Usability

As a national center, NCAR aims to provide atmospheric data and models outputs to the broader community. Our GIS program develops methods and tools that facilitate the use of NCAR models in a GIS. We work with industry and international standards organizations to improve interoperability of common atmospheric data formats, as well as develop tools and applications to increase usability of models and their spatial accuracy. The Climate Change GIS data portal provides GIS-compatible user access to CCSM AR4 global and downscaled U.S. simulations, as well as to the data products that show climate trends and anomalies. To facilitate interdisciplinary research and decision-making on the scales of weather events, the GIS program ensured compatibility of WRF outputs, available in NetCDF format, with the ArcGIS software. A pilot project explored use of web services and web GIS technologies with regard to distribution of WRF and CCSM model outputs. Methods of conversion between sphere-based models and ellipsoid-based data for GIS analysis are being investigated to determine the full potential of the sphere-ellipsoidal shift.  We are investigating the impact this shift may have upon the output positional accuracy for numeric weather models. More information can be found in PROJECTS pages. Visit our DATA page to download available GIS-compatible model outputs.

Extreme Heat Climate Inspector

The System for Integrated Modeling of Metropolitan Extreme heat Risk (SIMMER), a NASA-funded study conducted by NCAR scientists in 2010-2014, focused on extreme heat, human health, and urban vulnerability in present and future climates. The project quantified the importance of explicitly characterizing urban properties to improve urban meteorological simulations, and the role of climate change in the future heat stress across the United States and southern Canada. Climate model simulations from SIMMER suggest high heat stress days and nights in cities across the U.S.

Climate Inspector

Climate Inspector is the newest addition to the NCAR GIS Program's Climate Change Scenarios web portal.  This portal has offered downloadable climate change data in a GIS format to users since 2005.  Climate Inspector is an interactive web application which expands Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and graphing capabilities to visualize possible temperature and precipitation changes throughout the 21st century.