Looking for somewhere to move or vacation with a decent climate but don’t know where to start? A new, easy to use, interactive global climate map with a wide array of applications could be your best bet.
Tomasz Stepinski, a University of Cincinnati geography professor and expert on mapping data and statistics, created a new climate map that compares the climates of areas anywhere in the world.
The map also shows the drastic temperature and precipitation variations over the years due to climate change, and could predict which geographic regions may experience extreme weather events in the coming years.
“The map demonstrates climate change over time but also climate diversity. The concept is powerful and can inspire a lot of research,” Stepinski said.
The map is called ClimatEx and was created in Stepinkski’s Space Informatics Lab with the help of researcher Pawel Netzel.
The two collected five decades of data from monthly climate records from WorldClim, a public database. This data was then used to develop a visual way to study patterns and climate variability in locations all over the world.
The data is mapped in a four-square-kilometer grid which allows people to see how temperatures and precipitations are changing in cities all around the globe. The map also shows which areas have experienced the most change over time, such as the warmer temperatures in the Arctic.
There are many potential applications for ClimateEx outside of educational purposes or research. The map could also help climatologists see which areas are most at risk of extreme weather due to climate change.
“ClimateEx enables an easy search for locations where climate change may lead to the occurrence of such extreme phenomena in the future,” said Stepinski. “The user simply indicates the location where tornadoes are presently frequent, and ClimateEx finds all locations where in 50 years the climate will be conducive to tornadoes.”
Stepinski says his map is a useful tool but also provides further proof of the way climate change is reshaping climate, weather, and precipitation on a global scale.
“If you were looking at climate change at a scale of a million years, you wouldn’t worry too much,” Stepinski said. “But if you see dramatic changes on the order of a few decades, it’s a big problem. Personally, I’m not happy there are people who seem to disregard this as not much of a problem. It is a problem.”
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer
Image Credit: Tomasz Stepinski/ClimateEx