Simulations of future climate suggest profiles of temperature and precipitation may differ significantly from those in the past. Future changes in climate, specifically changes in temperature, and the type, timing, and distribution of precipitation may lead to changes in the hydrologic cycle. As such, natural resource managers are in need of tools that can provide estimates of key components of the hydrologic cycle, uncertainty associated with the estimates, and limitations associated with the climate data used to estimate these components. To help address this need, the U.S.
The Elephant Builder system-mapping process helps policymakers, scientists, and citizens integrate their very different expertise into a shared map of the effects of climate change and discover novel adaptation solutions. Policy-makers, domain experts, and members of underrepresented groups—addresses a series of concrete questions tailored to their own expertise.
The Water Supply Stress Index (WaSSI) Ecosystem Services Model is an online tool that models potential impacts of climate change, land use change and water consumption alteration (i.e., population growth and water withdrawals) on flow volumes, water supply stress, and ecosystem productivity. The WaSSI Ecosystem Services Model can be used technically to model impacts in the United States, Mexico, Rwanda, and Burundi, but can also serve as an educational tool to demonstrate linkages between water use, climate change, water availability, and carbon storage.
The U.S. Drought Portal is an online portal that connects users to a variety of drought-, hydrological-, climate- and climate impact-related tools, products, regional programs, and resources. User-friendly and accessible products include current drought and climate monitoring platforms (e.g., the U.S. Drought Monitor), drought impact reporting and monitoring databases (e.g., the Drought Impacts Reporter), and forecasts related to drought and other climatological conditions.
The NWS Flood Inundation Map is an online tool that identifies the extent and severity of flood risk for a given location. Users select from a variety of national river gauges to view flood risk at a specific location. For a given area, users can explore and map three different types of flood data: inundation, flood categories, and current flood forecast.
The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper is an online flood mapping tool. Once a community develops a flood inundation map library through a collaborative effort with USGS, inundation maps are uploaded to the web-based mapper for broader viewing and access. Users can select a specific location and explore several different data sets, including current stream conditions, the estimated extent of historic flood events, and theoretical flooding scenarios.
The Drought Risk Atlas is an online visualization tool that allows users to analyze and compare historical and contemporary droughts at the local level to better understand drought risk. The atlas allows users to explore past drought characteristics for specific geographic regions by compiling data from numerous monitoring stations; users can select a monitoring station within their area, as well as select other stations that exhibit similar precipitation patterns.
The Drought Impact Reporter is an online database that maps recorded drought impacts in the United States. The Drought Impact Reporter defines a drought impact as “an observable loss or change that occurred at a specific place or time because of drought.” The reporter maps the number of drought-related impacts down to the county level, and provides critical information detailing type, location, and extent of drought impact, along with relevant source information.
The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper helps communities understand their risks and vulnerability to coastal flooding. The mapper was first developed following Hurricane Sandy to provide a tool to show areas susceptible to coastal flooding, storm surge, and inundation, and to inform communities and local authorities about the risks their communities face. Users are able to explore maps that show how natural resources, communities, and infrastructure and development will be exposed to coastal flooding hazards.
The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal allows users to explore and interact with data, models, and tools related to three primary coastal hazard categories: severe storms, shoreline change, and sea level rise. The portal hosts an on online visualization tool for all three hazard categories, and users can download all source data, publications, and relevant resources for external use. In addition, users can group data and resources from different hazard areas to explore synergistic interactions of different coastal hazards.