The researchers identified locations where each stressor is more prevalent on the landscape relative to other locations, and then combined future climate projections from 30 separate global circulation models to establish a climate change metric. The climate change metric represents when the average annual temperature is projected to permanently depart from the prevailing climate of the past century under a “business as usual” scenario. The goal was to identify large contiguous areas of stress exposure—locations that may be vulnerable to ecological and social disruption.
This information has been used in Oregon, for example, to inform discussions about urban expansion and fire risk around the City of Bend.
Supplemental maps projecting climate departure and exposure to multiple stressors in the conterminous United States.