Using GIS to explore climate change and energy issues

GIS is being used to explore many aspects of climate change and climate related issues. This page contains citations and links to various examples of climate-related GIS projects and research. It is not comprehensive but is provided as an introductory overview to the topic.

Exploring climate change risk and vulnerability

Understanding the impacts of climate change involves understanding the nature of those impacts (what is the hazard, its potential to do damage, and its spatial extent – for example, sea-level rise), the risk of that event actually happening, and the vulnerability of people and places to that impact.

Resources for exploring risk and vulnerability

Exploring the production and potential reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

GIS and other tools are being used to map the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. By knowing where the sources are, we can also think through spatial questions regarding how to best reduce those emissions, for example, where policies, incentives, or programs could be targeted.
Resources for mapping greenhouse gas and other facility emissions

Mapping alternative energy sources, generation, and distribution

GIS is a critical tool for exploring where suitable sites for generating alternative energy are located, and the siting of new transmission lines to carry this energy.
Resources for alternative energy exploration and transmission line siting

Land use and transportation planning to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

Planners are focusing on how changes in transportation and land use can help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Part of this effort pre-dates climate concerns to an era when planners were promoting Smart Growth for a variety of other reasons. Now Smart Growth and similar planning theories have incorporated the call for reductions in energy use as part of combating climate change.
Resources that incorporate GIS in land use and transportation planning focused on energy reductions