Model input datasets of historical climate and future climate scenarios produced by the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP) (Kittel et al. 1997) are being made available for the U.S. National Assessment.

Features of this database are:   Component Climate Sets

  •  Historical Climate Series -- Based on NOAA HCN, Snotel, and other stn data
  •  Time-Dependent ('Transient') Climate Change Scenarios -- Derived from coupled atmospheric-ocean global climate model experiments with transient greenhouse gas and sulfate aerosol forcing, from the following modeling centers:
- Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (model = CGCM1)
- Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, UK (model = HADCM2)
- others pending (including NCAR CSM)


  •  Conterminous United States

  • - Alaska: projected release late 1998/early 1999
  •  Gridded at 0.5deg. lat/lon -- Spatially realistic (e.g., terrain-adjusted interpolation by PRISM, Daly et al.)


  •  Tmin, Tmax, Precipitation
  •  VP (& RH), SR (& Irradiance)

  • Estimated with MTCLIM3 (Thornton and Running)
    - All variables physically consistent in space and time
  • Wind Speed (seasonal long-term climatologies only)

Time Step

  •  Monthly -- Interannual and decadal variation

  • -  Historical: Based on observed data
    -  Scenarios: Derived from coupled climate models
  •  Daily -- From stochastic wx generator: modified WGEN (Richardson et al, Mearns, Katz)

  • -  Historical: Realistic daily covariance structure
    - Scenarios: Daily covariance statistics from historical period
    - No daily spatial autocorrelation

Record Period

  •  Historical: 1895-1993 -- Temporally complete
  •  Scenarios: 1994-~2100+ -- Scenario records begin at end of the historical series


More Information

For description of development of model input datasets of historical climate and future climate scenarios produced by the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP), see Kittel et al. (1997) and the following links:

For additional background on VEMAP and conceptual basis for development of the VEMAP datasets, see VEMAP Members (1995), Kittel et al. (1995), and the following web page:



 Kittel, T.G.F., N.A. Rosenbloom, T.H. Painter, D.S. Schimel, and VEMAP Modeling Participants. 1995. The VEMAP integrated database for modeling United States ecosystem/vegetation sensitivity to climate change. Journal of Biogeography 22: 857-862.

Kittel, T.G.F., J.A. Royle, C. Daly, N.A. Rosenbloom, W.P. Gibson, H.H. Fisher, D.S. Schimel, L.M. Berliner, and VEMAP2 Participants. 1997. A gridded historical (1895-1993) bioclimate dataset for the conterminous United States. Pages 219-222, in: Proceedings of the 10th Conference on Applied Climatology, 20-24 October 1997, Reno, NV. American Meteorological Society, Boston.

VEMAP Members. 1995. Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP): Comparing biogeography and biogeochemistry models in a continental-scale study of terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change and CO2 doubling.  Global Biogeochemical Cycles 9:407-437.


 Page authors: T. Kittel, D. Schimel, Nan Rosenbloom, Hank Fisher, Andy Royle and Cristina Kaufman



Revised 09-29-2000 Contacts