Not all of Alberta’s species will experience climate change to the same degree, and not all are able to adapt equally well to the predicted changes. The challenge is to understand better which species may be most affected by climate change, either negatively or positively. We’ve completed the first-ever overview of the relative vulnerability of Alberta’s native species to climate change. This assessment combines information on the predicted exposure of each species to climate change within its current range, and on the sensitivity of each species to that change.
You can explore the climate change vulnerability of species of interest in our database of assessments. These assessments can be used as a starting point for more detailed consideration of species-specific climate risks.
Boreal songbirds are likely to shift their distributions northward and upslope in response to rapid climate change over the next century. This map gallery contains detailed projections of distribution and density for 80 boreal-breeding songbirds based on current and projected future climate, current land use, and topography. These maps were produced in collaboration with the Boreal Avian Modelling project and are hosted by DataBasin.
The Alberta Species Conservation Atlas, hosted by the Applied Conservation Ecology Lab at the University of Alberta, contains predictive maps of the distribution and potential habitat of the province’s rare species under current and projected future climates.
The distribution of Alberta’s regional ecosystems, such as the Grassland, Parkland and Boreal, is strongly linked to climate factors like temperature, growing season length, and moisture balance. Because of these close connections, the distribution of these ecosystems has responded to past changes in climate, and will respond to future climate change as well. We have developed detailed projections of how Alberta’s ecosystems, defined by Alberta’s Natural Subregions, are likely to respond to climate change over the next hundred years.
A major contributor to the responses of ecosystem responses to climate change is how changes in ecological processes like fire and vegetation regeneration will lead to ecosystem transitions; for example, from the mixedwood forests of the Boreal region to the open checkerboard of aspen stands and grasslands typical of the Parkland region.