Global Biodiversity and Climate Change Visualization
Jon Bergengren, PhD


Biodiversity Study Area

EVE model results for the contiguous United States and surrounding regions in North America. The 21 maps of this map slideshow depict:

  • Elevation
  • Predicted biomes (5-biome and 12-biome maps)
  • Total tree cover
  • The 17 most abundant tree life forms

Biodiversity Visualization

The vegetation maps above depict the results of a simulation performed by the Equilibrium Vegetation Ecology (EVE) model driven by the highest (30 arcsecond) resolution temperature and precipitation data from the WorldClim monthly mean climate dataset. Relative humidity is not provided by WorldClim, so it is derived from a 10 arcminute CRU dataset. Following the topography map are two biome-scale vegetation maps, a total tree cover map, and seventeen individual life-form cover maps for the USA-48 study region. EVE's fundamental output is the fractional covers for any of 110 plant life forms. Each unique plant community structure is transformed into simple five and twelve biome maps for an initial look at the vegetation predicted to be in equilibrium with a given climate.

Many of the Earth's living species are rapidly headed toward extinction due to human impacts, chiefly habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and hunting. We have more than enough knowledge of this global crisis to illuminate the need for habitat and wildlife conservation, but somehow lack the collective empathy with our fellow life forms to take coherent planet-scale actions. Most of the primary impacts on biodiversity are relatviely unseen, lying just beyond our visual horizon. The Biodiversity and Climate Project is shining an increasingly bright light upon the past, present, and future trajectories of the distribution and abundance of many of the world's endangered plant and animal species.