We provide microclimatic data for ecological forecasting. The data describes microclimates and vegetation for the past and the future at spatial and temporal resolutions of 36 km (approximately 0.3°) and 1 h, respectively. [Levy et al. (2016)](http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1444/full) used the [Weather Research & Forecasting](http://www.wrf-model.org/) model to downscale published, bias-corrected predictions of a global-circulation model from a resolution of 0.9° latitude and 1.25° (approximately 100 km in latitude and 130 km in longitude). Output from this model was used as input for a microclimate model, which generated temperatures and wind speeds as well as soil temperatures for 1980-1999 and 2080-2099 at various heights, as well as soil temperatures at various depths and shade intensities. We also predicted the percentage of green vegetation and the percentage of shade given the angle of the sun.


The data spans North America at a resolution of 36km (approximately 0.3°). Hourly data for 17 metrics is available for a past (1980-1999) and future (2080-2099) time period. Data are available as instantaneous, max, min, or mean values across various time intervals (1hr, 6hrs, 12hrs, daily, monthly, or yearly).


The modeling protocol, microclimate calculations, computer programs, and the evaluation process are detailed in the following [publication](Link), which should be cited if the data are used in publications Levy O, Buckley LB, Keitt TH, and Angilletta MJ. 2016. A dynamically downscaled projection of past and future microclimates. Ecology 97:1888.
The data is also [published](Link) by The Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity Levy O, Buckley LB, Keitt TH, and Angilletta MJ. 2016. Data from a dynamically downscaled projection of past and future microclimates covering North America from 1980–1999 and 2080–2099. KNB Data Repository. doi:10.5063/F1Z899CZ.

Extracting data using APIs

We offer 3 APIs for assessing available data and retrieving data.

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Detail Specifications

Extent and resolution

The data spans North America at a resolution of 36km (approximately 0.3°). The domain was centered at 38.3°N, 99.6°W, with a grid dimension of 130 x 200 points

Time period

Hourly data is available for a past (1980-1999) and future (2080-2099) time period.

Time period

Shade (%): 0, 25, 50, 75, 100
Height or depth (m): 0.03, 0.06, 0.09, 0.12, 0.15, 0.18, 0.21, 0.24, 0.27, 0.30, 0.48, 0.66, 0.84, 1.02, 1.20, 1.38, 1.56, 1.74, 1.92


Data is available at intervals of 1hr, 6hrs, 12hrs, daily, monthly, or yearly. Users can select among the following aggregation metrics across time: instantaneous, max, min, mean. We use the following conventions for time aggregation:

  • For 6-hr data, the segments of time are 1-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-00 hrs
  • For 12-hr data, the segments of time are 1-12, 13-00 hrs
  • A day begins in hour=1 and ends in hour=0 of the next day.
  • For monthly data, a month begins in day 1 1:00am and ends at the zero hour of the next month.
  • Instantaneous values are at the beginning of a segment.
Variable Details
# Variable Description UnitsDimensions Source
1 ALBEDO surface albedo dec. %time WRF
2 BGAP gap between canopies (the fraction of area where visible solar radiation can reach the ground) dec. %time WRF
3 FVEG fraction of green vegetation dec. %time WRF
4 GLW downward flux of near-infrared radiation W m-2time WRF
5 ISNOW number of snow layers time WRF
6 SWDOWN downward flux of visible radiationW m-2time WRF
7 TAH air temperature in canopyKtime WRF
8 Tair air temperatureKtime, shade, height Microclimate
9 Tsurface surface temperatureKtime, shade Microclimate
10 Tsoil soil/snow temperatureKtime, shade, depth Microclimate
11 TV temperature of a leaf in the vegetation Ktime WRF
12 UV wind velocitym s-1 time, height Microclimate
13 WGAP gap within the canopy (the fraction of visible solar radiation that can reach the ground through the canopy) dec. % time WRF
14 TG temperature of bulk ground Ktime WRF
15 T2 temperature above bare surface (2-m height) Ktime WRF
16 QAIR specific humidity at surface (2-m height) kg kg-1 time WRF
17 SMOIS soil water m3/m3 time, height WRF
Output Format

We are currently serving the microclimate data in either NetCDF or CSV format. We use the following naming convention for output:

[varname]_[shade]_[height/depth]_[interval]_[aggregation]_[startdate]_[enddate]_[creation time].[nc/csv]

Shade and height/depth are added to the file name only if they are part of the dimensions of the selected variable. The selection parameters are also included as global attributes in each output NetCDF file and as header information for each csv file.