Screen capture from the Story Map

Climate Change Pressures in the 21st Century

This Story Map features three metrics that influence plant growth and survival and displays mapped projections of change throughout the century for the conterminous United States.

This web application, published on Esri's Story Map platform, features three metrics that influence plant growth and survival: 

  • Growing Degree Days: Used to describe the season available for plants to grow and mature. It's calculated by average temperature for each day in the year, the average number of degrees above 5°C (41°F) for each day, and these values are summed for all the days of the year. 
  • Plant Hardiness Zones: Indicates the winter stress that plants experience due to cold temperatures. These zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperatures.
  • Heat Zones: Maps areas of potential heat stress for plants and animals, including humans. These heat zones map the number of days per year with a maximum daily temperature ≥30°C (86°F). They indicate a change in "hot" conditions, recognizing that individual species have unique adaptations and abilities to tolerate a wide variety of conditions. 

Each pair of maps compares recent conditions (1980–2009) to potential conditions under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions at the end of the century. For each metric, links are provided to additional online maps that provide a visual contrast between two scenarios of potential change (RCPs 4.5 and 8.5), and four different time periods. These scenarios emphasize the variation of possible climate outcomes as a result of human decisions driving emission trajectories through this century. 

Last modified
9 September 2021 - 11:34am