The three models

Combinations of the six indicators described above were integrated into three models, with each model providing a single estimate of conservation value for each location (pixel) covered in The Climate Atlas tool. The models serve as a way to synthesize complex ecological and environmental data into a single, easily understood metric. They provide the flexibility to compare and contrast priority areas based on a range of conservation values and desired outcomes.

Each of the three models addresses a unique set of conservation objectives:

  • Composite Model

    The Composite Model incorporates all six indicators described above to provide a comprehensive assessment of conservation value across the lower 48 U.S. states and Alaska.

  • The Carbon & Climate Model emphasizes areas important for mitigating the impacts of climate change. It includes the three climate-related indicators: total carbon, climate resilience, and climate stability.

  • The Biodiversity Model emphasizes areas important for maintaining connected ecosystems and mitigating species loss. It includes the three ecological indicators: ecological connectivity, ecological integrity, and either imperiled species richness (lower 48 U.S. states) or vertebrate species richness (Alaska).