Mapping & assessing global biodiversity threats from climate-driven sea level


This project assesses the global threat to IUCN Red List species from climate-driven sea level rise (SLR) and aggravated coastal flooding, directly through habitat submergence and damage, and indirectly from human displacement.

Phase 1. Improve baseline inputs (to be mostly completed & funded in advance). The top global elevation dataset understates land exposure to SLR and flooding by ~2X, vs. top quality data for the U.S. We have a method to largely correct global data within the U.S., and extends it globally; plus estimate global high-frequency flood heights.

Phase 2. Assess threatened areas. We identifies land exposed to 5th -95th percentile SLR, in 2050 and 2100, under high vs. low emissions; plus high-frequency floods. We uses local mean sea levels based on satellite observations, plus a high-resolution global tidal model; and incorporate effects of chronic floods, which alter soil salinity and habitat and agricultural suitability.

Phase 3. Assess species threats. Overlaying threatened areas vs. the range of each mapped Red List species, we computes the percentage of range affected. To assess indirect threats, we computes affected urban and agricultural land by administrative zone; assume displacement to nearby undeveloped land; and compute habitat area reduction for each species. We tallies the direct + indirect threat for each species by nation and overall.

We conducts media and NGO outreach and present results online in downloadable form.

Localisation: The United-States and costals around the world

The United-States and costals around the world

Project Initiator

Climate Central