Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Tools

Summary

Resource Description

 
***A matrix of climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation tool characteristics can be found and downloaded here.***
 
Many communities are conducting planning efforts that consider the effects of climate change on human and natural resources. Although most of these efforts use processes commonly used in land use planning, some of the climate-related elements, such as conducting vulnerability assessments and considering adaptation strategies, are novel and require new types of data and tools. The tools described below are not a comprehensive list of tools necessary to conduct climate-relating planning activities. Rather, these tools help communities focus on a set of tools to get started in planning for climate change.
 
The tools are divided into sections according to function:

  • Process Tools: are those that will help a community design and conduct a planning process that incorporates the unique elements that address the vulnerabilities, risks and uncertainties inherent in climate-related planning.
  • Portals: give access to other tools and/or data that may be important in climate work.
  • Analytical Tools: allow planners to investigate current conditions and ecosystem processes, determine the effects of potential future conditions, and explore scenarios to determine potential effects of planning decisions. These are the most technically challenging of the tools, often requiring GIS software, expertise and training
  • Visualization Tools: allow users to build unique tools and simulations that enable stakeholder engagement though the use of pictures or web-based tools. The tools in this group are generally simple to use, but can include web-based GIS visualization tools that require special software, hardware and expertise.
  • Socio-economic Tools: provide community level socio-economic data that allows planners and stakeholders to visualize, explore, and understand the social impacts that could result from future hazards and climate change.
  • Natural Resource Tools: can be used to assess the vulnerability of ecosystems or specific species to climate change.

 
Process Tools
 
Adaptation Database for Planning Tool (ADAPT): An online database that guides users through ICLEI's 5 Milestones for Climate Adaptation planning framework. ADAPT walks you through the process of assessing your vulnerabilities, setting resiliency goals, and developing plans that integrate into existing hazard and comprehensive planning efforts.
Developer: ICLEI Sustainable Communities
Link: http://www.icleiusa.org

CRiSTAL(Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods): CriSTAL enables local decision makers to assess the impact a project may have on the resources of a community, and modify projects to reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptive capacity by incorporating adaptation methods. This decision support tool is a user-friendly process for planners and managers to identify the links between the livelihoods of locals and climate. CRiSTAL steps the user through a series of worksheets for each of these elements from the identification of hazards, impacts, coping strategies, livelihoods, linkages between livelihoods and climate, to the analysis of project impacts on livelihood resources that critical for climate adaptation and the revision of existing project activities.
Developer:International Institute for Sustainable Dev (IISD), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), SEI-US, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Link: www.iisd.org/cristaltool
       
NOAA CSC Coastal Inundation Toolkit: This toolkit provides guidance on how to prepare and map inundation estimate for your area. The toolkit was developed by the Digital Coast Partnership Group to help communities understand and address coastal inundation issues. Website components include: Understand basic information about coastal inundation; Identify your county's exposure and examine potential impacts; Map inundation to "see" potential impacts; Assess your community's risks, vulnerability, and resilience; Communicate risk strategies to initiate change; and, Discover how other communities are addressing this issue.
Developer:NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: www.csc.NOAA.gov/digitalcoast/inundation/
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
NOAA CSC Roadmap: A three hour training designed to help communities characterize their exposure to current and future hazard and climate threats and assess how existing planning and policy efforts may integrate this information to address community issues. After completeing this course, participants will be able to: Identify key issues and impacts associated with current and future coastal hazard risks; Identify major elements of community vulnerability; and, Identify strategic "win-win" approaches for reducing risks and vulnerabilities while also addressing other community issues
Developer: NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/training/coastalrisk.html
 
 
Tool Portals
 
Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network: A Network of tool providers and practitioners that works to bring geospatial and other tools to planning processes. At the EBM Tools Network website, you can find: an online database of tools, training resources, webinars, and links to case studies.
Developer: EBMTools Network
Link:www.ebmtoolsdatabase.org/
 
Digital Coast: Digital Coast is a data and tool portal provide by NOAA Coastal Services Center. The Digital Coast also provides the tools, training, and information needed to turn these data into the information most needed by coastal resource management professionals. Digital Coast is used to address timely coastal issues, including land use, coastal conservation, hazards, marine spatial planning, and climate change. One of the goals behind the creation of the Digital Coast was to unify groups that might not otherwise work together. This partnership network is building not only a website, but also a strong collaboration of coastal professionals intent on addressing coastal resource management needs.
Developer: NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/index.html
 
 
Data Portals
 
ClimateWizard: Climate Wizard is a web-based analysis and mapping tool that uses state-of-the-art climate models and advanced statistical analysis to examine both the current and future climate conditions of any place on the Earth. Pre-calculated map products are available through a free webpage where users can easily visualize and download data for both historic and future climate conditions.  Future climate projections are based on General Circulation Models output produced under three different greenhouse gas emission scenarios for two future time periods; mid and end century.  Additionally the user has the ability to examine the statistical variations of 16 different general circulation models used to generate these future climate projections by displaying individual model results or selected model combinations. 
Developer: C. C. Zganjar (TNC); E. Girvetz (then U. Washington, now TNC), and G. Raber (U. Southern Mississippi)
Link: www.climatewizard.org/
 
Climate Sensitivity Database: Climate changes poses a daunting challenge to natural resource managers and in response the University of Washington has partnered with key collaborators to conduct a climate change sensitivity assessment. This assessment is designed to evaluate the sensitivity of the species and ecological systems to climate change. This digital database summarizes the inherent climate-change sensitivities for species and habitats and will provide resource managers and decision makers with some of the most basic and most important information about how species and systems will likely respond to climate change.
Developer: Univ. Washington / TNC
Link: http://courses.washington.edu/ccdb/drupal/
 
 
Analytical Tools
 
HAZUS-MH (Hazards U.S, Multi-Hazard): FEMA's HAZUS-MH is a powerful risk assessment methodology for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane winds, coastal surge and earthquakes. Scientific and engineering knowledge is coupled with the latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology to produce estimates of hazard-related damage and loss before, or after, a disaster occurs.  Potential loss estimates analyzed include: physical damage, economic loss, and social impacts.
Developer: FEMA
Link:www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/hazus/
 
Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model Version 6 (SLAMM 6.0): SLAMM simulates the dominant processes in wetland conversion and shoreline modifications during long-term sea level rise (SLR). SLAMM accounts for inundation, subsidence, soil saturation, erosion, accretion, and barrier island overwash to project future wetland changes. The model uses a complex decision tree incorporating geometric and qualitative relationships to represent transfers among coastal classes and can provide numerical and map-based output with minimal computational time. It can be applied to a range of landscape scales (<1 km2 to 100,000 km2) at high resolution and identifies potential changes in both extent and composition of different wetland types. Feedback mechanisms between SLR and marsh accretion rates can be accounted for in SLAMM 6 predictions.  However, other complex factors affecting regional marsh system response to SLR are not, such as localized geomorphology, hydrodynamic effects, higher average temperatures, and more-intense hurricanes. SLAMM 6 is the first model of its kind that integrates a stochastic uncertainty analysis module to provide best/worst case scenarios, and likelihood and confidence statistics given uncertainty in future SLR, future erosion rates, and feedbacks between marsh vertical-accretion rates and SLR.
Developer: Warren Pinnacle Consulting, Inc.
Link: warrenpinnacle.com/prof/SLAMM/
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM-Viewer): SLAMM-View provides visualization of possible future coastal and estuarine landscapes, and quantifies and reports on the extent of different wetland types, under different sea level rise scenarios.  This web-mapping application portrays simulation results from the Sea Level Affects Marshes Model (SLAMM) with other contextual layers such as state and county boundaries, roads, and National Wetland Inventory data. SLAMM-View utilizes a combination of server and client software (Java and Java-script) based on Image Matters' userSmarts® technology to provide functionality for interactive layer display selectivity and ordering, and adjustable transparency. Panning and zooming tools allow the user to focus on their particular locality of interest. One unique aspect of this tool, which facilitates the comparison of a selected set of simulation results, is that multiple (up to 7) map views are geographically-linked: zooming or panning in one map causes an identical action in all of the maps.
Developer: Image Matters LLC/USGS
Link: www.slammview.org
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
Land Use Portfolio Model (LUPM): A tool for modeling, mapping, and communicating risk. It is designed to help public agencies and communities understand and reduce their vulnerability to, and risk of, natural hazards. The LUPM is adapted from financial-portfolio theory, a method for evaluating alternative, regional-scale investment possibilities on the basis of their estimated distributions of risk and return. Data inputs include the probability of the hazard event, the planning time horizon, the assets at risk (e.g. tax parcels), the spatial probabilities of damage, the dollar value and/or vulnerability of each asset, and the cost and effectiveness of the risk-reduction measures being considered. LUPM calculates estimates for the total cost, number of locations mitigated, return on investment, expected loss, and community wealth retained. Finally, the user can display maps showing the results of each mitigation policy, and compare and rank the policies according to their own priorities.
Developer: U.S. Geological Service - Western Geographic Science Center
Link: http://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/lupm.html
 
CommunityViz: A widely used, multipurpose tool for regional and community planning, CommunityViz adds interactive analysis tools and a decision-making framework to the ArcGIS platform. It helps both experts and the public view, analyze and understand planning and design alternatives and their impacts. It supports scenario planning, sketch planning and geodesign, 3-D visualization, suitability analysis, impact assessment, growth modeling and other popular techniques. Its many layers of functionality make it useful for a wide range of skill levels and applications.
Developer: Placeways LLC and the Orton Family Foundation
Link: http://placeways.com/communityviz/
 
NatureServeVista: NatureServe Vista 2.5 is a  decision support system for conducting conservation planning and integrating conservation with other assessment and planning activities such as land use, transportation, energy, natural resource, and ecosystem-based management. NatureServe Vista enables users to evaluate, create, implement, and monitor land use and resource management scenarios that operate within the existing economic, social, and political context to achieve conservation goals.  The tool operates on an ArcGIS platform.  The latest version (v2.5) integrates interoperability with N-SPECT and other hydrologic models to support integrated land-water assessment and planning.
Developer: NatureServe
Link:www.natureserve.org/prodServices/vista/overview.jsp
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
Maxent: Maxent is a program that produces models of species geographic distributions based on presence-only data. It was designed specifically for modeling distributions when users have access to historical and/or current species localities, but do not have data on sites where the species is known to be absent. Latitude/longitude information on where species have been found and environmental data potentially correlating with species’ distributions are the required input. When climate-related factors are believed to drive the current distribution of a species, these variables can be used to generate a model of the current climate envelope, and then the software can project that preference onto models of future climates. Such projections may provide information on future range shifts the species will experience. Developer:Phillips, Dudik & Schapire, supported by AT&T Labs; Princeton U.; the Center for Biodiversity & Conservation, AMNH.
Link:www.cs.princeton.edu/~schapire/maxent/
 
SimCLIM: SimCLIM is a software system that integrates models and data for purposes of assessing the impacts of, and adaptations to, climate variability and change, including extreme events.
Developer: CLIMsystems
Linkhttp://climsystems.com/simclim/
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
NEAFWARegional Vulnerability Modeling: This modeling process will provide us with estimates of how the vulnerabilities of important fsh and wildlife habitats vary geographically across the northeastern states - an important regional context within which to make conservation plannng decisions. The vulnerability model has now been developed and is currently being applied to a sample of 22 habitat types.
Developer: ManometCenter for Conservation Sciences/NEAFWA
Link: None Yet
 
 
Visualization Tools

CanVis: CanVis is a visualization program used to simulate potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise. The software is used by municipalities to brainstorm new ideas and policies, undertake project planning, and make presentations. Incorporates docks, buildings, rising waters, and other objects into user photographs to see potential scenarios.  Allows users to quickly brainstorm "what if" scenarios with this easy-to-use tool.
Developer:NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/canvis/
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
Google Mashups: Framework for categorizing the relative vulnerability of threatened & endangered species to climate change.  Utilize Google Earth and Google Maps to create unique interactive maps for your websites. It is a method for anyone to effectively convey geographic data and information over the web, and is useful for stakeholder engagement.
Developer:Google
Links: http://clear.uconn.edu/training/maps/mashup.htm, www.google.com/earth
Tool Demonstration Webinar: Link directly to EBM Tools Webinar page
 
Hazard Assessment Template:This template helps to construct  customized hazard assessment tools that identify potential hazards for specific locations. Tool users identify the location by address, owner name, or by clicking in the map. The tool queries the hazards data to determine the hazards zone(s) for the location. Typical users include planning and permitting departments, residents applying for building permits, hazard mitigation officials, and natural resource planners. The template's functionality can be set up for any location that has the required data and resources. Geographic information system (GIS) staff members with Internet mapping experience are needed to acquire, set up, and customize the tool.
Developer:NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/hat/
 
NOAA Coastal County Snapshots: Coastal County Snapshots turn complex data into easy-to-understand stories, complete with charts and graphs. Users select a coastal county of interest and the website does the rest, providing information that can help communities become more resilient to coastal hazards.  Local officials use snapshot information to learn about their communities; handouts generated by the snapshots can be a helpful educational tool when working with governing bodies and citizen groups. Current snapshot data holdings focus on flood risks and the local economy.
Developer: NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: http://csc-s-maps-q.csc.noaa.gov/CountySnapshots/
 
 
Socioeconomic Tools
 
Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics (STICS): The Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics (STICS) website includes information for all 50 states and provides a set of Web-based data analysis and display tools to facilitate data retrieval, mapping, analysis, assessments, and comparative studies. The website also features query tools that enable users to retrieve data by individual or multiple counties or watersheds (based on the definitions of these categories found in the NOAA Coastal Assessment Framework). The primary objective of this website is to increase awareness and provide socioeconomic information to the coastal stewardship community in a timely fashion. Coastal professionals can use income and employment data found on the website to gain insights into the socioeconomic trends in the nation's rapidly developing coastal regions. This product can also help coastal managers make more informed decisions regarding program priorities and delivery of services.
Developer: NOAA Coastal Services Center
Link: http://coastalsocioeconomics.noaa.gov/welcome.html
 
SoVi(Social Vulnerability Index): SoViis a comparative metric that facilitates the examination of the differences in social vulnerability among counties. It graphically illustrates the geographic variation in social vulnerability. It shows where there is uneven capacity for preparedness and response and where resources might be used most effectively to reduce the pre-existing vulnerability. The index synthesizes 32 socioeconomic variables, which the research literature suggests contribute to reduction in a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazards. The data were culled from national data sources, primarily those from the United States Census Bureau.
Developer: University of South Carolina
Link: http://webra.cac.sc.edu/hvri/products/sovi.aspx
 
 
Multiuse
 
Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE): Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) is a joint project aimed at building a shared knowledge base for managing natural systems in the face of rapid climate change. CAKE brings together EcoAdapt’s recognized leadership in developing the concepts and practices of climate adaptation with Island Press’s 27 years as the leading publisher of solutions-based environmental information to offer the most valuable, up-to-date, and authoritative materials on the subject.  Just as importantly, it is intended to help build an innovative community of practice. It helps users to get beyond the limitations of their time and the unwieldy thicket of books, papers and articles by: Vetting and clearly organizing the best information available, Building a community via an interactive online platform, Creating a directory of practitioners to share knowledge and strategies, Identifying and explaining data tools and information available from other sites.  Includes georeferenced case studies, directory, tools, and resource library. Can search by text, map, or both.
Developer: EcoAdapt/Island Press
Link: www.cakex.org
 
WeAdapt: weADAPT.org is an online ‘open space’ on climate adaptation issues (including the synergies between adaptation and mitigation) which allows practitioners, researchers and policy makers to access credible, high quality information and to share experiences and lessons learnt with the weADAPT community. It is designed to facilitate learning, exchange, collaboration and knowledge integration to build a professional community of practice on adaptation issues while developing policy-relevant tools and guidance for adaptation planning and decision-making. The new release of weADAPT.org includes innovative new tools for '‘knowledge integration’, our Adaptation Layer - a Google Earth interface to show ‘who is doing what, where’ and to create 'adaptation stories', a new climate adaptation Knowledge Base, customized user and organisation profiles and adaptation decision support tools such as the prototype Adaptation Decision Explorer (ADx).
Developer: EcoAdapt/Island Press
Link: http://www.weadapt.org/
 
 
Species Indices
 
System for Assessing `Vulnerability of Species (SAVS) to Climate Change: The System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species (SAVS) quantifies the relative impact of expected climate change effects for terrestrial vertebrate species. The SAVS uses 22 criteria related to expected response or vulnerability of species in a questionnaire to provide a framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change. The online questionnaire is completed using information gathered from published materials, personal knowledge, or expert consultation.
Developer: US Forest Service
Link: www.fs.fed.us/rm/grassland-shrubland-desert/products/species-vulnerability
 
Framework for categorizing the relative vulnerability of threatened & endangered species to climate change: This tool is actually a method without associated software. The method involves an evaluative framework composed of four modules. Module 1 categorizes baseline vulnerability to extinction or major population reduction. Module 2 scores the likely vulnerability of a species to future climate change, including the species’ potential physiological, behavioral, demographic, and ecological response to climate change. Module 3 combines the results of Modules 1 and 2 into a matrix to produce an overall score of the species’ vulnerability to climate change. Module 4 is a qualitative determination of uncertainty of overall vulnerability based on evaluations of uncertainty done in each of the first 3 modules.
Developer: EPA
Link: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=203743
 
Climate Change Vulnerability Index: The Climate Change Vulnerability Index uses a scoring system that integrates a species’ predicted exposure to climate change within an assessment area and three sets of factors associated with climate change sensitivity, each supported by published studies: 1) indirect exposure to climate change, 2) species-specific factors (including dispersal ability, temperature and precipitation sensitivity, physical habitat specificity, interspecific interactions, and genetic factors), and 3) documented response to climate change. Assessing species with this Index facilitates grouping taxa by their relative risk to climate change, and by sensitivity factors, which we expect will help users to identify adaptation options that could benefit multiple species.
Developer: NatureServe
Link: www.natureserve.org/climatechange
 
 
 
 
 
The Tools for Climate Change Adaptation Planning matrix was created by the Coastal-Marine Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network (EBM Tools Network) in collaboration with EcoAdapt. The matrix is part of an on-going project of the EBM Tools Network to facilitate the use and understanding of tools in coastal management and planning.
 
Contact: John Rozum, EBM Tools Network/NOAA Coastal Services Center
john(dot)rozum(at)noaa.gov

Submitted By: SarahCarr
Last Updated: May 21, 2012, 12:41 pm