Using the Climate Commons

The Climate Commons has three main catalogs of climate change related resources of interest to California land managers and scientists. These are found in the tabs across the top of the homepage:
Datasets - spatial datasets with climate or climate-derived data and modeling results
Documents - climate related documents, published and “gray” literature
Web Resources - other websites of high value for understanding and accessing climate change science

About the Scope of the Commons:
The Commons Library Team focuses on cataloging information sources describing the impacts of climate change on resources of conservation interest in California. Such resources include flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems. We are interested in changes in the processes that affect these resources such as fire, hydrology, and sea level rise. To a lesser extent we are interested in the impacts of climate change on human development patterns such as urban growth and agricultural patterns, but these impacts receive lower priority in our cataloging.

Commons Hosted Data
Selected highly useful spatial datasets are hosted by the Commons and made available for viewing and download on our special interactive map utility, the Commons Platinum Services system. You need a Commons user account to gain access to the data (request one by clicking "Request New Account" at the left of the homepage). See the Hosted Datasets page for more information.

Other Elements in the Commons:
Articles - overviews of the concepts and methodologies, with references,
Forums – discussions about data and climate adaptation planning and in the works:
CA LCC Projects – descriptions of projects sponsored by the California LCC

All of these materials link to one another, for example: a Project description links to its Documents and Datasets and an Article featuring its results.

About the data found in the Commons:
Datasets which project future climate or impacts are often available in variations based on GCMs (General Circulation Models, or Global Climate Models) and Emissions Scenarios (projected rates of greenhouse gas emissions based on policices and economics). Here we offer a list of GCMs and Emission Scenarios used on the Climate Commons

Each raster based dataset has a resolution, which is the size of the grid cells for which values are calculated. See examples of different resolutions. Note that it is generally not possible to predict results reliably for each individual grid cell, and these values are meant to be aggregated into larger units during further analysis (for example, a sub-watershed, a park, or a county).

Suggesting additions to the Climate Commons:

We welcome suggestions of datasets, documents or web resources which you think might be helpful for the Climate Commons to catalog for our users. We would also like to hear about relevant articles which you might help us to write, or which you would like to see written. Please contact us (also see the Contact Us tab above).

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