The intergovernmental panel on climate change defined the indicators that allow to identify or find the evidences of climate change. Some indicators are related to temperature and others to rainfall.
Before entering the subject, it is necessary to define two terms: indicator and indexes.
- An Index (from Latin index) is a sign or signal something. It can be the numerical expression of the relationship between two quantities or indicators.
- An Indicator is a procedure that allows to quantify or associate a phenomenon; it serves to “indicate” or suggest the existence of certain characteristics in the phenomenon under study, often to record its changes
Climate change indicators are intended to be mathematical elements (indexes) used to identify, register, meet and make clear climate change later relate these changes to the responses of organisms, with crops, livestock and forestry with aspects of health and environmental risks
Some are related to extreme high or low temperatures: Consecutive dry days (CDD); Ice days (ID); Cold spell duration index (CSDI); Summer days (SU); Diurnal temperature range (DTR); Cold nights (TN10p); Frost days FD; Warm nights (TN90p); Growing season length (GSL); Lowest minimum temperature (TNn); Highest minimum temperature (TNx); Cool days (TX10p); Hot days (TX90p); Lowest maximum temperature (TXn); Highest maximum temperature (TXx); Warm spell durationi ndex (WSDI); Tropical nights (TR); and Consecutive days over 40 °C (DC40).
Other indices are related to extreme rainfall events:
5-day maximum rainfall (RX5Day); Simple daily intensity index (SDII); Consecutive wet days (CWD); Total annual rainfall (PRCPTOT); Heavy precipitation days index (R10mm); Very heavy precipitation days (R20mm); Very wet days (R95p); Extremely wet days (R99p); Days with more than nn of rainfall (Rnnmm); and 1-day maximum rainfall (RX1Day).
The “Indicators of climate change” software is a tool for climatology experts and non-experts interested in the climate such as geographers, agricultural and forestry biologists, zootechnicians, environmental consultants, engineers, architects and a long etcetera. It is an intuitive software, using colors to guide the user in the interpretation of the changing trends.
Using daily data, this software provides the same results as the analysis of trends in weather elements, but it also suggests the harm or benefit that that would be caused by specific changes in climate, e.g., changes in cold nights, warm nights, cool days, hot days, the simple daily intensity index and very humid days, among others.
In this way, the CCI software is an informatic tool that, using daily local data, can be useful to detect the direction, magnitude and significance of climate change. After detecting a change, the software attempts to correlate it with agricultural production, the migration of wildlife species, livestock productivity, possible changes in the phenology of plants, aspects of human health, disaster risk forecast, the spread of pests, the presence of invasive species and other processes associated with climate change.