Climate Change Pressures on Growing Degree Days, Plant Hardiness Zones, and Heat Zones in the 21st Century
Climate change is already having substantial effects on natural systems and the benefits they provide. It is important to understand how climate change may intensify through this century in order to prepare for future changes. This application features three metrics that influence plant growth and survival: growing degree days, plant hardiness zones, and heat zones. It displays mapped projections of change throughout the century for the conterminous United States. Each pair of maps presented here compares recent conditions (1980-2009) to potential conditions under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions at the end of the century (2070–2099, RCP 8.5; high level of emissions over the next several decades).