T. Redmond, L.M. Edward

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Tools and Key Resources

One of the goals of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) is to help communities develop and support neighborhoods that provide transportation choices and affordable housing while increasing economic competitiveness and directing resources toward places with existing infrastructure. In support of this goal, the PSC has compiled a list of tools and other resources available to planners to help develop and support sustainable communities.

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Climate Wizard

ClimateWizard currently provides a range of climate history for a landscape, brought together in a user-friendly format. It provides technical and non-technical audiences alike with a visual mapping tool to access historical and projected changes in annual temperatures and precipitation levels from any geographic location worldwide. Using the custom mapping tool, users can choose a state or country and view data depicting the changing climate over time, including downloadable historic temperature and rainfall maps and projections of future changes in these data in a given area.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Chris Zganjar, Evan Girvetz, George Raber

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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CRUTEM3 Dataset

2006

Climate Research Unit Air Temperature and Combined Air Temperature/Marine Anomalies V3 (CRUTEM3) is a gridded dataset of global historical land surface temperature anomalies. Data are available for each month since January 1850, on a 5 degree grid. Various diagnostics are produced from the monthly gridded fields. These include images of monthly anomaly patterns, and global, regional and local time-series.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Community Climate System Model (CCSM)

The Community Climate System Model (CCSM) is a coupled climate model for simulating the climate system of the earth. Composed of four separate models simultaneously simulating the atmosphere of the earth, ocean, land surface and sea-ice, and one central coupler component, the CCSM allows researchers to conduct fundamental research into the past, present and future climate states of the earth.

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TreeFlow

TreeFlow is an online resource for tree-ring reconstructions of stream flow and climate. By providing a longer window into the past, tree-ring reconstructions describe the natural variability of climate (precipitation, drought) more completely than gaged records. While projected changes in precipitation may be uncertain in some area, projections for temperature changes due to climate change are highly useful and relevant when added to the range of natural flow variability seen in the reconstructions.

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ADAPTool (Adaptive Design and Assessment Policy Tool)

From the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), this policy self-assessment tool is designed to help policy-makers take stock of a suite of existing policies and programs that are being implemented to help stakeholders deal with a specific stressor (i. e. , changing physical climate, or market pricing shocks).   ADAPTool is a Microsoft Excel workbook-based program, and takes the policy analyst through a series of questions to: (i) better define the vulnerability of specific economic sectors to a stressor; (ii) assess the ability of a suite of programs and policies to contribute to necessary adaptation actions and stakeholder adaptive capacity; and (iii) gauge the ability of the suite of programs and policies to address unanticipated stakeholder needs.

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Community Climate System Model/Community Earth System Model (CCSM/CSEM)

The Community Earth System Model (CESM), which grew out of the former Community Climate System Model (CCSM), is a fully-coupled, global climate model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth's past, present, and future climate states. The CCSM has often been used by decision-makers in creating informed adaptation plans, and the CESM continues to improve on previous capabilities.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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