Climate Wizard makes large databases of climate information visual, accessible

Dec 15, 2009

A Web tool that generates color maps of projected temperature and precipitation changes using 16 of the world's most prominent climate-change models is being used to consider such things as habitat shifts that will affect endangered species, places around the world where crops could be at risk because of drought and temperatures that could cripple fruit and nut production in California's Great Central Valley.

Climate Wizard, a tool meant for scientists and non-scientists alike, is being demonstrated by The Nature Conservancy in Copenhagen, Denmark, in conjunction with the summit underway there. It also is the subject of a presentation Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco and a paper just released online by the Public Library of Science's with Evan Girvetz as lead presenter and lead author. Girvetz worked on Climate Wizard during postdoctoral work at the University of Washington's School of Forest Resources and just accepted a job with The Nature Conservancy.

"Climate Wizard is meant to make it easier to explore climate data in an interactive way," Girvetz says. "It makes the data accessible in ways that are more intuitive, even for people who are not climate scientists."

For example, data used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the science organization evaluating the risks of climate change, is made visual and more readily understandable through Climate Wizard. Politicians, resource managers and citizens are all potential users, Girvetz says. Find Climate Wizard at http://www.climatewizard.org/.

Climate Wizard, a joint effort among the UW, University of Southern Mississippi and The Nature Conservancy, lets users focus on states, countries or regions around the world and apply different scenarios to generate color-coded maps of changes in temperature and precipitation that can, in turn, be used to consider such things as moisture stress in vegetation and freshwater supplies.

Users can choose from a number of parameters. For example, one can look at the climate of the past 50 years or projections for mid-century, the 2050s, or toward the end of the century, the 2080s. Among other variables, one can generate maps based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes' estimates of greenhouse gas emissions being high, medium or low in the future.

One can consider the projections from each of 16 individual . Girvetz recommends using one of the newest features added to the program, the ability to create an ensemble of some or all of the 16 models. Want to average the temperatures of, say, the 12 climate models that forecast the largest temperature increases? Climate Wizard can do so almost instantaneously.

"Ensembles can give a better range of future possible climate changes compared to using a single model," he says.

Girvetz was the project's analytical lead, taking the 16 climate models and organizing the data from them so they could be queried. Chris Zganjar of The Nature Conservancy brought expertise about user experiences and George Raber of the University of Southern Mississippi developed a Web site to connect to the data sets organized by Girvetz. Other authors on the PLoS ONE paper are Edwin Maurer, Santa Clara University; Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy, Seattle; and Joshua Lawler, UW assistant professor of forest resources.

"Because of the size and format of the datasets, climate data are notoriously unwieldy," Lawler says. "Climate Wizard makes those data readily available to a much wider audience."

Explore further: New York state bans fracking

More information: 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

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User comments : 12

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omatumr
2.6 / 5 (12) Dec 16, 2009
Climate Wizard?

Is that the one that was caught manipulating climate data?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
mikiwud
3.3 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2009
Wizard was/is a UK comic I used to read as a lad (I can just remember that far back, it's my short term memory that's going), I bet it is more believable than the IPCC.
As for IPCC models, I don't have a Playstation or Xbox.
joefarah
2.9 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2009
The problem with climate change models used by IPCC is that they are dead wrong. Some of them can accept random data and give out a result showing hockey-stick warming in the 21st century. I'm not saying there are bugs in the models. Just that they were intentionally designed to meet the IPCC agenda of (censored) through global warming scare tactics.

BTW, I like the carbon credit report that shows that up to 90% of carbon credit trading in Europe has been bogus!
LKD
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2009
"Want to average the temperatures of, say, the 12 climate models that forecast the largest temperature increases? Climate Wizard can do so almost instantaneously."

Is it that only 4 models are close to accurate then? Or is it just that the data is so corrupt, that that's all the programs can derive?

I can't wait to see this so I can compare what they are using from my area to what NOAA has recorded officially. I will certainly hold back my skepticism to learn what the truth will be, but I'm hedging that there will be a disparagy between reality and what their models are based on.
LKD
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2009
Yep! I was right, the data is wrong for Albany. We have had progressively cooler summers for years. Maybe 2 decades so far. It's now rare to ever break 90 in summer, and the data says it hotter than it actually is. No surprise.
defunctdiety
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2009
Just like actual Wizards, these models are nothing more than constructs of fanciful minds.

The machine marches on People, if you want to see it stopped We must get under foot. Let your lawmakers know you do not back climate change legislation and will not back them if they do. It can be done very quickly with the internet, or even by phone, your legislators secretary should certainly have a public email account if not the law-maker themselves, both should have accessible phones.

Or if you are so inspired, be brave and send a hand written letter and/or visit them in person, prepare a statement and make your voice be heard.

The AGW scientists will not stop claiming their data is settled and irrefutable, and so long as it bears them political fruit the politicians will continue to nod and clamor for any change these fraudulent "academics" say is necessary.

It is only We the People who can prevent this looming economic boondoggle.
Velanarris
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2009
With introductory knowledge in statistics you can create a model that will innocuously confirm any finding that you're looking for. Unfortunately we aren't at a position to use experiments of a global scale necessary to check the validity of those models.
LKD
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2009
Here is a little fun article to back up my assertion. In my back yard even...

http://wattsupwit...versity/
x646d63
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2009
Just like actual Wizards, these models are nothing more than constructs of fanciful minds.


Outstanding.
GrayMouser
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2009
Users can choose from a number of parameters. For example, one can look at the climate of the past 50 years or projections for mid-century, the 2050s, or toward the end of the century, the 2080s. Among other variables, one can generate maps based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes' estimates of greenhouse gas emissions being high, medium or low in the future.

I've got a few issues with this:
1) Why not the last 500 years? Or the last 5000? They are excluding the 1930s-1940s warm period (much less the Maunder Minimum or the Medieval Optimum.)
2) Given the response times, it is obvious that these are running off of a pre-generated data.
3) The Nature Conservancy is not an issue neutral group, they are a political advocacy group depending on donations and grants for their existence.
fixer
not rated yet Dec 19, 2009
I guess this is speculation as you really can't predict the future with any certainty, but one thing this tool should be able to do is plot sea levels on the map in 1ft increments if the levels do rise.
Helio
not rated yet Dec 21, 2009
Yep! I was right, the data is wrong for Albany. We have had progressively cooler summers for years. Maybe 2 decades so far. It's now rare to ever break 90 in summer, and the data says it hotter than it actually is. No surprise.


In Santa we trust, everyone else brings data. Your loose anecdote needs backing up if you expect your claim to be taken seriously.

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