A Watershed Based Web Tool Enhancing Climate Model Output Usage
The native format of netCDF generated from regional climate models (RCMs) is not readily accessible or useable by the general public who may not have analytical tools to plot, visualize, or analyze the data. In response to this need, the overall long term objective of this study is to make high resolution climate change simulations model results in the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program more accessible and readily usable to a variety of users who are interested in water resource and land management. Using hydrological watershed as the assessment unit, this Phase I project aims to develop a prototype watershed based web tool system that 1) improves availability and visualization of high end climate system model precipitation output by converting netCDF format to more accessible formats of WMS web service, shapefile, and ASCII files; 2) increases the use of the model output for water and agriculture resource management purpose by providing web functions to automatically calculate surface runoff, base flow, stream flow, nutrient loads and soil loss and to animate visualization for trend analysis. This tool system integrates several lengthy steps that need to be conducted separately into one accessible, user friendly and cost effective online system and enhances the accessibilities and usage of the long term, high end climate system model outputs. This system can also be configured as an education or outreach tool to show the climate change impacts on watershed hydrology, soil loss and water quality (nutrients).
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