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This set of files includes downscaled projections of decadal means of annual day of freeze or thaw (ordinal day of the year), and length of growing season (numbers of days, 0-365) for each decade from 2010 - 2100 at 2km x 2km meter spatial resolution. Each file represents a decadal mean of an annual mean calculated from mean monthly data. ---- The spatial extent includes Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Each set of files originates from one of five top ranked global circulation models from the CMIP5/AR5 models and RPCs, or is calculated as a 5 Model Average. Day of Freeze, Day of Thaw, Length of Growing Season calculations: Estimated ordinal days of freeze and thaw are calculated by assuming a linear change in temperature between consecutive months. Mean monthly temperatures are used to represent daily temperature on the 15th day of each month. When consecutive monthly midpoints have opposite sign temperatures, the day of transition (freeze or thaw) is the day between them on which temperature crosses zero degrees C. The length of growing season refers to the number of days between the days of thaw and freeze. This amounts to connecting temperature values (y-axis) for each month (x-axis) by line segments and solving for the x-intercepts. Calculating a day of freeze or thaw is simple. However, transitions may occur several times in a year, or not at all. The choice of transition points to use as the thaw and freeze dates which best represent realistic bounds on a growing season is more complex. Rather than iteratively looping over months one at a time, searching from January forward to determine thaw day and from December backward to determine freeze day, stopping as soon as a sign change between two months is identified, the algorithm looks at a snapshot of the signs of all twelve mean monthly temperatures at once, which enables identification of multiple discrete periods of positive and negative temperatures. As a result more realistic days of freeze and thaw and length of growing season can be calculated when there are idiosyncrasies in the data. Please note that these maps represent climatic estimates only. While we have based our work on scientifically accepted data and methods, uncertainty is always present . Uncertainty in model outputs tends to increase for more distant climatic estimates from present day for both historical summaries and future projections.
This dataset contains historical and projected dynamically downscaled climate data for the State of Alaska and surrounding regions at 20km spatial resolution and hourly temporal resolution. Select variables are also summarized into daily resolutions. This data was produced using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model (Version 3.5). We downscaled both ERA-Interim historical reanalysis data (1979 - Oct 2015) and both historical and projected runs from 2 GCM’s from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project 5 (CMIP5): GFDL-CM3 and NCAR-CCSM4 (historical run: 1970-2005 and RCP 8.5: 2006-2100). This dataset was updated to a version 1.1 in August, 2023 to retain useful fields of latitude and longitude geolocation grids from the WRF model. The original version is available upon request.