NASA scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have released a new dataset that shows how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.
The dataset shows projected changes worldwide on a regional level in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.
The high-resolution data will help scientists and planners conduct climate risk assessments to better understand local and global effects of hazards, such as severe drought, floods, heat waves and losses in agriculture productivity.
“NASA is in the business of taking what we’ve learned about our planet from space and creating new products that help us all safeguard our future,” said Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist.
“With this new global dataset, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet,” Stofan said.
The new dataset is the latest product from the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a big-data research platform within the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Center at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
In 2013, NEX released similar climate projection data for the continental US that is being used to quantify climate risks to the nation’s agriculture, forests, rivers and cities.
“This is a fundamental dataset for climate research and assessment with a wide range of applications,” said Ramakrishna Nemani, NEX project scientist at Ames.
The 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.