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Climate Change Impacts in Virginia: A natural resource database

climate change comparison
These plant hardiness zone maps show zonal shifts due to warming temperatures. The zonal shifts are approximations, so comparisons are for display purposes only. Click for a larger map.

A fundamental need of climate change research and proactive resource management is the ability to find and use diverse natural resource data. This website houses a database of natural resource data specific to Virginia. The information in this collection of data is necessary for modeling the cascading effects of climate change and predicting the magnitude of resulting biological and societal changes.

Climate database: This page houses a database with information on natural resource, meteorological and economic datasets specific to conditions throughout Virginia. Datasets are typically limited to those with at least 20 years of continuous data, since that was determined to be the minimum timeframe necessary to see a climatic influence. Most of the data are publically available and weblinks are provided for many of the datasets to take you directly to the host agency/university. A description of the data available is included in the database, including information on years and location, for many datasets.

Climate change cascades: A cascade is defined as a process that occurs in successive stages, each of which is dependent on the preceding one, and often producing a cumulative effect. A cascade may be a linear relationship or a complex interconnected network. This is primarily a teaching page, which highlights some natural resource cascades that may be affected by climate change. It illustrates how a changing weather system can reverberate through natural systems and impact health and human safety as well as economic activities.

Examples: These pages illustrate some examples of the types of data available and ways in which the data can be combined and explored to look at various climatic shifts or climate cascades. Topics include: Environmental Shifts, Single Species Impacts, Cascading Impacts, Species Event Timing, Human Health and Safety, and Economic Effects.

Link to local climate change data from Weather Underground

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