The image you’re looking at is a glimpse into our future. Welcome to July 2099, according to 21 different climate models. CO2 concentrations have topped 900 parts per million, comprising nearly 0.1 percent of our atmosphere. (In early 2015, we hit 400).
The predictions shown in this daily max temperature map come from a new NASA dataset released to the public on June 9th, one that collates historical records and climate models to produce high-resolution forecasts for the end of the century. Hosted by NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), the data, which can be filtered down to the level of individual cities and towns on a daily timescale, will help developing nations predict and prepare for the local effects changing patterns in weather, floods and droughts. At a global scale, it’ll help Earth scientists, and anyone else who’s interested, explore what’s looking to be a very toasty end of the century.
This NASA dataset integrates actual measurements from around the world with data from climate simulations created by the international Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. These climate simulations used the best physical models of the climate system available to provide forecasts of what the global climate might look like under two different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios: a “business as usual” scenario based on current trends and an “extreme case” with a significant increase in emissions.
NEX, whose data and analysis tools are freely available through the OpenNEX project on Amazon Web Services, is a great example of how scientific knowledge can be shared with the public, allowing anyone to explore and analyze the most current climate predictions to date, run and share models. You can download the new dataset here, and learn more about OpenNEX here.