Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Take a Look at Climate Change In Your Backyard

NASA data contrasts average Spring temperatures for the 1950s and 2090s.

Image by NASA

NASA data contrasts average Spring temperatures for the 1950s and 2090s.

There’s no shortage of maps or data sets that show the long-term climatic effects of rising temperatures. But what about a map showing the temperature of your block in 2087?

You could find that in newly released temperature projections from NASA. Using information from historical measurements, local geography, and greenhouse gas statistics, the maps derived from the data display the most localized climate change picture to date.

Up to this point, the smallest scale for a climate change model has been 100 kilometers. But NASA’s new data zooms in to project changes at a much higher resolution. The result is a data set that localizes climate change to the scale of 800 meters, around the size of a neighborhood.

NASA (in conjunction with the Climate Analytics Group and California State University, Monterey Bay) produced this data by aggregating the results of models with larger scales.

They then combined those models with two other key components: long-term climate scenarios that accounted for greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of local topography on temperature and precipitation patterns.

To make these calculations 800 meters at a time isn’t simple. So NASA used a supercomputer in order to crunch trillions of formluas in a second.

The data spans into the 2090s, when it will evidently be significantly hotter. The maps on NASA’s web site contrast the average spring temperature in the 1950s with the same measurement for the 2090s.

Closer view of Texas' average spring temperature in the 1950s.

Image by NASA

Closer view of Texas' average spring temperature in the 1950s.

Closer view of Texas' projected Spring temperature in the 2090s.

Image by NASA

Closer view of Texas' projected Spring temperature in the 2090s.

The outlook for Texas isn’t particularly promising. Although it is already one of the country’s hottest states, the maps show Texas increasing in average temperature by as much as three to four degrees Celsius in some places. The most drastic rise in temperature appears to be in West Texas to the South of Midland and Odessa.

Although it’s difficult to project what life will be like a generation from now, it’s likely that such a shift would cause problems for Texas’ coast. Among other complications, rising sea levels could displace coastal residents and disrupt industry in the region. There would also be an increased strain on Texas’ grid, as air conditioners would have to work harder to keep buildings cool.

Since the data is so localized, officials like city managers can use it to more effectively plan for climate change. Likewise, biologists, engineers, and others could use the data to build models for natural resources and local ecosystems.


  • zlop

    “what about a map showing the temperature of your block in 2087?”
    Little Ice Age or 90,000 year Ice Age ?
    the 1,050 yeat cycle

    • C J Matthews

      Yes, and that sunspot cycle is one thing people in the “news” business (which is almost non-existent in this country) have reported. I guess if your prediction about an ice age is true for the end of this century, I don’t need to worry about it. By that time, I’ll be dead.

      • zlop

        To guess — See charts here “C3: Historical Temperatures”
        Additionally — Jet streams are misbehaving
        “Piers Corbyn Winters will now be Coldest in Centuries”

        Expect shorter growing seasons, starvation . ..
        “Russian Scientist: New Ice Age to Begin in 2014″
        If unlucky, sudden 8°C drop, ( Willy the frozen Woolly Mammoth)

  • mememine

    Why are you news editors agreeing climate change WILL be an inevitable crisis when science has only agreed it COULD be and have never said or agreed an eventual crisis WILL happen, only possibly happen.

  • brock2118

    I think you can project just about anything you want to 70 years from now. Another idee fixe is the ‘climate disaster’ meme. But that’s now what researchers as Nature found: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v500/n7462/full/nature12310.html

    • Glad to see so-called sceptics endorsing Phil Jones. :-)

      “What an about face. Anthony Watts has effectively made the following declarations to his readers:
      – he now accepts climate science from Professor Jones and his colleagues,
      – he has complete faith in surface station temperature records
      – he agrees that many centres of high population in Europe and North America have experience greatly increased variability in temperature of late.”


  • Wow, that’s quite a set of climate trolls assigned to NPR! You guys are just looking dumber and dumber as the data rolls in. As John Samuel points out, the scientists are “only 95%” certain of their predictions of crisis. Over the last few years, the scientist’s projections have been shown over and over to be too optimistic. Almost every revision is worse, as the models get more and more complete. Better get a good cover story ready for when your grandchildren ask, “What did you do in the climate wars, Grandpa?”

    • C J Matthews

      I would respond I believed what many scientists were trying to tell me about climate change. I still own one lot in Las Cruces, NM, which I hope will sell soon because they have been in a drought situation recently.

      I see we’re not immune even in the north, north west. I moved up here to be certain our family would have water to consume and live. However, predictions on rain to come are increasingly becoming just that – predictions.

      When all think about climate change, it is important to look at events like Colorado flooding, the tremendous strength of recent hurricanes along with melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

      I think we could be headed for some severe consequences. My hope is most of us will have the natural resources we need to live.

  • zlop

    Expect NASA projections for 2,090 to be disastrously wrong.
    Well into the 200 year climate cycle
    “1700-1805 114 warm
    1805-1925 95 cold (Dalton minimum)
    1925-2010 138 warm
    2010-2110 ? cold?”

    100,000 cycle is past peak
    Our only hope, will the 1,050 year cycle delay Ice Age Doom ?
    (or a cosmic ray event caused, instant 8C drop)

  • Continuing a more than 28-year unbroken streak of warmer-than-average conditions, August tied with 2005 as the fourth warmest such month on record worldwide, according to data released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The last August that had a global average temperature below the 20th century average was August of 1978, and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985, NOAA said.

    The globe recorded its fifth-warmest June-through-August period on record, and the average global temperature for the year so far ranks as the sixth warmest, tied with 2003, NOAA said.


  • zlop

    Unlike UNelected IPCC climate taxation hoaxers,
    Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov is not compromised to misrepresent.

    Good charts here;
    “Russian Scientist — New Little Ice Age Near”
    “The Next Grand Minimum”

  • The Prime

    Is there anything us humans can do to keep from this happening? If what they say is true it looks like things will continue to get hotter and hotter after the year 2100 and do we want that for our kids of our kids? I know I sure as hell don’t.

  • Prez Oboz

    Only God knows what will happen or even if the earth will still be here in 2090! Not power hungry, arrogant Gina McCarthy & her NAZI goon squad!

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