Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States
May 24, 2013
A part of the 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment, this book gives an overview of the past, present, and projected future of the southwest region's climate, emphasizing new information and understandings since publication of the previous national assessment in 2009. It examines what climate and climate change mean for the health and well-being of human populations and the environment.
Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH)
May 20, 2013
The U.S. Global Change Research Program recently launched the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH). The tool offers centralized access to metadata about thousands of government-held datasets related to human health, the environment, and climate science for researchers and decision makers.
Cal-Adapt is a web-based climate adaptation planning tool developed in part by the University of California, Berkeley's Geospatial Innovation Facility for the State of California. Cal-Adapt allows users to identify potential climate change risks in specific geographic areas throughout the state. Users can either query by location, or click on an interactive map to explore what climate impacts are projected to occur in their area of interest.
The Southwest Climate Change Network is a virtual community for scientists, other experts, decision makers, and the public to share information on climate change and collaborate on solutions. The site provides static and dynamic content and encourages readers to engage with each other and the scientists behind the site and ask questions about what matters to them when it comes to climate in the Southwest.
The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy has an archive of all its webinars on a variety of climate issues in the Alaska and the Arctic. The webinar series is also ongoing with new speakers and topics scheduled regularly.
Twice per day NOAA's National Weather Services publishes digital maps that show national forecasts for ozone, smoke, and dust. Ozone is shown as 1-hour and 8-hour concentrations. Official Air Quality point forecasts, issued by state and local air quality forecasters, along with additional information on air quality can be found under EPA's AIRNow site. Surface and column-averaged concentrations of predicted smoke for large fires are displayed as 1-hour averages, updated each day.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center provides daily forecast maps of Ultraviolet (UV) Index for 58 U.S. cities, colored coded to their anticipated level of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on our skin, eyes, and immune system.
The NOAA Smoke Forecasting System integrates satellite information on the location of wildfires with weather data inputs from the North American Mesoscale model and smoke dispersion simulations. The result is a daily prediction of smoke transport and concentration 48 hours into the future. The model also incorporates U.S. Forest Service estimates for wildfire smoke emissions based on vegetation cover.
Atmospheric pollution manifests itself in many ways, ranging from reduced visibility to dangerous respiratory problems and discomfort. Atmospheric pollution can be gaseous (e.g. ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and/or particulate (e.g. soot, dust). The degree of pollution is dependent on a number of factors: source, transport from source, and build up over time through air stagnation. The stagnation index maps show where in the United States air has stagnated, leading to potential impacts on human and environmental health.