Protected Areas Climate Data Explorer

Explore and visualize climate relationships by protected area

You can also view similar summaries of variables by individual watersheds or ecoregions.

The purpose of this viewer is to allow users to rapidly explore, summarize, and visualize relationships in the data without making a detailed map.

Move the slider bars on the histograms to highlight regions that have variable values within the specified range.

Climatic and bioclimatic variables (first category in variable selection menu) can be displayed based on time period of interest and, for future projections, emissions scenario of interest (RCP 4.5 (moderate emissions) or RCP 8.5 (high emissions)). Climate-resilience-related variables (second category in variable selection menu) are available irrespective of time period and RCP chosen, to allow comparison with bioclimatic variables.

The data displayed here have been developed by AdaptWest, a project funded by the Wilburforce Foundation to develop information resources for climate adaptation planning. The data are based on the Parameter Regression of Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) interpolation method for current climate, and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database corresponding to the 5th IPCC Assessment Report for future projections. Ensemble projections are average projections from 15 CMIP5 models (CanESM2, ACCESS1.0, IPSL-CM5A-MR, MIROC5, MPI-ESM-LR, CCSM4, HadGEM2-ES, CNRM-CM5, CSIRO Mk 3.6, GFDL-CM3, INM-CM4, MRI-CGCM3, MIROC-ESM, CESM1-CAM5, GISS-E2R) that were chosen to represent all major clusters of similar AOGCMs (Knutti et al 2013, Geophys Res Let 40: 1-6, doi:10.1002/grl.50256), and that had high validation stats in their CMIP3 equivalents. The interpolation method is based on a 1km digital elevation model. The variables available include 26 biologically relevant metrics, including seasonal and annual means, extremes, growing and chilling degree days, snow fall, potential evapotranspiration, and a number of drought indices.

For further information and citation refer to:
Wang T, Hamann A, Spittlehouse D, Carroll C (2016)  Locally Downscaled and Spatially Customizable Climate Data for Historical and Future Periods for North America.  PLoS One, 11, e0156720.

To download the GIS data that was used to create the ecoregional summary statistics on this page, visit this page.

Data and metadata for the resilience-related variables will be posted to this site in the near future.

Protected area boundary data used in the explorer can be found here.