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Learn from climate data: Explore regional downscaled climate data

Adaptation Strategies and Actions

Learn from climate data: Explore regional downscaled climate data

Adaptation type: 
Planning and prioritization
Policy, laws, and regulations
Research and scientific analysis


Learn from historical, current, and projected climate data and use it to inform your work.


Explore regional downscaled climate data developed for the Northeast region, and support the continued development of this data.
Downscaled data on future temperature, precipitation, and other climate conditions can help inform where fish and wildlife species are likely to be or not be in the future. These data are also useful in identifying areas that will retain the best conditions to support wildlife and areas that can be prioritized for conservation, restoration or land acquisition initiatives.

Regional downscaled models are produced at a much finer spatial resolution and take into account details, such as local topography, to project climate conditions in the future. Several sources of downscaled climate data for the northeastern U.S. currently exist, and a number of others are planned or in progress (examples below). The Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool has an interactive viewer that shows climate data for temperature, precipitation, winter conditions, and sea level rise for moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) emission scenarios for the years 2010, 2050 and 2080.

Additional downscaled data is presented in the Climate Wizard and Climate at a Glance tools.

The Climate Wizard tool was developed by The Nature Conservancy and partners. It allows users to choose a state or country and view maps of temperature and precipitation data since 1950, as well as projected temperature and precipitation for the year 2080. For projected data, users can compare among several emission scenarios and General Circulation Models? (GCMs). Finally, users can print or download their maps for later use.

The Climate at a Glance dataset is available on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website and allows users to explore historical climate data going as far back as 1895. The available data includes temperature, precipitation, heating and cooling degree days, and drought severity information.

Other datasets and tools exist and are listed on relevant climate pages throughout this tool. You may find exploring multiple tools useful as some tools may fit your needs better than others in terms of the types of data and format in which data is presented. It is important to note that different tools and datasets may draw information from different models and use different scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 (SRES) or 2013 (RCPs), which can lead to slightly different results. To learn more about climate models, scenarios, and uncertainty go to our Learning About Climate Change page.

Scope and Constraints

Minimal or no cost
No jurisdiction required


National Fish Wildlife Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy Goal 4: Adaptive management and monitoring
National Fish Wildlife Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy Goal 5: Increase knowledge


1. Strategy adapted from: National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Partnership. 2012. Ch. 3: Climate Adaptation Goals, Strategies & Actions. National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Council on Environmental Quality, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Service. Washington, DC.

2. Downscaled Climate Data: Hayhoe, K., C. Wake, B. Anderson, X.-Z. Liang, E. Maurer, J. Zhu, J. Bradbury, A. DeGaetano, A. Hertel, and D. Wuebbles. 2007.

3. Regional Climate Change Projections for the Northeast U.S. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 13:425–436. Available from:

Click link above to view references.

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