Scientists predict that as Earth warms and climate patterns morph in response, animals will be forced to move to survive. That usually means hightailing it to higher latitudes as equatorial areas become too hot and dry.
The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy have created an animated map showing where mammals, birds and amphibians are projected to move in the Western Hemisphere in response to climate change. The visualization draws upon flow models from electronic circuit theory, taking inspiration from existing visualizations of wind flow across the U.S.
“This is the best visualization of any of these studies we’ve done. It’s much more compelling than our static maps,” said Joshua Lawler, a UW professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and lead author of the study informing this animated map. “The flow diagram really makes the data much more accessible.”