(Dec 9th, 2014) The U.S. government has released a collection of data and tools that will advance planning capabilities for the impacts of climate change on our nation’s ecosystems. The data and tools will provide information and will help to stimulate innovation in preparing for climate impacts on fire regimes, water availability, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, ocean health, and the spread of invasive species. Here are some examples of how the data and tools could be used:
- Help communities and natural resource managers determine if they are currently at risk from wildfires and if they will be impacted in the future due to wildfires becoming more prevalent and severe;
- Provide information to the public on their sources of water and their sensitivities to climate change;
- Aid in the public understanding of the role that ecosystems play in mitigating rising carbon dioxide levels due to their absorbing and storing of carbon, as well as how land management activities may influence storage capabilities;
- Identify the potential impacts of climate change on rare and endangered species, iconic species, and ecosystems;
- Identify which invasive species may threaten specific locations and their impacts on local communities and their economies. This effort will contribute to early detection, rapid response activities.