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The Conservation Biology Institute Climate Center points to the most popular and recent climate change datasets, and facilitates access to case studies and current news.
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Climate News

  • Jul 23 - Rainfall and winter temperature drive bird distribution
    Three precipitation variables (for the wettest month, breeding season, and driest month) and minimum temperature of the coldest month were the most important predictors of bird distributions and abundances in five states in the western US and in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Results from a recent study of 132 bird species distribution since 1970 suggest that correlations between climate and abundance patterns can predict changes through time for some species, and that changes in precipitation and winter temperature appear to have already driven shifts in the geographic patterns of abundance of bird populations in western North America.

    Source: Illán, J. G., Thomas, C. D., Jones, J. A., Wong, W.-K., Shirley, S. M. and Betts, M. G. (2014), Precipitation and winter temperature predict long-term range-scale abundance changes in Western North American birds. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12642
  • Jul 17 - Resilient Network of Conservation Lands in the Northwest
    The Nature Conservancy, in a project funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, released a report that identifies the most resilient sites in the Northwest to best sustain native biodiversity as the changing climate alters current distribution patterns. Such sites are found by mapping key geophysical features, TNC Mark Anderson's "enduring features",  and evaluating them for landscape characteristics that should buffer against climate effects. The study area in the 2014 report covers 67 million hectares and includes all of the East Cascades/Modoc Plateau, Columbia Plateau and Middle Rockies/Blue Mts. Ecoregions and the U.S. portion of the Canadian Rockies ecoregion.
  • Jul 2 - Severe weather is forcing farmers to innovate and invest in new technology
  • Jun 21 - Chilling days and Daylength constrain growing season length
  • Jun 13 - China might limit its carbon emissions for first time

Climate Change Datasets

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General Circulation Models (GCMs)
A quick primer

General circulation models (GCMs or global climate models) have been designed to simulate the planet's future climate.  In the past 30 years climate modelers have been improving the GCMs' spatial resolution from the first assessment report (FAR-1995) to the fourth report (AR4-2007) for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) to meet the ...

The MAPSS Model
Projections of future potential vegetation

MAPSS (Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil System) is a static biogeography model that projects potential vegetation distribution and hydrological flows on a grid. It simulates type of vegetation and density for all upland vegetation from deserts to wet forests. It uses long term, average ...

MC1 Dynamic Global Vegetation Model
Simulating vegetation and fire response to climate change

MC1 is a widely used dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) that has been used to simulate potential vegetation shifts in California and Alaska, all of North America, and over the entire globe under various climate change scenarios. However, past simulations were run at a scale that is too coarse (e.g., 10km x ...

Seasonal Fire Forecasting
National-scale projections available monthly

One notable aspect of the MC1 Dynamic General Vegetation Model (DGVM) is the process-based fire module which simulates fire events and their impact on vegetation through time at regional to global scales. The module was built to explore the response of fire and its impacts to century-long ...

Sea Level Rise
Risks along US coasts

The Pacific Northwest coast includes a wide diversity of coastal habitats from including bluffs, sandy beaches, coastal marshes, tidal flats and eelgrass beds, supporting myriad species of fish and wildlife as well as local economies and cultural history. These coastal habitat are threatened by various human activities due to continued population ...