Climate Explorer Metadata

(See this as a pdf)

Document Version: 1

Date:     04/13/2021

Notes:   This is the original document, describing data used in Climate Explorer tool, at [website]

Contents:

  • Information for “Historical” portal
  • Information for “Projected (Future)” portal

 

Information for “Historical” portal

Purpose

Graph and analyze year-to-year variations and longer-term trends in Minnesota’s climate. Creates a time series of climate data of one value per year, based on the area, range of months, range of years, and climate variable selected.

Data background

Gridded datasets at 5 km or 4 km resolution, with geometrically-averaged values determined by area(s) selected for a given variable and monthly period, by year, for range of years selected. Two data sources:

Temperature: 5 km gridded monthly values (can be summarized as multi-month periods). Available as Average, Maximum, and Minimum Temperature, representing the monthly or multi-month mean of the daily average, daily high (maximum), or daily low (minimum) temperatures. Data from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information ( https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/maps/us-climate-divisions.php#grdd).

Precipitation: 5 km gridded monthly values (can be summarized as multi-month periods), representing the monthly or multi-month sum (total) precipitation. Data from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information ( https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/maps/us-climate-divisions.php#grdd)  

PDSI and SCPDSI (Palmer Drought Severity Index and “Self-Calibrating” Palmer Drought Severity Index): 4 km gridded derived products based on monthly temperature and precipitation data produced by PRISM (http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/), and accessed through the Western Regional Climate Center ( https://wrcc.dri.edu/wwdt/about.php). Available only as single monthly value per year.

 

Timeframes

Temperature and precipitation: single monthly value per year, or aggregated multiple-month values spanning durations of 2 - 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months, plus annual and year-to-date values. All temperature values averaged and all precipitation values summed over selected months. Year-to-date is January through most-recent complete month, typically available by the 10th day of the present month. When selection overlaps end/beginning of year, value is plotted as belonging to the final year of range.

PDSI and SCPDSI: Available only as single monthly value per year; multi-month aggregations not available.

Years and months available: All variables available January 1895 through most recent month.

 

Information for “Projected (Future)” portal

Purpose

Graph and analyze climate projections for mid-century (2040-2059) and late-century (2080-2099; low and high emissions), and compare to the modeled recent-past (1980-1999). Graphs the average and range for each 20-year period/scenario and for each model, based on the area, portion of the year, and climate variable selected.

Data background

General circulation global climate models obtained from CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5; see: https://pcmdi.llnl.gov/mips/cmip5/ ), and dynamically-downscaled to ~ 10 km resolution using Weather Forecasting & Research (WRF) model, at University of Minnesota, in service of project described at: https://conservancy.umn.edu/handle/11299/209130.

 

Timeframes

Each downscaled model was run for three time frames, producing a total of four scenarios: Modeled Present (1980-99); Mid-Century (2040-2059) at Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5; Late-Century (2080-2099) at RCP 4.5; and Late-Century (2080-2099) at RCP 8.5  

 

Model Definitions

Term

Definition

RCP

Representative Concentration Pathway: A greenhouse gas concentration scenario used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the fifth Assessment Report.

RCP 4.5

An intermediate scenario in which emissions decline after peaking around 2040.

RCP 8.5

An extreme, or worst-case scnenario in which emissions continue rising through the 21st century.

 

Originating General Circulation Model Information

 

Model Name

Description

Institution

Model Mean

Average of all models listed below

See below

BCC-CSM1-1

Climate System Model, Beijing Climate Center

China Meteorological Administration (China)

CCSM4

Community Climate System Model

Department of Energy/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (USA)

CMCC-CM

 Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model

Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per Cambiamenti Climatici (Italy)

CNRM-CM5

Climate Model 5

National Centre for Meteorological Research / Centre Europeen de Recherche et Formation Avancees en Calcul Scientifique (France)

GFDL-ESM2M

Earth System Model (Modular ocean)

NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (US)

IPSL-CM5A-LR

Climate Model 5A, Low Resolution

Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (France)

MIROC5

Model for Interdisciplinary Research On Climate

Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (The University of Tokyo), National Institute for Environmental Studies, and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (Japan)

MRI-CGCM3

Coupled General Circulation Model 3

Meteorological Research Institute (Japan)

 

Graph and Data Definitions

Term

Definition

Lowerrange ("Lower Range")

The lowest value for of each 20-year period/scenario, given the area, variable, and month(s) selected.

Mean

The average value of each 20-year period/scenario, given the area, variable, and month(s) selected.

Median

The middle value of each 20-year period/scenario, given the area, variable, and month(s) selected. Because 20 is an even number, the median represents the average of the two middle values (i.e., the 10th smallest and 10th largest).

Upperrange ("Upper Range")

The highest value of each 20-year period/scenario, given the area, variable, and month(s) selected.