To address the challenge of identifying which public lands to protect, The Climate Atlas integrates multiple ecological and environmental variables (a total of six indicators) into a set of three models. Each of these models provides a measure of conservation value. The models cover the area of the lower 48 U.S states plus Alaska.

The Climate Atlas, with model & indicator options displayed
The Climate Atlas, with model & indicator options displayed

The three models are:

  • preserving biodiversity
  • mitigating climate change, and
  • quantifying overall conservation value by balancing biodiversity and climate considerations.

The models and indicators were developed in collaboration with project partners and stakeholders, with the goal of leveraging the best available science to meet diverse resource management and policymaking needs.

These data layers were then incorporated into an open-access, web-based tool designed to enable managers, planners, decision makers, and others to examine the estimated conservation value of a given location, along with the ecological and environmental variables (indicators) driving that value.