85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005
A Prototype Interactive GIS Delivery System for Disseminating Statistically Downscaled Climate Change Scenarios, Variability and Extremes in Atlantic Canada.
Gary S. Lines, MSC, Dartmouth, NS, Canada; and M. Pancura
Over the past several years, Environment Canada has been developing expertise in the use of on-line internet based mapping applications for the delivery of environmental data to the impacts and adaptation community. These applications provide both spatial and temporal analysis tools, including GIS functionality, access to downloadable stored data, interpreted products, on-the-fly generation/analysis, real time charting, client based data entry forms, statistical analysis and a range of security features. Data currently housed in Excel or other spreadsheet-based systems can be ported to fully relational databases, resulting in improved data acquisition speed, accessibility and functionality. The system includes several on-line query options through the use of drop-down menus and is designed to aide both expert and non-expert users in assessing the impact of climate change scenarios on their site-specific region of interest.

The heart of the interactive system is the Autodesk Mapguide software, which allows for flexible user-friendly spatial querying. The system is built on a series of four nested scale National and Regional base maps (1:20 Million, 1:7.5 Million, 1:2 Million and 1:1 Million). As users zoom into local areas of interest the base map scale will change automatically to display a reasonable level of detail. Available themes for the basemaps include drainage features (coastlines, rivers, lakes), boundaries, roads, transmission lines, major population centres and national parks. These layers can be turned on or off and can provide users with the ability to navigate to a particular area of interest using recognizable landmarks. Displayed data can be printed at any time.

The climate change component of Mapguide will be populated with both historical (1961-90) and projected (2011-40, 2041-2070, 2071-2100) data for the basic meteorological parameters Tmax, Tmin, and Pcpn, from 14 sites in Atlantic Canada. This suite of data has been generated by downscaling using a Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) and output from the Canadian Global Coupled Model (CGCM1) running the GHG+A1 experiment. All data can be accessed and displayed through several mechanisms: downscaled data (including 20 ensembles of projected results) can be downloaded in FTP Zip format; interpreted products, such as climate variability graphs, analyzed extreme climate indices (generated using STARDEX software) and Extreme Value Analyses using Gumbel statistics can be displayed or downloaded as tables, histograms, or maps contoured over eastern Canada. Contour maps of modular data were generated using the Spline-Tension (W=0.1) contouring algorithm within the GIS analytical software and can be overlaid with any other thematic layer.

Current plans are to increase the number of downscaled sites from 14 to 26, and to use two more world class GCM driving models, namely the CGCM2, and the HADCM3, in order to create a range of future climates scenarios readily available through this GIS interface.

Supplementary URL: