The Climate Wizard Tool
A new application to visualize climate change data has been released by The Nature Conservancy, the University of Washington, and the University of Southern Mississipi. It’s a very nice application that allows visualizing data from 16 different GCMs from the 4th assessment report of the IPCC. You can select any area of interest, and map the average or the departures of rainfall and temperatures by 2050s and 2080s.
Interesting visualizations and animations can be done for the different GCMs using this tool, so that periods and areas where major changes occur can be investigated visually. Data can also be downloaded in ESRI-ASCII format. But -at least for me the most interesting tool was the visualization of global departures in temperatures and rainfall during the past 50 years. Maps of changes and hockey-stick style graphs can be viewed for any region you desire. Here is the graph for Colombia.
By far, most of the areas can be viewed as being warmer now than in 1950, but there are some areas where the data actually shows decreases in temperatures during the same period. Though these rates (according to the climate simulations) are not being maintained in the 21st century, and the whole world is likely to be warmer.
For a more detailed description of the work under the portal, and some very interesting maps (look at the uncertainties section) see the paper here [openaccess].