Time and Space Resolution

Temporal Resolution

It is important to understand that for some assessments or sectors average climatic conditions, such as average annual or seasonal rainfall, are sufficient while for othersespecially the ones dealing with extreme weather eventsanalysis of daily records is necessary. The data acquisition process and data quality make different time resolutions more or less reliable. For example, if large gaps in daily rainfall records exist, it may still be possible to derive a reliable estimate of the average annual rainfall while a reliable analysis of the extreme rainfall may not be possible. 

Spatial Resolution

The spatial resolution of the information needed is defined by the purpose of the assessment. A global assessment of food security can rely on global coarse resolution gridded data and model outputs, on the order of several hundreds of kilometers. If the information is needed to design localized land use plans or delineate flood prone areas, then information at much finer scale (a few hundreds of meters) is needed. Similarly, climate information might be required for a variety of spatial extents, from regional to country to water basin to individual farm, and addressing those different extents involves using data at different spatial resolutions. Coarser resolution information is usually more easily available but will not capture climate variability or differences over short distances over heterogeneous landscapes (e.g., mountain areas).

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