Cal-Adapt’s mission is to make data portraying climate change in California more accessible and actionable for a broad audience. Recent funding from the Strategic Growth Council has allowed Cal-Adapt to expand beyond our primary energy sector users to a more diverse user community, especially users working in municipal governments, natural resource management agencies, and community-based organizations.
To explore the evolving needs of Cal-Adapt past, current, and potential user bases, the Cal-Adapt team has been busy reaching out to gather stakeholder insights through an ongoing online survey, numerous workshops and webinars, and over 40 hours of focused interviews.
One of the main takeaways from these listening sessions was that users are looking for more guidance and an easier entry point to climate data. Historically, using Cal-Adapt has required a minimum level of climate science literacy that includes an understanding of climate models, emissions scenarios, environmental variability, and scientific (un)certainty. We’ve heard that Cal-Adapt is considered “too technical” for some users.
In recognition of these needs, the Cal-Adapt team is redesigning Cal-Adapt to make it easier for new and existing users to learn about climate data, understand the tools and features on Cal-Adapt, and connect to other state resources available for climate adaptation and resiliency planning. Today we are excited to invite you to preview our revamped Help content and tool layout on beta.cal-adapt.org.
New Help Content
We identified three main goals to address in our new Help content in response to requests we heard from engagement efforts:
- Create a “onboarding” ramp for new or less technical users who are not familiar with climate science and best practices for using climate data (Get Started)
- Provide comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions we receive from users (FAQs)
- Define and explain technical terms used on Cal-Adapt (Glossary)
Our target audience for these enhancements is a broad audience of local climate planners, community organizations, technical users, educators, and anyone with an interest in exploring climate change projections in California. In addition, we are redesigning all Cal-Adapt tools to streamline and standardize the user experience of exploring and accessing climate data.
Get Started with Cal-Adapt
Our new Get Started guide helps build climate science literacy for users who may be new to climate science. It also includes best practices we have learnt over the years for using climate data. Our Get Started guide is organized into the following five topics:
- Climate change and climate data in California: Why climate data is important for adaptation planning and how to use it
- Climate data and other data on Cal-Adapt: Information about the types of data available through Cal-Adapt
- About climate projections and models: How climate models are generated, validated, and account for greenhouse gas emissions scenarios
- Accessing data on Cal-Adapt: Different ways of exploring and downloading the data available on Cal-Adapt
- Best practices for using climate projections: Understanding uncertainty, natural variability, and how to use climate projections in your work
FAQs & Glossary
We have updated our list of FAQs and developed more comprehensive answers to queries sent by you over the years. A newly developed Glossary defines terms frequently used throughout Cal-Adapt. These Glossary definitions are also being integrated into all our climate tools. Users can search and filter FAQs and Glossary by topic.
We are redesigning our tools to integrate the new Help content, improve accessibility and provide a better and more consistent user experience. You can preview the new tool design on the Extreme Weather tool. With this tool, users can explore extreme temperatures for past weather and present day, utilizing a quality-controlled dataset for historical hourly weather observations curated for use by the energy sector for 38 weather stations across California. Present day weather conditions are from NOAA.
We would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned as we roll out our fully redesigned Cal-Adapt over the upcoming weeks and let us know what you think of the new look! We hope that these changes and new Help content will make it easier for users to understand climate science and make climate data actionable and useful. Most of all, we want to thank all of the many people who have taken the time to reach out to us and share their feedback and insight! The Cal-Adapt team is working for you to make the data that you need accessible. If you haven’t had the opportunity to share your thoughts yet, we invite you to fill out our online survey or reach out to the Cal-Adapt support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.