With the BCCVL, you can investigate the distribution of a species under potential future climatic conditions. The Climate Change Experiment takes the results of your Species Distribution Modelling experiment, and projects that distribution for a certain year in the future with the climate information from one of several climate models. Select one of several greenhouse gas emissions scenarios to influence the climate models. Future climates are available from 2015 to 2085.

Note: You will need to run a (Multi) Species Distribution Model before you can run a Climate Change Experiment. 

How to run a Climate Change experiment in the BCCVL

  • At the top of the page click on the Experiments tab
  • Under the secondary experiments heading click on Climate Change Experiment.

Step 1: Description tab

  • Enter the name for your experiment in the first box (e.g. Future fox (Vulpes vulpes) distribution)
  • (optional) You can also add a description of your experiment in the box below if you want to convey more information. Some researchers use this box to record their research question or hypotheses for later referral.
  • Click Next.

Step 2: Source Model tab

  • Click Select SDM Experiment.
  • Select the species distribution model with which you would like to do your climate change projection and click Select Experiment.
  • Check the box for the algorithm/s with which you would like to use.
  • Click Next.

Step 3: Projection tab

  • To search for and select future climate data click on Select Future Climate Data.
  • In the pop-up box you can filter options such as emission scenario and general circulation model using the search functions in the left hand column, or simply by scrolling.
  • Select chosen datasets - you can pick as many as you like. Click Add Layers.
  • Click Next.

Note: The data associated with the future climate projections include:

  • 18 GCMs for each emission scenario;
  • 9 emission scenarios – 5 representing SRES scenarios and 4 representing RCP scenarios;
  • 8 time points into the future (10 year intervals from 2015 to 2085); and
  • 19 bioclimatic variables, including annual min, mean and max temperature, precipitation, sea surface temperatures, wet-day frequency, vapour pressure and cloud cover. Full list available at http://www.worldclim.org/bioclim.
  • For assistance in identifying the scenarios and GCMs best suited for your species/experiment we recommend using the Climate Futures Tool.

Step 4: Constraints tab

On this tab you can select the area to which you want to project the climate change projection. By default, the projection will be in the same area as the trained area from your selected SDM. But you can select a different area here if you want to project to a different area. The different constraint options are:

  • Use Source SDM Experiment Constraint
    • This is the same constrained area as your SDM experiment. You can add a buffer around this area by nominating a distance in km and click Add Offset. The buffer will be added on the map.
  • Select constraints by pre-defined region
    • Select one of the region types that are currently available in the BCCVL: Australian States and Territories, Local Government Areas, National Resource Management Regions, IBRA 7 regions, River Regions, Drainage Divisions Level 1 or 2, Marine Ecoregions of the World, Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA4) Provincial or Meso-scale Bioregions.
    • Find the region of your interest in the drop down menu. You can select multiple regions.
    • Click Add To Map.
    • You can also add a buffer around the pre-defined region constraints.
  • Use Environmental Envelope
    • This is the geographic extent of where all selected climate/environmental datasets overlap.
  • Draw constraints on Map
    • Click Draw On Map to draw a shape on the map to which the model will be constrained.
  • Upload Shapefile 
    • Select a shapefile from your computer to use as the constraint.

Note that the model will be trained on the selected area, and the results will include a predicted distribution map for the constrained area, as well as a projection to the geographic extent of your environmental/climate layers.

Step 5: Run tab

  • Ensure you are happy with your experiment design.
  • If all tabs are green then your experiment is ready to go.
  • Click Start Experiment.
  • If any of your tabs are red, revisit it and ensure you have filled in each component correctly.

A log file will now be sent to our virtual machines where your experiment will be run. You will receive an email when your results are ready to view. This can be done from the Experiments page. For now, sit back and relax, grab a coffee, or do some other work without being hampered by a slower computer that is running heavy models in the background.