Thursday, 12 February 2015

Where to get good climate raster grids?

The following is a list of possible data sources for climate raster grids. All sources should work well & give the same overall picture (usually)

4th Place: WorldClim 
  • Pros: easy to use; resolution ~ 1km; global coverage; most widely used & therefore limitations recognized/known.
  • Cons: Some more regional sources below are thought have greater accuracy (more local weather stations). 
3rd Place: PRISM Climate Group 
  • Pros: easy to use; resolution ~ 800m; well trusted & used by big gov agencies USGS, NOAA ect; multiple time periods available; custom orders possible for time periods, resolutions & unique variables; LIVE climate data. 
  • Cons: USA only; basic data free, but have to pay for special custom orders.
2nd Place: ClimateWNA ready from UofA Hamann's lab webpage
  • Pros: easy to use; high resolution ~ 1km; all benefits of ClimateWNA (see associated documents). 
  • Cons: Projected as LCC & have to reproject data; one time period; 1km res might be problematic in steep terrain? 
1st Place: ClimateWNA (desktop version) 
  • Pros: Its also possible with ClimateWNA to produce climate raster grids by sending the program DEMs as a text file to make any climate variable at any resolution in North America.
  • Cons: Up to the user to decide appropriate resolution (e.g. climate grids generated at 5m resolution give false precision and are not necessarily more accurate). 

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