Copyright © Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats. All rights reserved.

The Concept
Changes in climate have direct effects on ecosystems, and also interact with current stressors to impact vital coastal habitats. Adaptive capacity, either natural traits of the system or potential management actions, can lessen the  impacts of climate change. The possible interactions of climate exposure, stressors, and adaptive capacity must be assessed to understand the climate vulnerabilities of a habitat.

The Process
The CCVATCH utilizes a facilitated expert elicitation process. A team of local land managers and researchers with knowledge of the habitats being assessed work together to assign numerical scores for the potential impact of climate change and environmental stressors on the habitat.

The Tool
The CCVATCH is a spreadsheet-based decision support tool that integrates local data and knowledge and current research with climate change predictions to provide an assessment of potential habitat vulnerabilities. The CCVATCH Guidance Document provides background information and assessment questions for each climate-stressor interaction and for adaptive capacity considerations to assist users with determining numerical scores for each interaction and adaptive capacity. The spreadsheet calculates scores for sensitivity-exposure, adaptive capacity, and overall vulnerability.

How Does it Work?