USDA Forest Service Climate Risk Viewer

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where are there gaps between climate pressures and current management practices on national forests and grasslands?
  • Where are climate adaptation actions needed to maintain high-value forest ecosystems and watersheds?

The Forest Service Climate Risk Viewer, currently in beta format, is a digital mapping tool that will support climate-informed risk and resource planning for National Forest System lands across the U.S. The tool draws from 30 datasets to demonstrate the overlap of multiple values with climate exposure and vulnerability, and current management direction of National Forest System lands. Resource managers can use this information to assess the need for climate adaptation to maintain valued resources and to identify gaps between current practices and needed adaptation practices. American Forests is convening a diverse set of partners who will work together to improve the user interface and further develop the technical and analytical capabilities of the current beta version.

The tool includes a wide range of data to help forest managers and others assess climate vulnerability: 

  • Climatic Dissimilarity for North America: The estimated magnitude of change between baseline and future climate conditions
  • National Forest Climate Change Maps: Information on change in snow residence time, frost-free days, and summer dry days
  • Climate by Forest: Projections of future climate conditions at the national forest scale for 20 climate variables
  • Terrestrial Condition Assessment: Evaluates the effects of uncharacteristic stressors and disturbance agents to identify restoration opportunities on National Forest Service lands
  • Multidecadal Repeat-Dryness Exposure Index: Illustrates how increasing atmospheric aridity increases vegetation’s flammability and the susceptibility of trees to mortality by bark beetles
  • Drought Summary Tool: Summarizes moisture difference maps developed by Forest Service scientists
  • Human Modification: Helps identify lands that are relatively free from human modification, which require less management interventions to maintain ecological integrity
  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Across the Nation Dashboard: Summarizes climate change vulnerability assessments completed to support national forest/Forest Service regions