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Probable Futures


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Land: Maps of Dryness

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  • This series of interactive maps allows students to visualize the changes in water balance, temperature, precipitation, dryness, and climate zones, based on different warming scenarios.
  • Students can use these colorful maps to understand how climate change will affect different regions of the world, including their own.
Teaching Tips


  • Whether it be precipitation, dryness, or temperature maps, each map also contains anecdotes of different communities' experiences with climate change.
  • Specific changes in different climate variables in a city, region, or country can be viewed by clicking on the location on the map.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This resource is the fourth and final part of a series on land but it can be used on its own.
  • This resource requires access to the internet.
  • A quick tour of how to use the maps can be found in the top right corner.
  • Click on the circled "i" to learn more about each warming scenario and map.
  • Before using the resource, students should understand terms like precipitation, drought, climate, and global average surface temperature.


  • Have students reflect on why different regions are affected differently by the global average increase in temperature.
  • This resource can also be used in health classes during lessons about the effects of increased precipitation, drought, temperature, and extreme weather on human health.
  • Math classes can reference this resource during lessons about probability and data visualization and science classes can us it during lessons about how global warming influences extreme weather events.
  • To integrate this into a science lesson, use this other interactive resource about heat in the United States or use this interactive textbook about climate zones and biomes.
  • The first, second, and third parts of the series can be found at these links.
Scientist Notes
This is an interactive map that projects the change in water balance conditions or the magnitude of dry conditions across the globe. It uses the CMIP5 to ensemble 5 warming scenarios. Although, until recently, the reliability of CMIP5 to predict plausible outcome had been questioned on the account of its behavior. The CMIP6 has now become the best model for downscaling. As noted by the author, the map will be upgraded as data trickle in. However, this resource provides basic insights on the scenarios and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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