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Tool Structure

Pilot Project

Project Team


A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH)

Tool Structure

The CCVATCH functions as an integration framework that incorporates local data and knowledge with climate change research and predictions and assessment tools to provide an evaluation of the degree to which a habitat may be vulnerable to climate change, and to determine how existing stressors are likely to be exacerbated (or mitigated) by climate change.The spreadsheet-based tool guides users through a series of questions to calculate numerical climate vulnerability scores for habitats. The questions are designed to assess the potential interactions of climate change exposure (i.e., CO2 increase, air/water temperature increase, precipitation change, relative SLR, and change in frequency/severity of storm events) with non-climate stressors (i.e., invasive species, nutrients, sediment supply, biological and chemical contamination, and disturbance) to affect the ability of a habitat to persist. The direct sensitivity of the habitat to climate change, the current condition of the habitat, and natural and anthropogenic conditions that affect adaptive capacity are also calculated into the final numerical vulnerability score, which can be used to rank the relative vulnerability of assessed habitats.

CCVATCH tool components

For more information on the CCVATCH tool, please contact Jennifer Plunket

NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System University of South Carolina Baruch Institute-USC Belle W. Baruch Foundation