To access the Projections Builder, you need to be a registered user (see Signing in). If you are signed in, clicking on Projections Builder in the top menu (Figure 1) will take you to the first of three interactive pages that you have to complete (Figure 2). If you are not signed in (or if you are not yet registered), you will be taken to the Projections Builder landing page that details the steps required to gain access.
Figure 1 Projections Builder on the top menu
The Projections Builder pages present a number of options with guiding questions to help you determine the settings appropriate to the needs of your climate change assessment. The steps are described in detail, below.
Figure 2 Page 1 of the Projections Builder step-by-step interface
Projections Builder: Page 1
1. Project Details
Type the title of your project. This information will appear on the results page.
Click the small arrow to display the drop-down list of years. These represent the mid-point of a 20-year time period (e.g. “2050” represents the period 2040 – 2059).
Choose the greenhouse gas scenario to suit your needs. There are two groups of scenarios:
2. Variable Selection
Choose the variables...
Tick the box corresponding to each variable that affects the system you are studying. Please note though, that if you choose wind speed in addition to temperature and rainfall (or related variables) you should use the wind projections with caution as they may not adequately sample the range of wind results. (Note that more variables are available using the Detailed Projections tool)
Choose the seasons...
Tick the boxes to select the season or seasons for which projections are needed. Note that selecting more seasons will slow down the generation of the projections results. (More seasons are available using the Detailed Projections tool.)
3. Region Selection
As with the Future Climates interface, click on the map to select the region of interest to your assessment. You will then be presented with page two of the Projections Builder (Figure 3).
Projections Builder: Page 2
Page two asks you to use your knowledge of the influence of each climate variable on the system you are studying to define the best and worst case. The amount of detail available to make these choices will vary. However, limited information or expert judgement can also be used to guide this process (in the absence of better information).
Figure 3. Page two of the Projections Builder showing a simple example
Note that the Projections Builder will automatically identify the “Maximum Consensus” case (if there is one) and present the results on the final page.
4. Best Case
Each combination of variable and season (as you selected on Page one) is presented along with drop-down boxes to select the appropriate settings. For temperature variables, you are asked to choose whether a small or large increase is better. For all other variables, you can select whether an increase is better than a decrease or vice-versa.
You can also indicate if one or more combinations are of less importance (i.e. have less affect) than others. i.e. setting the “Importance” ranking of a variable/season to ‘1’ indicates that it is more important than a variable/season with a setting of ‘2’. By default, all variable/season combinations are assigned a ranking of ‘1’.
5. Worst Case
The choices available are the same as for Best Case. This time, however, choose the settings according to which changes are expected to be worse.
If you assigned lower importance rankings to some variable/season combinations, make sure you set them exactly the same for Worst Case.
6. Identify Representative Models
When you are happy with the settings, make a record of how you defined the cases (e.g. by printing the page). Once you have done this, click the Next button. There will be a delay while Climate Futures calculates your results and it may appear that nothing is happening. The more variable/season combinations you are using, the longer it will take – please be patient.
Projections Builder: Page 3
Page three of the Projections Builder provides the results for your study (see Figure 4 for a simple example).
Figure 4. An example Results page (page 3) from the Projections Builder
Table 1 of the Results Page lists the models that have been selected by the tool to represent each case as well as the model consensus score for their corresponding climate futures. Note that if no Maximum Consensus climate future exists, then no information will be presented for that case.
Table 2 provides the projected average change values for each case and each variable/season combination that you selected on Page one.
Finally, a brief explanation of the results and how to use them is provided, followed by some key references that explain the Climate Futures approach.