The data provided in The Climate Atlas are intended to be used to inform the identification and prioritization of high-value public lands in the lower 48 U.S. states and Alaska. Through the tool, users can identify the top areas required to achieve their particular targets, in terms of acreage or percent of land area protected.
Data availability and relevance
The three models were derived from input layers that reflect what was determined to be the best available data at the time of the tool’s development. The contextual data on existing public land protections are updated on an annual basis and may not reflect more recent changes. Because the input layers use varying resolutions, the data will be most relevant for landscape-scale, coarse-filter assessments, and may be unsuitable for finer-scale, localized analyses.
To facilitate landscape-scale analyses that are relevant to management decision-making, The Climate Atlas highlights federal lands containing pixels in the top percentiles of each of the three composite models. The high-value pixels in these top percentiles represent a minimum 5,000-acre area of high conservation value.
In addition to examining the results of the three models, we encourage users to explore and compare patterns based on the six individual indicator layers themselves. Even where one or all of the models suggest low aggregate conservation value, one or more of the underlying indicators might be high, underscoring that most places have at least some conservation value. Several of these indicator layers are likely to be highly relevant to decision making, depending on user objectives and priorities. Of the three models provided, the combined composite model offers the most comprehensive measure of the overall conservation value of a given landscape.