Climate projections everyone can understand
The Climate Risk and Resilience portal gives emergency managers nontechnical climate datasets and high-resolution, forward-looking climate insights.
State, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and community leaders now have free access to nontechnical climate risk data so they can assess how future weather events will impact their communities and explore resilience strategies.
A new interactive site, the Climate Risk and Resilience (ClimRR) portal provides peer-reviewed climate datasets in an easily understandable format and puts high-resolution, forward-looking climate insights into the hands of those who need them most, officials said in a Nov. 1 announcement.
ClimRR was developed through a collaboration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T, which originally commissioned the lab to produce climate projections for the company’s own adaptation efforts. This new partnership makes the data used in ClimRR publicly available.
An interactive map allows users to view summaries of temperature, precipitation, wind and drought conditions as well as average seasonal temperatures and wind speeds in a local area. Wildfire and flooding information will be added “in the coming months,” lab officials said.
Climate scientists at Argonne used “dynamical downscaling,” which simulates the effects processes have on the atmosphere, ocean and land with a broader range of climate variables compared with statistical downscaling. As a result, users can see more accurate estimates of extreme weather events at a local scale.
“Harnessing the power of our supercomputers, we are making cutting-edge climate data available to the public sector and local planning officials,” Argonne Director Paul Kearns said. ClimRR can “help them better understand local climate change risks and take the needed actions to become more climate resilient.”
Users can leverage the new tool in many ways, Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a video announcing the project. “For example local emergency managers and public health officials can examine changes in the intensity and the duration and the frequency of flooding, and electric utilities could compare current and future wind patterns for example to mitigate risks to utility poles and power lines,” she said.
ClimRR data can also be used in conjunction with FEMA’s Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool, a GIS planning tool that collects community and infrastructure data to inform strategy for emergency preparedness. With these applications, leaders can evaluate local climate risks to vulnerable and marginalized populations and critical infrastructure.
“Community leaders and public safety officials can now understand how increasing climate risks will affect their populations,” Argonne officials said. “Access to this information will assist leaders as they strategically invest in infrastructure and response capabilities to protect communities for future generations.”
NEXT STORY: State serves up map for tackling food insecurity