Climate and society are coevolving in a manner that may place vulnerable populations at greater risk to weather and climate stresses. Understanding societal risks and vulnerabilities to weather hazards and climate change requires integration of georeferenced information from physical and social sciences, including weather and climate data, information about natural and built environments, demographic characteristics, as well as social and behavioral processes. NCAR’s GIS program is working towards developing research frameworks and spatial methods for integration of diverse, multidisciplinary datasets, which are both quantitative and qualitative and exist at different spatial and temporal scales.  Current projects in this area of research are focused on extreme heat and human health, as well as on drought and water use.

Wide Interoperability Nexus for Data Organized Workflows

View the story map about the WINDOW project


Extreme heat is a leading cause of weather-related human mortality in the United States and in many countries world-wide. Despite the advances in meteorological forecasting capabilities and the widespread prevalence of air conditioning systems across the U.S., extreme heat persists as a threat to human health.  As global warming patterns continue, researchers anticipate increases in the severity, frequency and duration of extreme heat events. Recent studies on climate impacts demonstrate that climate change will have differential consequences in the U.S. at the regional and local scales.