Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

A Climate-Model Wizard for the rest of us…

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-12-16


PLoS One has a newly published paper: (2009-12-15) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008320 "Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool" that delves into Climate Wizard, a free web-based tool that lets you choose the region, the models and datasets, whether you are interested in rainfall or temperature, averaged over the year, the season or a particular month, and get an easy-to-understand graphic out of it.

Here is a wide shot of the whole of Australia, using a CSIRO model, one particular emissions scenario, and looking at winter rains during the 2050s, showing the controls you have to generate your graphic:

Sample of ClimateWiz looking at winter rain in 2050s Australia

2050 Winter Rain IPCC A2 Scenario CSIRO Model Whole of AUS

Zooming in on one region and turning up the transparency so you can see towns gives you something like the following:

ClimateWiz 2050s Winter Rain, West Vic, A2 Emissions, CSIRO Model

ClimateWiz 2050s Winter Rain, West Vic, A2 Emissions, CSIRO Model

Damn… the dairy sector between Colac and Warrnambool, the milk I love from the places I love, is screwed BIG time under the A2 scenario and CSIRO modelling unless we quickly develop genetically-engineered cows that produce powdered milk.

Yes, it’s uses a lot of the same stuff as the IPCC, but accomodates newer data.  It’s so simple that even 10-year olds and politicians could use it.


Citation: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008320

From the abstract….

Background
Although the message of “global climate change” is catalyzing international action, it is local and regional changes that directly affect people and ecosystems and are of immediate concern to scientists, managers, and policy makers. A major barrier preventing informed climate-change adaptation planning is the difficulty accessing, analyzing, and interpreting climate-change information. To address this problem, we developed a powerful, yet easy to use, web-based tool called Climate Wizard (http://ClimateWizard.org) that provides non-climate specialists with simple analyses and innovative graphical depictions for conveying how climate has and is projected to change within specific geographic areas throughout the world.

Conclusions/Significance
The results of these analyses are consistent with those reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but at the same time, they provide examples of how Climate Wizard can be used to explore regionally- and temporally-specific analyses of climate change. Moreover, Climate Wizard is not a static product, but rather a data analysis framework designed to be used for climate change impact and adaption planning, which can be expanded to include other information, such as downscaled future projections of hydrology, soil moisture, wildfire, vegetation, marine conditions, disease, and agricultural productivity.

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