For instructors who wish to give students some hands-on experience with climatic data interpretation and scenario assessment, I would suggest taking a look at Climate Explorer, a new White House website that is a component of the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, a site designed to help Americans understand the impacts of climate change, and adapt to it, including by building resilience.
The Explorer permits students to visualize current details, such as regions of drought, population density and land use. It also facilitates the digital construction of potential future climatic conditions, e.g. impacts of sea level rise or temperature increases on human institutions or ecosystems. By clicking on “layers,” students can overlay maps in specific regions with data related to risks from floods, food resilience and ecosystem. Ultimately, the government plans to expand layer options to include data on water, energy, health, transportation, the built environment and other pertinent indicators.
Some of the potential practical uses of the Explorer in the classroom including training students to conduct adaptation planning, including infrastructure planning, as well as simulation exercises.