Downscaled Climate Projections for the Southeast

Climate science is more likely to be used when it is at the appropriate geographic and temporal scale for local decision-makers. Numerous techniques for downscaling global climate models (GCMs) have come into use, and there has been a recent proliferation of available downscaled climate datasets. Scientists and decision-makers often want to use downscaled climate projections – information from global climate models that is translated to regional or local scales – to inform their decisions regarding conservation, resource management, and other key environmental issues. Downscaled climate projections vary in, among other things: the techniques used to create them, the GCMs used in the downscaling, the climate variables produced, and their spatial and temporal resolution. Resources on this page provide guidance and tools for choosing appropriate climate projections and portals for downloading selected datasets.

Fact Sheets and Reports

This comprehensive 2014 U.S. Geological Survey report by A. Wootten, K. Smith, R. Boyles, A. Terando, L. Stefanova, V. Misra, T. Smith, D. Blodgett, and F. Semazzi, evaluates six widely-used downscaled datasets that cover the southeastern United States and recommends best practices for use of downscaled datasets for ecological modeling and decision-making. The report is the product of a project funded by the Southeast Climate Science Center. View the project page.
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This USGS report by D. Rupp compares downscaled climate variables from 41 CMIP5 global climate models with 20th century observations in the Southeast and ranks model performance. The report is the product of a project funded by the Southeast Climate Science Center. View the project page.
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Visualization Tools

This gallery of visualization tools provides visualization of data products from Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) downscaled projections from 20 global climate models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), for historical GCM forcings (1950-2005) and future Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios (2006-2100). Customized data selection allows visualization and retrieval of projections for the Southeast, as well as other regions of the coterminous USA.
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This visualization tool was developed as part of the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP). Historical observed and projected changes in several temperature, precipitation, and drought indices for 20-year future time periods are visualized for user-defined locations in the southeastern US.
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This tool was based on the PINEMAP framework and provides as an innovative way to display the wide range of future climate projections. Climate data comes from the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) dataset and displays projections for Minimum Temperature Thresholds, Plant Hardiness Zones, Summer Temperature, and Summer Precipitation.
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Visualize maps and graphs of historical and projected climate trends for several temperature and precipitation variables for any city, zip code, or county in the contiguous United States. The portal also allows users to explore additional data layers to see how climate change will impact topics such as ecosystems, water resources, transportation, coastal areas, and tribal nations.
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Climate Data and Tools

Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) method was used to downscale the model output from 20 global climate models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) for historical GCM forcings (1950-2005) and future Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios (2006-2100) from the native resolution of the GCMs to either 4-km or ~6-km. This provides access to data portals and links to general information about the MACA project.
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This suite of data tools allows a user to download downscaled datasets from the CMIP5 MACA downscaling project that are customized for the Southeast or other specific locations in the contiguous US.
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This US Geological Survey website provides access to numerous climate datasets such as downscaled climate projections and other large data products that summarize or predict climate and land use conditions for particular areas of interest.
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