Climate stress is a measure of the decrease in climate suitability for a given ecological system at a particular cell, based on climate projections for 2080. For each ecological system present in the watershed, the climate niche of that system was calculated. The projected climate in 2080 is then compared to that climate niche. The projected climate in 2080 is based on the average climate for two IPCC climate change scenarios: RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. If climate suitability improves, the cell is considered “not stressed.” If climate suitability declines, then the metric value is larger the more the future climate is projected to diverge from climate conditions where the ecological system currently occurs. Climate stress was calculated for each ecological system individually, so it is recommended that users view this data layer for one ecological system at a time, and do not attempt to compare values across ecological systems.
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Read the Technical Abstract for this data layer (climate.tif).