A University of Washington professor’s research into climate-caused migrations has been transformed into a hypnotic map of the Americas that gets the message across.
The animated map, titled “Migrations in Motion,” shows the trajectories that species are expected to take in response to the warming trend that’s likely to unfold over the course of the coming decades.
“One of the nice things about the map is that it gives you a look at the main effects of climate change for animals: that species are going to move around,” UW ecologist Joshua Lawler told GeekWire.
Three years ago, Lawler and his colleagues published a study in Ecology Letters that laid out the likely impact of rising temperatures on migration patterns for nearly 3,000 species.
The study suggested that species in North America would tend to shift toward more northerly habitats, following routes that went through higher elevations and less developed terrain. In the eastern United States, the Appalachian Mountains stuck out as a superhighway for species shifts.