The Climate Mapper, developed by IAGT for SERVIR-Viz project designers, provides access to historical weather data as well as projections of climate change. Users can zoom into specific areas and view summarized data in the form of charts and graphs. The data also can be exported to a spreadsheet application. The Climate Mapper grew out of USAID’s effort to develop its Climate Change Adaptation Guidance Manual. The Climate Mapper now serves the entire globe, excluding the polar regions.
The Climate Mapper presents historical temperature and precipitation for the base period (1961-1990). These data are taken from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) database of monthly climate observations from meteorological stations and interpolated onto a 0.5° grid covering the global land surface.
The modeled data are monthly data averaged over the decades 2031-2040 and 2051-2060. Data are outputs of three of the models used in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report: the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model (NCAR CCSM); the European Centre/Hamburg Model (ECHAM); and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Coupled Model (GFDL-CM21). These models were chosen because they represent the highest, middle, and lowest projections for changes in Africa in the Climate Moisture Index (CMI), a measure of the relative balance of precipitation and temperature. The models were run using the A1B SRES scenario, a scenario of economic activity and carbon emissions that most closely represents the current or business-as-usual economic and carbon emissions trajectory.
Information on past weather and projected climate should inform development practitioners as they design projects to be more resilient to climate variability and change. Project designers should note, however, that climate projections are not predictions; they are scenarios of possible futures based on complex models. Models provide insights, but all of the development practitioner’s knowledge and experience should be brought into the design of a project.