Delaware Climate Projections Portal

About the Climate Projections Portal

The Delaware Climate Change Projections Portal provides data visualization, data downloads, and general information resulting from climate model runs conducted for the Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment (DCCIA). The DCCIA reflects the best available climate science, climate modeling, and projections to illustrate the range of potential vulnerabilities that Delaware may face from the impacts of climate change.

With increased concern regarding climate change and its effects on local environments,the State of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) conducted a climate projections study for Delaware with the assistance of Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, one the nation's leading atmospheric scientists. This study used historical weather observations for 14 Delaware weather stations during the period of 1895 - 2012. (See DCCIA Chapter 2 for more discussion of the historical data.) These historical observations provided the input for downscaling climate model simulations of projected future climate conditions through the end of the 21st century. For more information regarding the downscaling used in this study, please consult the DCCIA Appendix: Climate Projections - Data, Models, and Methods.

A total of 13 different climate models, four different Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) global climate models and nine Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) global climate models were used to simulate future climate conditions, and each model was run under low- and high-emission scenarios1 to depict a range of possible climate changes that could occur over the next century. All results of this study were presented in a final report: Climate Change Projections and Indicators for Delaware2. All output data were statistically downscaled to each of the above 14 Delaware weather stations, and these outputs were provided for temperature, precipitation, humidity, and hybrid variables to both the Delaware DNREC and the Office of the Delaware State Climatologist(ODSC).

1 The lower scenarios (corresponding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change SRES B1 and RCP 4.5 scenarios) represent a future in which people shift to clean energy sources in the coming decades, reducing emissions from human activities.
The higher scenarios (corresponding to the SRES A1fi and RCP 8.5 scenarios) represent a future in which people continue to depend heavily on fossil fuels, and emissions of heat-­-trapping gases continue to grow.
Scenarios are an important source of uncertainty in determining the magnitude of projected changes in average annual and seasonal temperature, and many extreme temperature and precipitation indicators, for mid-­-century and beyond.

Hayhoe, K., Stoner, A., & Gelca, R. (2013). Climate Change Projections and Analysis for Delaware. Report dated Decemver 2013.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. (2014). Delaware Climate Change Impact Assessment. Division of Energy and Climate.

Intended Use

This web portal is intended to provide a user-friendly search interface for researchers and planners to access and download the data results from the climate projections developed for the state of Delaware.

This information can support land use planning, infrastructure, resource management, and infrastructure design. The goal of the project is to enable users to apply and integrate these data and tools to address their specific needs. The data presented in this tool are projections of future climate. They are not weather predictions and should not be treated as such.

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