Help, FAQ and Terms of Use

The help section provides two documents designed to help users with the tool.

The first document (User Manual) describes the tool’s major functionalities and provides detailed explanations of each page and screen.

The second document (Technical Manual) provides in-depth explanation of the theoretical background of the Tool.

Additional information is available to the users for all major functions of the tool by hovering the mouse pointer over the help icon ().
Tool functions are accessible through the Map interface or by selecting the menu options.


Research and Development Team

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor, Western University

Roshan Srivastav, Post Doctoral Fellow, Western University

Andre Schardong, Post Doctoral Fellow, Western University

Dan Sandink, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Partners

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Insurance Bureau of Canada


This software is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non infringement. In no event shall the authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the software.

This website/tool requires the use of browsers with Javascript and jQuery compatibility. The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer were tested and compatible.

The data and stations from Environment Canada used in this tool are freely available from the Environment Canada website: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/prods_servs/engineering_e.html

Global Climate Model data are downloaded and obtained from http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov

The information provided should be used at your own risk. By using this Tool you agree with these terms. Please check the Help section for more information.

Third party software used to build the tool:

  • jQuery and jQuery UI: jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library. (http://jquery.com/)

  • Handsontable: A minimalistic Excel-like data grid editor for HTML, JavaScript & jQuery. (http://handsontable.com/)

  • Google™ Maps: Google Maps information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. (http://maps.google.com/)

  • Highcharts™: Highcharts is a charting library written in pure JavaScript, offering an easy way of adding interactive charts to your web site or web application. Highcharts currently supports line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, arearange, areasplinerange, columnrange, bubble, box plot, error bars, funnel, waterfall and polar chart types. (http://highcharts.com/)

Research and Development Team

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor, Western University

Roshan Srivastav, Post Doctoral Fellow, Western University

Andre Schardong, Post Doctoral Fellow, Western University

Dan Sandink, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Partners

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (www.iclr.org/)

Insurance Bureau of Canada (www.ibc.ca/en/)


Included in this section is a list of the most frequently asked questions by users during the IDFCC tool development process. If your question is not addressed in the list below, please do not hesitate to email us with your question.

  • Q: How does the tool communicate uncertainty associated with generating future IDF curves?

    A: Users can quickly view the distribution of results produced by each of the 24 GCMs available in the tool by selecting the “Box Plot – Uncertainty” tab when generating future IDF curves using the “All Models” GCM option. The illustration provides an example of an uncertainty plot output. The plot was generated for the Toronto City rain station, using the “All Models” GCM option for the period 2071-2100, RCP 4.5. The plot indicates the range of values generated by each of the 24 GCMs for this future scenario. See image illustrating how to read box plots:

  • Q: Why are only 24 GCMs made available to users?

    A: According to the fifth assessment report of IPCC, there are 41 GCM models developed by various research centres. In IDF_CC tool, out of 41 GCMs we select only those GCMs which have all the three selected RCPs for future climate scenarios (i.e., RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5). There are 24 such GCMs with all the three future climate scenarios available for updating the IDF curves and are used in IDF_CC tool.

  • Q: What is the “skill score”? How should I consider the skill score when selecting GCMs to generate future IDF curves?

    A: The use of all the 24 GCMs in the IDF_CC tool could be computationally demanding. In order to reduce uncertainty due to choice of the GCMs, the tool applies a skill score algorithm to rank the GCMs provided in the tool. The IDF_CC tool adopts a skill score based on quantile regression (QRSS) proposed by Srivastav et al. (2014) (see Technical Manual). The best GCMs should have skill score values close to zero.

  • Q: What are RCPs?

    A: The international climate modelling community has adopted four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The scenarios range from RCP 8.5, which corresponds to a “non-climate policy” scenario translating into high severity climate change impacts, to RCP 2.6, which is a future requiring stringent climate policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions, translating into low severity impacts. Two middle scenarios, RCPs 4.5 and 6.0, were selected by the IPCC to be evenly spaced between RCPs 2.6 and 8.5. For more details please check this document: RCP Table.pdf

  • Q: How should I select an RCP and GCM to generate future IDF curve scenarios?

    A: We encourage you experiment with and compare results from multiple combinations of GCMs, the GCM ensemble option and multiple RCPs. You can also perform advanced/external analysis using "Export All" on the "IDF under Climate Change" tab. This function allows you to export all IDFs for all GCMs, GCM runs and RCPs.

  • Q: Who can view stations that I create in the tool?

    A: The stations created by you are not visible to other users. You can share your stations on "Stations and Data" page, selecting the station and providing the email of the person you wish to have access to your Station. The access level for the shared user can be "Full Access" or "Read only". Full access level will allow the user edit or change data.

  • Q: Can I update or edit data for pre-loaded Environment Canada rain stations?

    A: You cannot update pre-loaded Environment Canada stations. However, the Tool allows you to create a copy of any station using the "copy station" option. You may then edit data in the copy of the original station.

  • Q: How long do rain station records have to be for use in the tool?

    A: A minimum of 10 years of data is required to generate reliable IDF curves.

  • Q: Why did you exclude RCP 6.0?

    A: As an intermediate scenario, results generated using RCP 6.0 are similar to those generated using RCP 4.5. Further, as not all GCMs include runs for RCP 6.0, use of this RCP would limit the number of available GCMs for use in the tool. For intermediate/moderate results please use RCP 4.5.

  • Q: Can I compare future IDF curve scenarios associated with different model runs, RCPs, future time periods and GCMs?

    A: Using the "IDF under climate change" functions, you are able to generate IDF curves using data from any of the available GCMs and RCPs. After generating future IDF curves, you can then compare historical IDF curves with those generated using GCM data. You have the option of developing results using one GCM at a time, or developing results based on an ensemble of all available GCMs. Select the "comparison graphs" tab to compare future IDF curves with historical curves, or select the "export all results" to compare results outside of the tool. This option will allow you to compare results from multiple GCM runs, RCPs and multiple GCMs if the ensemble option was selected.

  • Q: How do I export results from multiple GCMs, RCPs, projection periods and GCM runs?

    A: You can either copy the results from the tables one by one or use the"export all" feature on the Tool. The export feature will allow you to save all results in a text file. This option is available on the "IDF under Climate Change" tab. The text file will contain IDFs based on historical data and IDFs for future scenarios, including all GCMs, all three RCPs and all GCM runs.