climdex: an open-source tool for processing and visualizing climate indices in support to climate change studies and communication

Climate change and transformation is urging scientific communities and companies at all latitudes to better investigate and understand such systemic shift and its consequences, both at national and regional scales, and to instill a gradual societal adaptation and change into the population.

The availability of robust and easily interpretable information about the temporal evolution and spatial distribution of climate-related hazards – especially climate extremes – is an increasingly sought-after requirement for a proper planning to climate change.

A climate index is an objective measure of a specific climate condition over a defined time period, e.g. the number of non-rainy days in a year, which can be calculated from observations as well as future climate projections at any location of interest. It can serve both as supporting data for climate studies and climate adaptation planning and as compelling information for the general public.

climdex is a free and open-source tool developed at Eurac Research and published in the official Python Package Index [1], that supports researchers in the whole pipeline of the calculation and analysis of climate indices as well as result communication. It includes the orchestration of parallelized processing over multiple climate data, e.g. multiple models and scenarios in the case of future projections, , the publication as standard-compliant and FAIR datacubes for easy machine-readable sharing and tools for the graphical visualization of trends and spatially-explicit analyses. .

Already packaged with a support for 30 well-known and documented indices, the package can be easily extended to support other indices and more unforeseen operators, thanks to thorough documentation for developers available in the source repository.