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Map version history

The Probable Futures mission includes making climate risk information available as a public resource. In keeping with this mission, we periodically update the maps available on the public platform

Sometimes the purpose of an update is to make the latest climate model data available such as when new model data has been widely reviewed and refined by the scientific community. Other times we make updates for more administrative reasons as part of standard software development updates and best practices. When we make updates, we publish a short summary of the update on this page. If you have questions about updates, please contact us at hello@probablefutures.org.

Two new maps: Days above 45°C (113°F) and 10 hottest nights 

January 26, 2024

With this update, two new maps are now available: “Days above 45°C (113°F)” and “10 hottest nights.” 

“Days above 45°C (113°F)” shows the number of days where the maximum temperature is above 45°C (113°F) in a given location and warming scenario. With this new map, it is now possible to see where these extreme temperatures are expected to begin occurring for the first time, or increase in frequency in places that may have occasionally experienced these temperatures in the past. 

“10 hottest nights” shows the average temperature of the 10 hottest nights per year in a given location at each warming scenario. With this new map, it is possible to see how the warmest nighttime temperatures are expected to change in any given place as the global average temperature increases. Nighttime temperatures are inferred using daily minimum temperature in the climate models, since minimum temperatures almost always occur at nighttime. 

Because these two new maps use version three (v3) ensemble and blending techniques described in the v3 map update below, we refer to and label them as v3 maps for consistency and clarity. Therefore, these two new maps will never have v1 or v2 versions.

v3 climate zones map

November 2, 2023

The climate zones map was updated to delineate more climate zones. Before, the map showed 13 zones. Now, it shows 27. This change provides a more nuanced view of how climate zones shift and change in a changing climate. 

The new climate zones map continues to use the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. The additional climate zones in the new map use Köppen-Geiger tertiary sub-categories whereas the climate zones map with only 13 zones used only the secondary sub-categories plus the polar zones. To learn more about classification using Köppen-Geiger, read about Köppen-Geiger on Wikipedia

With this update, all maps are now on version three (v3).

v3 maps of temperature, precipitation, and dryness

July 19, 2023

All maps of temperature, precipitation, and dryness were updated to expand map coverage in parts of South America and Australia. We originally excluded data in these areas because our science team identified inconsistencies that could have potentially made the data unreliable. To expand coverage, we dropped the regions with inconsistencies (South America and Australia RegCM4 domains) to rely on a smaller but more consistent ensemble of models (REMO 2015) for South America and Australia. Now that we are confident the data in these areas is reliable, we are releasing updated maps to provide the most complete global coverage possible. 

All maps of precipitation and dryness were also updated to use a smoother blending technique between regional climate model regions. Before, each grid cell was assigned a weight prior to blending based on its distance to the center of its region. Now, each grid cell is assigned a weight based on its distance to the edge of its region, which minimizes edge effects between different regions. All maps of temperature were updated to use the same smoother blending technique in v2 and still use the same technique in v3. 

With this update, all maps of temperature, precipitation, and dryness are now on version three (v3). The climate zones map is the only map remaining on version one (v1).

v2 maps of temperature

March 1, 2023

All maps of temperature were updated to use 5th and 95th percentiles for the low and high values in the low-mid-high range (which you can see by clicking anywhere on a map). This update aligns our maps of temperature with the precipitation and dryness maps which already used 5th and 95th percentiles for the low and high values in the low-mid-high range. Prior to this update, maps of temperature used 10th and 90th percentile values for this range. 

All maps of temperature were also updated to use a smoother blending technique between regional climate model regions. Before, each grid cell was assigned a weight prior to blending based on its distance to the center of its region. Now, each grid cell is assigned a weight based on its distance to the edge of its region, which minimizes edge effects between different regions. 

With this update, all maps of temperature are now on version two (v2).

Initial maps of dryness

September 22, 2022

Five maps of dryness were published as part of the Land volume. This includes maps of changing water balance, drought, wildfire, and climate zones.

Introduction of map versioning and new attribute names

August 8, 2022

All maps are now on version one (v1). Future map versions will use whole number increments such as v2, v3, v4, etc. Tilesets created before the introduction of versioning do not have version names in the tileset ID. Versions are visible to partners in the tileset ID.

We also updated the names of Mapbox tileset feature attributes climate data points to names that are general enough to reflect values present in map data now and in the future. Prior to this update, these tileset feature attribute names included specific references like “pctl_90”, “mean”, and “pctl_10” which made introducing different percentiles challenging. Now, tileset feature attribute names use the following more general suffixes: low, mid, high. To see the full list of tileset feature attributes names used in Probable Futures maps, see the tileset feature attributes section in the developer documentation.

Initial maps of precipitation

March 20, 2022

Six maps of precipitation were published as part of the Water volume.  This includes maps of changing total annual precipitation, snowfall, dry days, wet periods, and historical “1-in-100-year” storms.

Initial maps of temperature

September 22, 2021

Sixteen maps of temperature were published as part of the Heat volume. This includes maps of increasing heat, decreasing cold, and heat and humidity.