Climate and energy modeling
Step 1: Go to the Climate Inspector (https://gisclimatechange.ucar.edu/inspector), which is an interactive web application that lets you explore future temperature and precipitation changes throughout the 21st century using a sophisticated General Circulation Model (GSM). Read the instructions, FAQs, and other information available on the website, and play around with the model. Note that on the right hand side of the page, you have several choices including Place, Variable, and Emission Trajectory. Each combination will give you model output that you can download in an Excel spreadsheet.
Step 2: Read The Beginner’s Guide to Representative Concentration Pathways by G.P. Wayne. This document gives a good introduction to what goes into forecasting future emissions scenarios. Pay particular attention to the Energy and Energy Sources sections in Part 3.
Step 3: Based on your analysis of the RCP information in the document, choose the RCP that you think has the most realistic prediction of our future energy landscape. In the Climate Inspector, use that RCP to forecast temperature and precipitation change in the 21st century for a specific location that interests you (e.g., home, Orono, etc.). Download the temperature and precipitation data, and make plots of year (x axis) vs. temperature/precipitation (y axis) in MS Excel.
What to turn in: Write a short (250 word) argument supporting your choice of RCP (i.e., why, specifically, do you think this is the most realistic scenario?), and describe the temperature and precipitation changes that are forecast to occur in your area of interest. How do these changes compare to those forecast for the same area under the other emissions scenarios? Include the temperature and precipitation plots that you made in Step 3.