Global Biodiversity and Climate Change


An initiative of the Biodiversity and Climate Project

Project founder: Jon Bergengren, PhD

Biodiversity and Climate Change

Concerned for our planet's biodiversity or climate? You've come to the right place.

NASA SeaWiFS biosphere

ecology    noun,    the study of the interactions of life and the environment.

Life on Earth revolves around relationships. From the flow of molecules through the cells and systems of our bodies to the balance of radiative energy entering and leaving the top of the Earth's atmosphere, the sustainability of life depends upon a myriad of dynamic processes that constitute living systems at all scales of space and time.

We humans are becoming increasingly aware of our impacts upon the other species, natural habitats and climate of planet Earth – the unintended consequences of our ability to thrive in almost any environment. Each of our global environmental challenges is overwhelming in magnitude, so it is natural for environmentally-minded individuals and organizations to prioritize and focus on whatever issue they see at the top of the list. The inertia of our fossil fuel based economy and mindset is enormous, for example, so effectively mitigating anthropogenic climate change seems almost impossible.

And yet, solving the climate crisis without effective conservation and restoration of biodiversity and natural habitat is almost meaningless. The paved-over lowlands of Florida may not sink beneath the waves of a rising sea, but what will the Earth be like without the wonders of Nature that we have for so many centuries taken for granted? It’s far too easy to ignore what we can’t really see. Extinction, habitat loss, anthropogenic climate change are all just over the horizon on mostly invisible timescales.

Life and environment – biodiversity and climate – we must restore our living planet and harmonize our relationships with it by seeing clearly and addressing the connections, not just the components of the Earth system. The initial goal of the Biodiversity and Climate Project is to effectively illuminate the primary elements of global change via powerful scientific visualizations – interactive maps, animations, movies – thus accelerating the awakening of a new ecological ethos and the societal, economic and technological transformations that will propel us toward a sustainable world.

Earth System

The biospheric component of the Earth system is built upon connections. From landscape connectivity to evolutionary continuity to ecological interdependencies, living organisms, including human beings, depend upon one another and the relative stability of the environments to which they're adapted for their survival. The interdisciplinary sciences have emerged at the very moment in history when our collective impact upon the planet is interrupting the continuity of the evolution of species and ecosystems and the integrity of global biogeochemical cycles.


Global ecology is the discipline within Earth system science that focuses on the geographic and ecological relationships of life and environment, on regional to planetary spatial scales.

Project Overview

We see our goals and the methodology for achieving them as an evolving centerpiece of the Biodiversity and Climate Project. Here is a summary of our current initial project overview.


The mission of the Biodiversity and Climate Project is to accelerate our journey to sustainability through the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and natural habitat and the stabilizaion of the Earth's climate.

In order to accomplish this, we will contribute to the advancement of Earth system science and global change ecology by focusing on making our impacts on biodiversity, natural habitats, and climate increasingly visible.

Goals and Methods

Monitor global change, focusing on biodiversity, natural habitat, and climate change.

Document the current trajectories of the Earth's biodiversity, landscape connectivity, and climate, and provide a user-friendly global change database for scientists, environmentalists, and policymakers.

Connect climate change ecology modeling with current biodiversity observations and projections. We will extend existing plant and animal modeling algorithms and code to explore impacts of projected climate and vegetation changes on animal populations.

Predict the trajectory of key endangered species by reconstructing the past and projecting the future. We will leverage our expertise in climate and ecological modeling by performing coupled climate-biosphere simulations to predict current & future biodiversity and climate trajectories.

Visualize past, present and future biodiversity, landscape connectivity, and climate data and projected changes. We will construct a web mapping software stack to create online maps of plant and animal biodiversity as well as associated climate change maps.

Communicate global change projections to scientists, governmental policymakers, environmentalists, and students. We will provide state-of-the-art knowledge resources to governments and the public, and we will publish results in select online and printed journals.


We will create three main types of scientific visualizations:

  • animations,
  • interactive maps, and
  • documentary films.

These visualizations will focus on:

  • biodiversity,
  • natural habitat, and
  • climate change.

This project will make global change, which mostly occurs on very large scales of time and space, visible to the human eye. We will explore the past, present and future of our living planet Earth.