At the core of the Climate Futures approach is the Climate Futures Matrix. All results generated by Pacific Climate Futures use the Climate Futures Matrix, although at times it is not visible.
The Climate Futures Matrix displays the future climate results from multiple climate models in terms of their projected changes in two climate variables. The results represent the changes for a given emissions scenario and future time-period, averaged over the area selected by the user. In Figure 1, the projected changes in 45 global climate models are classified by their changes in annual surface temperature (across the top) and annual rainfall (down the left side). The categories are different depending on the variables used. Each category is labelled with a plain English name (e.g. “Warmer”) as well as the values that define the category (e.g. “0.5 to 1.5”). The matrix shows the number of models falling into each category (called "model consensus") and the matrix cells are colour coded accordingly. The colour scheme used is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 1 An example Climate Futures Matrix
Figure 2 Consensus ratings used in the climate futures matrix
The matrix allows the full range of the projections results from all models to be viewed at a glance while also providing information on the extent to which models agree.
As explained in the following sections, you can choose the variables and seasons used to build the matrix. You can also choose combinations of variables and seasons for which projected change data from each climate model can be displayed within the cells of the matrix.