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New Interactive Tool Consolidates Data from Climate Vulnerability Assessments

September 21, 2023

NOAA Fisheries has launched its new Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool, providing information on the vulnerability of hundreds of species in one convenient location.

A red and green Sockeye salmon swims near the surface of the water with a pebble riverbed below it. Sockeye salmon are one of nearly 400 species included in NOAA Fisheries’ Climate Vulnerability Assessments. Data from all available Climate Vulnerability Assessments can now be seamlessly accessed with a new tool. Credit: Ryan Hagerty/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

NOAA Fisheries has launched its new Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool! It provides easy access to vulnerability information from all of the current Climate Vulnerability Assessments in one convenient location. Previously, these assessments were only available as individual reports on the NOAA Fisheries website or via scientific journals. 
As part of its commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change, NOAA Fisheries conducts Climate Vulnerability Assessments on fish stocks, protected species, habitats, and fishing communities. The Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool provides an easy way for scientists, academia, and decision makers to find vulnerability information on nearly 400 marine-related species and habitats.

A screenshot of the Climate Vulnerability Tool Interface. The title reads "Marine Mammal Climate Vulnerability Assessment Data" and below that, "Humpback Whale - Gulf of Maine." Orange bars below the title denote that this stock scores high for overall vulnerability, sensitivity, and exposure.
A screenshot of the Climate Vulnerability Assessment data for the Gulf of Maine humpback whale stock. The new tool displays the scores for sensitivity, exposure, and overall vulnerability to climate change for each stock. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Climate Vulnerability Assessments provide decision makers with information on which species, habitats, and communities may be most susceptible to climate change. They also show where action may be needed to help reduce impacts and increase resilience to changing ocean conditions. The information is also being used to guide research on possible climate impacts and solutions. The assessments estimate vulnerability to climate change based on:

  • Level of exposure to projected changes in the environment (such as increased ocean temperatures) 
  • Sensitivity to these changes based on life history characteristics (such as diet and reproductive rate)

Currently, the Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool pulls data from seven completed assessments:

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool will be regularly updated as data from new assessments are made available. Several other Climate Vulnerability Assessments are in progress, including assessments for sea turtles, Atlantic highly migratory species, and Gulf of Mexico fish stocks.

Last updated by Office of Science and Technology on September 21, 2023