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Climate Change and Carbon Tools

CCRC Home > Climate Change and Carbon Tools

The CCRC features several tools that are intended to help land managers incorporate climate change and carbon stewardship into their decision-making. Tools included on the CCRC may range from specialized calculators to maps or models covering a variety of scales and geographical regions; static documents or datasets are not normally included here.

All tools have limitations and assumptions that need to be considered. The CCRC does not recommend specific tools, but does provide guidance on appropriate tool applications. Please be sure to thoroughly examine these characteristics before interpreting tool outputs.

See our Climate Data page for some of the organizations that are responsible for providing climate data and basic statistics to the public.

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Forest Service Tools

Additional Carbon Inventory and Management Tools
The Northern Research Station maintains a list of calculation tools to help quantify forest carbon for planning or reporting.
Carbon OnLine Estimator (COLE)
COLEv2.0 enables the user to examine forest carbon characteristics of any area of the continental United States.
Climate Change Tree and Bird Atlases
The Climate Change Atlases can be used to examine the current distribution of tree and bird habitats in the eastern United States, and how these habitat distributions might change in response to different climate scenarios.
ecoSmart Landscapes
The public ecoSmart Landscapes tool can be used to calculate carbon dioxide sequestration and building energy savings provided by individual trees.
First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM)
FOFEM is a model that predicts first-order fire effects including tree mortality, fuel consumption, emissions (smoke) production, and soil heating caused by prescribed burning or wildfire.
The Fish Crossing software is designed to assist engineers, hydrologists and fish biologists in the evaluation and design of culverts for fish passage. It may be used as a component of a management approach to help fish species respond to climate changes.
Forecasts of Climate-Associated Shifts in Tree Species (ForeCASTS)
Using projections of future climate, ForeCASTS produces maps that depict future suitable habitat ranges for North American tree species in the United States and globally.
Forest CarbonPlus Calculator
The Forest CarbonPlus calculator can be used to calculate carbon emissions that are directly related to day-to-day operations of Forest Service facilities and activities of Forest Service employees.
Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS)
The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is a family of forest growth simulation models that allow a user to explore how silvicultural treatments may affect growth and yield and, therefore, carbon stocks.
ForWarn is a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool that provides an overview of potential forest disturbances for the conterminous U.S.
Fuel Characteristic Classification System (FCCS)
FCCS quantifies and classifies the structural and geographical diversity of wildland fuels in the United States and predicts their relative fire hazard. Current versions also predict surface fire behavior and quantify carbon stores for each calculated fuelbed.
i-Tree is a peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that allows users to assess the benefits provided by urban trees. The i-Tree 'Design' application (currently in beta testing) gives estimates of the benefits that trees provide related to greenhouse gas mitigation, air quality improvement, storm water interception, and building energy savings
LANDFIRE (Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools) is a vegetation, fire and fuel characteristics mapping program.
MC1 (MAPSS-Century 1)
MC1 was created to assess the potential impacts of global climate change on ecosystem structure and function. Users can access maps, datasets, and publications that were created using this model.
NorWeST Stream Temperature
NorWeST aggregates stream temperature data from the Northwestern U.S. into a stream temperature database, and uses the data to develop stream temperature models.
SAVS: A System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species to Climate Change
The SAVS uses an online questionnaire with 22 criteria to predict vulnerability or resilience of an individual species to future climate change. Numerical scores indicating vulnerability or resilience for terrestrial vertebrate species are generated.
Seedlot Selection Tool
The Seedlot Selection Tool (SST) can help users match seedlots (seed collections from a known origin) with appropriate planting sites based on climatic information.
The Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO) is a tool intended to facilitate the integration of climate change science into land management planning.
Water Supply Stress Index (WaSSI) Ecosystem Services Model
WaSSI is a model that can be used to project the effects of forest land cover change, climate change, and water withdrawals on river flows, water supply stress, and ecosystem productivity. Users can define custom scenarios to run through the model's online interface.

Non Forest Service Tools

California Avian Data Center
See current and future maps of bird species distributions, vegetation, or climate variables.
Canada's Plant Hardiness Site
Canada's plant hardiness map provides insights about what can grow where. It combines information about a variety of climatic conditions across the entire country to produce a single general map.
Climate Wizard
ClimateWizard enables technical and non-technical audiences to access climate change information and visualize climate impacts worldwide. It provides world maps for historic temperature and rainfall, in addition to future projections of temperature and rainfall. Maps are available for download.
Data Basin
The Data Basin Climate Center centralizes climate change-related datasets, maps and findings. Tools are provided to visualize, analyze, and communicate vulnerabilities, trends or predicted future scenarios at local and regional scales.
NASA CQUEST -- Carbon Query and Evaluation Support Tools
The NASA CQUEST application provides data sets that support a national inventory of carbon sequestration. These data sets combine NASA remote sensing technology, ecosystem process modeling, and field-based measurements to characterize land management impacts on the carbon cycle. The CQUEST Viewer application allows users to display CQUEST data interactively as a map, customize the view, print image files, and obtain data values in tabular format.
Pacific Northwest Climate Mapping
These maps show how four important parameters of climate – temperature, precipitation, snowpack, and soil moisture – have varied over time in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) as a result of natural climate variability and climate change. Changes in regional climate projected to result from global warming will be available soon. The data for these maps are generated by the Variable Infiltration Capacity model (VIC –see below).
Variable Infiltration Model
VIC is a macroscale hydrologic model that solves full water and energy balances, originally developed by Xu Liang at the University of Washington. VIC is a research model and in its various forms it has been applied to many watersheds including the Columbia River, the Ohio River, the Arkansas-Red Rivers, and the Upper Mississippi Rivers, as well as being applied globally.
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts
WICCI climate scientists have down-scaled global climate models to project how Wisconsin's climate has been changing and how it might change in the years to come.





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