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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Climate change: Check the data yourself

item Peters, Debra - Deb
item Debuys, William

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2010
Publication Date: 7/13/2010
Citation: Peters, D.C., Debuys, W. 2010. Climate change: Check the data yourself. High Country News. available:

Interpretive Summary: This article is written for the popular press of the Western US to highlight a recent project that takes complicated scientific datasets and creates simple figures to show trends through time. The goal is to allow a broad range of users to decide for themselves if climate change is occurring, where those changes are most rapid, and the potential effects on different ecological systems. Data in a bool being pubished by the USDA and posted on a web site ( are provided for 50 sites located across the continental US, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

Technical Abstract: Data on climatic drivers and ecological responses through time tend to be complex and difficult to use by anyone oethr than the individual scientist who collected them. We provide an alternative approach that simplifies complex datasets into derived data products including long-term trends that can be easily understood and interpreted by a broad audience. The result is a book to be published by the USDA publications office, and a website ( containing the data with graphical routines that allow easy access and use of the data. Our goal is to allow users to determine for themselves if and where climate change is occurring for sites located across the continental US, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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