Climate Data

Climate datasets on Cal-Adapt include historical observations and downscaled climate projections. These climate datasets can be gridded or station based. A climate dataset consists of a collection of timeseries for one or more climate variables, multiple future scenarios and global climate models (GCMs). All gridded climate datasets available on Cal-Adapt have a spatial extent that covers the entire state of California; some gridded datasets extend further into parts of Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and Mexico. Users can download download climate datasets in multiple ways.

1. Use the Data Download Tool

  • Download original datasets

    Research institutions provide Cal-Adapt with climate data in different formats (e.g. NetCDF). These original data files are available for download from the Cal-Adapt Data server. You can also access original datasets by following links in the Data Download Tool.
  • Download subsets

    Cal-Adapt processes data received from research institutions and creates derived products for selected climate indicators. Depending on the climate indicator, uou can download data for 4 priority GCMs (HadGEM2-ES, CNRM-CM5, CanESM2, MIROC5) or 10 California GCMs. These models have been identified as having a good simulation of California's historical climate. Details of selecting GCMs for impact studies are described in Pierce et al, 2018. You can download full extent, choose to clip the data to your area of interest, and/or select various options to aggregate data over time.
Go to Data Download Tool

2. Export data from charts in Cal-Adapt tools

All Cal-Adapt tools have a Get Data option in the charts. Users can save data shown in the charts as CSV files. This data export option works on an individual chart basis. Only the data available to you in that chart is exported. Any filters, date range controls, options selected are also applied to the exported data. For downloading complete timeseries use the Data Download Tool.

3. Use the Cal-Adapt API

Cal-Adapt provides a public REST API for programmatically accessing climate data hosted on Cal-Adapt and makes it easier to build data driven applications and analyses. Read the Cal-Adapt API documentation to explore all the available features and check out our cookbooks for example scripts and workflows.