OpenNSPECT, an open-source version of the Nonpoint-Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool (N-SPECT), is a plugin to the free MapWindow GIS open-source platform. Enhancements in this version of N-SPECT include faster processing time, additional coefficients for common land cover data products, and a comparison function to evaluate differences in land use scenarios.
This tool from NOAA's Coastal Service Center helps to construct websites that identify potential hazards for specific locations. Website users identify the location by address, owner name, or by clicking in the map. The tool queries the hazards data to determine the hazards zone(s) for the location. Typical users include planning and permitting departments, residents applying for building permits, hazard mitigation officials, and natural resource planners. The tool's functionality can be set up for any location that has the required data and resources.
The Impervious Surface Analysis Tool (ISAT), which is available as a geographic information system extension, is used to calculate the percentage of impervious surface area within user-selected geographic areas (e.g, watersheds, municipalities, subdivisions). In small watersheds, the correlation between an increase in impervious surfaces and a decrease in water quality has been well established. People use the information derived from ISAT to predict how different management scenarios might impact local water quality.
CanVis is a visualization program used to see potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise. Users can download background pictures and insert the objects (hotel, house, marina, or other objects) of their choosing. The free PC-based software is used by municipalities to brainstorm new ideas and policies, undertake project planning, and make presentations.
Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) Solar Energy Forecast
December 28, 2012
The LAPS system produces rapidly updated, high-resolution analyses and forecasts of solar radiation. The cloud analysis uses satellite, METARs, radar, aircraft, and model first guess information to produce an hourly 3-D field of cloud fraction, cloud liquid, and cloud ice. The cloud analysis and satellite data together are used to produce a gridded analysis of total solar radiation.
Sustainable Energy and Atmospheric Sciences Seminars
December 27, 2012
A monthly seminar series designed to enhance communication and collaboration among scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, and others in the community working on issues related to renewable energy. This seminar series brings together those who can combine their knowledge and expertise to solve the problems that have slowed the integration of renewable energy sources into the U.S. electric grid.
This slideshow lays out a photo story with short descriptions of how city buildings all over the world are taking climate change and rising sea level seriously, designing structures that can react to unforeseen changes. As sea levels continue to rise, architects design ways to live with the rising water.
Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment
December 6, 2012
Global sea level has been steadily rising for decades and is expected to continue. Scientists have very high confidence that global sea level will rise at least another 8 inches and as much as 6.6 feet by 2100, causing significant impacts in U.S. coastal regions. This report lays out the science and describes possible scenarios to help planners and policy leaders assess the risks.