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ClimateSA: historical and projected climate data for South America

We are currently in the early stages of planning and developing a data and software package for South America, similar to those that we have developed for North America and Europe.

Historical data will comprise monthly climate estimates from 1901-2020, in addition to seasonal, annual, decadal and 30-year climate normal averages. Future projections will be based on the latest Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) archives, from which we develop custom regional ensemble projections for the 2030s, 2060s and 2090s. This effort will be carried out for 50 monthly, seasonal, and annual variables, including many economically or biologically relevant variables such as growing and chilling degree days, heating and cooling degree days, Hargrave's moisture deficit and reference evaporation, beginning and end of the frost-free period, etc. In total, this database will comprise more than 20,000 climate grids for South America.

The climate database and software interface will employ a custom climate modeling approach similar to the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) developed by Oregon State University, which uses physiographic information to better predict climate patterns in mountainous terrain. For example, leeward facing slopes can indicate rain shadows, or valley bottoms may imply temperature inversions that are difficult to model with standard interpolation approaches.

Please contract andreas.hamann@ualberta.ca to receive updates or to help with testing once we have a release candidate of the database and software.